Good Spirits > A Mother’s Day Martini

There are many ways to thank your mom on Mother’s Day. Flowers, a darkchocolate torte or some fashionable jewelry might all prove popular. For me, a pleasant dinner out and a fun cocktail or two is the right path.

Of all beverage spirits, vodka remains the top seller, as it has for many years. This might seem odd, since the standard definition of vodka is a colorless, odorless and tasteless alcoholic spirit, suggesting that all vodka is the same. But just as ice cream differs depending on the quality of its ingredients, vodka quality runs the gamut. Some brands are as smooth as a kiss; others are as volatile as gasoline. Even among top brands, vodka’s flavor profile is more of an “A to B” type of range, instead of “A to Z.” Subtle at best, a good vodka has an overall smoothness, a hint of spice and maybe a whisper of heat in the finish.

What’s the secret to vodka’s success? It plays well with others spirits and mixers. So well, that bartenders see vodka as a blank slate with which to create imaginative martinis and other cocktails. Fruit juice and other fruit-flavored beverages blend especially well with vodka. Today, the more exotic the cocktail’s flavors, the more popular it seems to be.

Pomegranate is a recent entry to the flavored martini category and is basking in its fifteen minutes of fame. This modest, sub-Asian native fruit has a lot going for it—it’s sweet and tart, smooth and readily available. Plus, and this is important, its juice is red, which boosts its appeal with the Cosmopolitan drinking crowd.

“Pomegranate is huge. It’s my number two seller,” says Peaches Paige, co-owner of Cotton Restaurant in Manchester, which offers a stellar martini selection. Like a Cosmo or Bellini, a Pomegranate Martini doesn’t taste strong, she says, adding that most women don’t like the strong taste of alcohol.

For a Mother’s Day treat, Cotton is serving the Blushing Lady, a terrific vodka martini flavored with pomegranate liqueur, sugar and pink grapefruit juice. Shaken with ice, this exotic-tasting drink is a perfect way to let your mom know how special she is on her special day.