It is officially summer, which means it is time to start some serious entertaining.  Hot, balmy nights are meant to be sitting around, enjoying ones company, and eating great food.  Lucky for all of us, Kitchen PLAY invited us to join them and Aunt Nellie’s for a Progressive Dinner Party.    If, you are not familiar with Kitchen PLAY you should be.  They co-sponsor fun Progressive Dinner Parties, monthly, featuring six food bloggers.  Each blogger is assigned one of the following courses:  cocktails, amuse bouche, salad, appetizer/soup, entree and dessert.  The fun part;  all bloggers have to incorporate the same food product into their course.  This month’s party is all about beets, and we have a recipe for a Dirty Beet Martini.

 

Aunt Nellie’s Baby Pickled Beets are harvested at their peak, and then packed in glass jars for optimal freshness.  We loved how crisp the beets were with each bite.  Beets are one of our favorite veggies to use, as they are rich in antioxidants.  Antioxidants are needed in all of our daily diets as they may help in the prevention of heart disease, memory loss and cancer.

All great Progressive Dinner Parties should start with a great cocktail.  We decided to shake things up with a dirty martini, made with a twist, by using Aunt Nellie’s Baby Pickled Beets.

A martini is very personal.  Some people are gin lovers others are vodka.  There is no right or wrong.  Whichever, you prefer, is the right choice.  Then there is the question of shaking or stirring.  If you are using gin, you must stir your martini;  otherwise the gin will become bruised and cloudy.  Vodka is great shaken with icy cold cubes.  A well chilled glass and these adorable Aunt Nellie’s Baby Pickled Beets are a must.

We tried both gin and vodka for this recipe, and preferred vodka.  It was a bit cleaner in taste, and did not mask the tangy flavor of the beets as the gin tended to do.  The citrus undertones of the orange bitters was the perfect match with the slightly sweet beets, and a splash of the pickling brine made our martini a bit dirty.  We are always joking how  the garnish is a snack with our martinis, and the pickled baby beets were the perfect snack with a chilled vodka martini.

 

 

 

To have even more fun with Aunt Nellie’s full line of glass-packed vegetables, sign up here to receive a coupon good toward the purchase price of any Aunt Nellie’s product. Then, create your own fun dish using that product for a chance to win $250 from Aunt Nellie’s and Kitchen PLAY. See specific rules at Kitchen PLAY. Limited quantities available. Sweepstakes ends 8/31/12.

 

 

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Recipe:  Dirty Beet Martini 

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Vermouth
  • dash of Orange Bitters
  • splash of Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Baby Beet juice
  • Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Baby Beets for garnish
  • orange peel for garnish
  • ice

How To:

  1. Fill your martini glass full of ice.
  2. In a shaker add ice, vermouth and vodka.
  3. Shake.
  4. Empty the ice from the martini glass.
  5. Put a splash of the beet juice, swirl around the glass, then pour out.
  6. Stain the shaken vodka into the glass.
  7. Add a dash of bitters.
  8. Garnish with the beet and orange peel.
  9. Serve.
  10. Sip.

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** Disclaimer:  This post is sponsored by Kitchen PLAY and Aunt Nellie’s; opinions, recipe, and photos used are my own.