A quick online search for blueberry martinis turns up all sorts of frightening pictures of drink that looks more like blue kool-aid than the lovely drink I first tried six summers ago in a little town called Camden, Maine. Camden is a quaint seaside town where virtually everything they serve in town involves blueberries.
My college girlfriend and I had driven up for the weekend from her place in New York. We stuck out like sore thumbs in this quaint little town. We wore stilettos on cobblestone streets, designer dresses to eat fish and chips. We drove around in an old Mercedes convertible we’d borrowed from her family. That weekend we consumed so many blueberries we could have been that poor girl in Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory who turned into a giant blueberry. But the most fabulous blueberry treat we found and fell in love with was a blueberry martini.
On our last day, we’d relaxed enough to kick off our heels and dress down, donning ball caps and big sweaters as we rode in a sailboat around the bay. As we cruised the bay and drank a local blueberry beer (it really is in everything), we overheard the captain telling a group of passengers a story.
The captain and his wife had been to dinner in town the night before when a large Navy shipped docked and hundreds of sailors found themselves descending on the town after months at sea. While the captain and his wife dined al fresco they couldn’t help but notice a strange pattern of sailors meandering about town. The sailor’s who he said would normally hit the dive bars were hanging outside of handbag stores and high-end bars. He and his wife were perplexed. Then they realized the sailors were trailing these two “New Yorkers” who “would you believe? were walking around in stilettos heels, fancy dresses and drinking of all things…BLUEBERRY MARTINIS!”
We hid under our ball caps and gave each other grins. The captain didn’t recognize us in our played down clothes. Since neither of us are actually New Yorkers we didn’t fit the bill. The other passengers had a great laugh at his story and we joined in the fun with comments like- “Can you imagine?” and “Sure wish I’d have seen that!”.
Had we noticed a group of sailors trailing us around town? Not a clue. But I’m certain that was thanks in part to the blueberry martinis. So naturally when I received blueberries in my CSA Basket this week I couldn’t help but remember this drink. I decided for fun to add some limoncello and basil. Herbs and flowers seem to be the new rage in mixology here in SoCal. I took it to Playdate Happy Hour and it was met with rave reviews.
Blueberry Lemon Basil Martinis
2 shots Blueberry Smirnoff Vodka
1 Shot Limnocello
5-6 basil leaves, crushed
blueberries for garnish
In a cocktail shaker combine vodka, limoncello crushed basil leaves and shake with ice.
Pour out martini into glass and garnish with several fresh blueberries and 2 small basil leaves.
Makes 1 drink