Once again I’m back with yet another cocktail, courtesy of Organic, Shaken, and Stirred by Paul Abercrombie. This time I come to you with a curious yet wonderful beverage named the Snap-Pea-Irinha, which employs — you guessed it — snap peas as its surprise ingredient. I actually made this latest concoction last week with my friend Sly, with whom I had just shared a lovely Vietnamese dinner. The evening had been so enjoyable that we decided to extend it by making drinks and watching Mad Men — always a perfect recipe for fun, if you ask me.
After the jump, check out photos of the drink and all the excitement that ensued…
Things start off on a decidedly garden fresh note with the appearance of several snap peas, ends trimmed.
For those feeling concerned about the presence of peas, fear not: we have gin and a shaker nearby to provide comfort.
I should note that I’m not the biggest gin fan, but I’ve been coming around to it of late, and besides, this cocktail had intrigued me enough to look past my light aversion to the spirit.
I put half a cup of snap peas and two limes (each one sliced into eight wedges) into a shaker.
I also add two ounces of simple syrup and muddle like mad. This proves to be one of the most satisfying muddling experiences I’ve ever had. Between the juicy limes and the crunchy peas, it’s a tactile wonderland.
It actually takes a few minutes to muddle the limes and snap peas fully. Here is the shaker mid-muddling break.
The presence of a second gin bottle marks the arrival of Sly.
I retreat to the freezer for a brief ice-gathering expedition.
With the ice and gin (3 oz) added to the mix, I then commence shaking.
I clearly take great joy in this. Should you want to mentally score this moment, might I suggest “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” by Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine?
This went on much longer than I care to admit. Sly seemed delighted.
The grand finale.
At last, it’s time to pour the drink. Per the recipe’s instructions (and Sly’s desperate yearning), we did not strain out all the limes and peas.
I can assure you this all smelled amazing.
I can also assure you that our excitement could hardly be contained. In fact, Sly spent a good minute or so letting out nothing but anticipatory moans of approval.
The cocktails are almost ready. They just need one last touch.
A twist of pepper!
Taking a page out of Sly’s book (she’s enamored of lying on floors when drinking), I try to express my joy by pretending to faint. Holy crap. This drink is good.
People, don’t be afraid of the snap peas. This Snap-Pea-Irinha was the most amazing drink ever. Sly and I were practically speechless after our first sips. I even declared it as the best drink I had ever made (Sly did not disagree). Everything about this cocktail was perfect. It required no tinkering whatsoever. It was sweet, sour, fragrant, refreshing… I could go on. The snap peas totally elevate the entire drink in a way that’s hard to describe, and those who are weirded out by them could probably exclude them altogether, but that’s no fun. I’m telling you, this drink is a winner.
While we loved the basil margarita, Sly and I both certainly agreed that this bad boy has taken the title of Best Cocktail. I’m not sure we can top it.