No, not the get-fit kind of boot camp. This Holiday Boot Camp consists of sample bites, quick & easy cooking tips, and recipes from the pros. Each Wednesday evening in December features a fresh holiday theme including cocktails and desserts, in the Fireside Cellars at Willows Lodge.
My experience began early so I could score a prime seat and enjoy a glass of wine during their “Happier Hour.”
Wine Director Matt Davis prepared the festive Holiday Cocktail drinks for our party of thirty as we lounged near the oversized fireplace. If you are a fan of Tequila, you will love the Christmas Cactus, created with a blend of fresh fruits that you most likely don’t have on-hand in your kitchen: a mixture of kumquats, galangal and an optional Buddha’s fingers (a mild citrus that can be a substituted for tart lemon flavor and used for zest).
And because nothing says Christmas joy quite like a candy cane, I was really looking forward to our next cocktail. The Candy Cane Martini! And yes, it was decorated, as should be, complete with candy on the rim and sprinkled on top. This fluffy peppermint martini is the one I am most likely to make at home. (And now you can to, if you scroll down to the bottom of this post.)
Our final cocktail of the evening, the Gingerbread Martini, was the most complicated to make, but completely worth the effort. There are four steps required to assemble this martini: the dark syrup, the martini, the frosting foam and the garnish. All of the rich and savory spices like molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg & clove that fill the kitchen when there’s fresh gingerbread baking, are included. The recipe card I received included a cut out stencil for the gingerbread man, which is used to dust the top of the frosting foam. Aside from being absolutely adorable, this Gingerbread Martini will make you forget all about the chill of Winter.
The best part? There are more to come. From Holiday Appetizers on December 5th to Holiday Desserts on December 19th, it’s a great way to spend the holiday season. This is my kind of boot camp! For more information, check out our post on all the festivities.
CANDY CANE MARTINI ~ from the kitchen of the Barking Frog
½ oz. Peppermint schnapps
1 oz. Stoli Vanilla Vodka
½ oz. Absolut Citron
1 oz. Half & Half or cream
splash syrup to taste
1 lemon wedge
1 mini candy cane + broken pieces for garnish
In a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind broken candy cane pieces into a mixture of fine and coarse pieces into a bowl. Rub the lip of the chilled martini glass with a lemon wedge and dip into candy cane dust. Place the mini candy cane in the glass hooking the rim. Place the rest of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until the cocktail shaker until the milk is foamy. Strain into garnished cocktail glass. Sprinkle with any remaining candy cane dust.
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Woodinville, WA 98072 | (425) 424-3900