DIY Cocktail Hour: Gold Dust Woman Martini

Tito’s Handmade Vodka started something with its notion of taking the distilling of vodka as a serious art in this country. It has been my workhorse vodka for years and will remain one of my favorites unless they change the recipe or start making prissy flavors like “angel food cake” or “cool whhip.”

There are now a plethora of artesinal vodkas that are organic, distilled over charcoal in artesinal springs with dancing nymphs and Romans eating grapes. With Portland 88, Crater Lake and House of Spirits Volstead Vodka, the Portland area certainly has more than its fair share of purified and crystalline vodkas. But this week when I went to Austin on vacation, I wanted to see how the locals stacked up.


At the liquor store down the street from the ranch that was my vacation home– yep, you got it, a ranch. (No cows but a salt water pool and about a billion stars at night). I found several Austin craft distilled vodkas. I went with Dripping Springs because it had received some convincing accolades. The label doesn’t do it justice. It is a ten times filtered vodka from the water of an artesinal spring. Beautifully alcoholic and clear it has the resonance of crystal. Don’t let the label fool you, it’s not fake crystal. This can’t go through the dishwasher.

With the elegance and decadence of the vodka as a starting point, I created the following cocktail:

Gold Dust Woman

Gold Dust Woman

Gold Dust Woman:

5 oz Dripping Springs Vodka
1 1/2 oz mango pulp
1/2 oz Headsnapper Sauvignon Blanc

Fill martini glass with sparkling water and ice cubes
Fill shaker with ice
Add vodka, mango pulp and sauvignon blanc
Shake, shake shake until the shaker is frosty and sticks to your hand
Empty martini glass, rinse with 1/2 oz of sauvignon blanc
Partially rim with white sugar
Strain drink into glass 7 oz glass (It’s Texas, it has to be big)
Garnish with giant, freshly picked Texas strawberry

To Pick On: (Cuz Gold Dust Women Don’t Really EAT)
Tex-Mex Strawberry Salad

2 Shredded romaine hearts
1 cup juillienned jicama
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup tortilla strips

1 small fresh red chili pepper, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsps agave syrup
1/3 cup pack fresh chopped mint
1/2 cup squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp liquid coconut oil
1/3 cup EVOO
2 tbsps white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Dress salad in bowl, chill if desired and dish up into four dishes.

Best Use: Chillin’ by the pool waiting for your toenails to dry, sparkled gold over violet

Reading Materials:
 Maya’s Notebook, Isabelle Allende

Soundtrack: Duh, Gold Dust Woman… this version


Summer Cocktails: The Yellow Sapphire ala Morimoto

Morimoto restaurant in Philadelphia has garnered fame thanks to its Iron Chef Morimoto Masaharu who is best known for being the third to win Japan’s flaying and splaying competition. The restaurant, in typical Stephen Starr fashion is ultra-high concept with its wavy walls and glowing tables which slowly change colors during your meal.  Eating at Morimoto is like dining inside a submarine cruise-ship that took a detour to Frogstar World B.

Fortunately the fish aren’t happily offering themselves up to be eaten by patrons of Morimoto (because that would just be creepy), but they are ALMOST that fresh. We got ourselves the octopus carpaccio and edamame to start and the mid-level chef’s sushi platter as the main dish.

The question of what to drink with sushi is usually answered with a heartfelt “SAKI!!!!” But there was something about the gently throbbing lights and the glowing dildo centerpieces that made me want a martini.

Maria had an appropriately neon-green colored midori mimosa with the sexy name “MC2” but I rocked it Prohibition-era style with a “Yellow Sapphire,” a cucumber-infused, Smirnoff Citron-Twisted gin martini.

It was pretty tasty and definitely a good drink for a hot summer day.


4 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
1 oz Smirnoff Citron Twist
Cucumber slices and lemon to garnish

If I were sunning on my roofdeck with some great sci-fi and my pooch I would amp it up into the following full drink version:

2 oz Bombay Sapphire
1 oz Stoli Limon
1 oz Cointreau
Balance with Lemon Italian Soda
Pour over ice and garnish with cucumber and lemon

And if I wanted to reminisce about glowing dildos and fantasize that I’m at the end of the universe I’d go with the nuclear meltdown version:

2 oz Bombay Sapphire
1 oz Blue Curaceo
Balance with lemonade
Garnish with amputated frog-legs