Whip Up This Hibiscus Martini Tonight
Truth be told, I really loved working as a bartender. Not only are you infinitely more respected than a waitress and get to learn patrons' most intimate details (you're basically their makeshift shrink for the night), but you learn valuable life skills — meaning how to craft cocktails. And believe me, that will never not come in handy.
Considering I worked 2-for-1 night at a latin restaurant, I've got a lock on the art of margaritas, caipirinhas, Pisco sours, and sangrias, so now I like to go off-the-map and mix up new cocktails using ingredients I'm inspired by. This one, a hibiscus martini, was influenced by a trip to Spice Station in Silver Lake, where you can get all of the ingredients besides booze and lemons. Here's how to do it.
Start by infusing gin (or another kind of alcohol if you can't stand gin) with dried hibiscus (which can also be found at most Mexican grocery stores if you're not near Spice Station). Do this by letting it steep in a mason jar for about 24 hours. After you strain the mixture, add a healthy squeeze of fresh lemon and a splash of simple syrup, which you can easily create yourself by dissolving equal sugar in water (in equal parts) over high heat and letting cool.
I don't list exact measurements because you should make these to taste — less simple syrup if you want it less sweet and more potent, or more lemon if it needs to pop. Etc etc. If you need a general idea of portion size for one cocktail, this should be about 2.5 ounces of infused booze, .5 ounce lemon juice, and 1 ounce of simple syrup.
Rim your martini glass with crushed pink peppercorns, which are more fruity than spicy, and raspberry sugar. In your mason jar or shaker, add ice to the gin/lemon/simple syrup mixture, put on a lid, and shake until condensation appears on the outside of the container. Then strain into the glass. Voila!
Photos by Sera Lindsey