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Side Dish 

How to make an apple martini that's fit for dessert

It's not easy being green, but the martini has made the transition handily. Apple martinis are the hot new drink on both coasts, having leapfrogged from Los Angeles to New York. According to the New York Times, the drink is usually made with DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker, a lime-green schnapps, although some bartenders disdain the liqueur because it tastes like a liquefied Jolly Rancher. They prefer to flavor the drink with apple juice, sparkling apple cider or even green-apple purée. Apple martinis are so new to St. Louis that many barkeepers haven't even heard of them. Jack Rinaldi, a bartender at Café Balaban, is one of the few who serve them. He calls his drink an "Absolut Pucker Martini," made with one part vodka to four parts Apple Pucker. Only five or six customers have requested the drink, he says, in the last few weeks. Brian Hornbeck, a manager at Café Mira, has created an apple martini infused with vanilla and spiced with cinnamon. Try the recipe below next time you have a few friends over -- in fact, you could even serve it for dessert.

Apple Pie à la Mode Martini
1 1/2 ounce Stolichnaya vanilla vodka
1 1/2 ounce DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker schnapps
3/4 oz. Goldschlager cinnamon schnapps
2 small scoops vanilla ice cream, softened
1 thin slice tart green apple, such as Granny Smith (optional)

Pour the first three ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add the ice cream and shake vigorously. Strain the liquid into a sugar-rimmed martini glass. Float the apple slice on top of the drink, if desired. Serves one.

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