Friday, April 1, 2011

Bar Stool Fridays - Pickles for My Cocktails

Well, actually these pickles will be for my brother's cocktails.  I've been making lots of pickles lately and I hope that it is because they taste good that I've gotten specific requests and suggestions from our dinner guests including my little brother.  He requested some spicy pickled onions that he could use for his gibson cocktails and perhaps just for snacking.

I found recipe inspiration, as I often do, from James Beard.  His recipe for pickled onions was a bit large for my purposes, but I liked his inclusion of white wine.

Here's what I came up with, Red.  I tried to make it spicy, per your request.  I hope it works for you.

Pickled Cocktail Onions
Makes 1/2 pint jar

8 oz small pearl onions (I used a mix of red and white for variety)
1/4 cup kosher salt
cold water
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp dried minced garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 black peppercorns

Fill large saucepan with water and bring to boil.  Add onions, turn off heat, and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.  Test to see if outer husk with slip from onion.  When it does, immediately drain onions and rinse in cold water.  Slip from outer skins and cut away root ends.  Don't trim away so much that the onion starts to come apart, though.

Place the onions in a bowl, sprinkle with 1/4 cup of salt and cover with cold water.  Loosely cover and let stand overnight.

Drain and rinse well with cold water.  Pack the onions in a clean, sterilized jar.

Bring wine, vinegar, and sugar to a boil.  Add spices and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Carefully pour hot liquid into jars to fill within 1/4-inch of top and cover the onions.  Seal the jar.  Keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Here is one way to enjoy your pickled onions...

Makes 1 drink

1/2 oz dry vermouth
2 oz gin
pickled onions garnish

Place martini glass in freezer until frosty.  Once cold, coat inside of glass with dry vermouth and shake out excess.

If you don't keep your gin in the freezer, then pour your two ounces of gin in an ice-filled shaker and shake to make icy cold.  Strain and pour into prepared glass.

Garnish with pickled onion and serve.

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