Friday, February 22, 2019

Drinks with Reads: Restaurant Weeks Are Murder

It's Restaurant Week on Drinks with Reads and author Libby Klein says murder is in the air. Libby Klein graduated Lower Cape May Regional High School sometime in the ’80s. Her classes revolved mostly around the culinary sciences and theater, with the occasional nap in Chemistry. She has worked as a stay at home mom, climbing the ladder up the ranks to the coveted position of Grandma. She also dabbles in the position of Vice President of a technology company which mostly involves bossing other people around, making spreadsheets and taking out the trash. She writes from her Northern Virginia office while trying to keep her cat, Figaro, off her keyboard. Most of her hobbies revolve around eating, and travel, and eating while traveling.

Libby has a special drink to match with her new book, Restaurant Weeks are Murder. Let's see what it is...

Poppy McAllister is working hard to transform Aunt Ginny’s Victorian manor house into the Butterfly Wings B&B—but being a professional pastry chef has always been her real dream. For a short time, her dreams seem like they’re coming true as she teams up with her former fiancĂ©e, Tim—and his condescendingly perky partner, Gigi—during Cape May’s first annual Chopped style Restaurant Week Competition. Misfortune is dished up with every mystery basket until the panel of judges is served a pinch of murder with a dash of death. 

Fans of Chopped and all of its spinoffs will be familiar with the mystery basket style cook off. Chefs are surprised with four seemingly random ingredients to test their culinary prowess, and for three rounds they have to serve something fabulous enough to impress the fussiest of judges. Only the best can pull together something delicious out of the madness. 

The perfect drink to pair with Restaurant Weeks Are Murder should come from a mystery basket. The ingredients don’t make sense at first, but they often have one of every category of Sweet, Salty, Sour, and Bitter. Poppy decided to invent a drink to honor the Chopped challenge, and Aunt Ginny was devious enough to put together the mystery basket. We’ve combined bitter grapefruit and sour lime with sweet Orange Vanilla Syrup and Marshmallow Fluff Vodka. Aunt Ginny thought she would trick us with the Cotton Candy Pop Rocks, but we had the last laugh. 

Taste testers insist this beautiful pink drink tastes just like birthday cake. If - like me - you’re not much of a drinker, you can make this a Mocktail by substituting one ounce of marshmallow syrup for the vodka.

Cotton Candy Sizzle

3 ½ ounces of unsweetened pink grapefruit juice
2 ounces of Marshmallow Vodka
2 ounces of orange vanilla syrup
1 pack of cotton candy Pop Rocks
Lime wedge for rimming
Lime twist

Combine grapefruit juice, vodka, orange vanilla syrup, and ice in a shaker bottle or martini shaker. Shake well. Rim a martini glass with the lime wedge and dip into the Pop Rocks until the edge is covered. They will begin popping and snapping immediately. Pour cocktail into your martini glass and add your lime twist. Enjoy the popping.