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Week in blue: Puyallup’s Toscanos Cafe & Wine Bar gives away hand-painted martini glasses this month. This week’s special is a balsamic-blueberry martini

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on March 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm | No Comments »
March 9, 2011 12:11 pm
March Martini Madness is under way at Toscanos Cafe & Wine Bar in Puyallup.

Martini March Madness is something I look forward to every year – because it means I’ll be getting yet another cocktail recipe from Toscanos Chef Tom Pantley.

Each March, the Puyallup valley restaurant gives away thousands of hand-painted martini glasses. All diners have to do is order the week’s special martini concoction.

This week’s drink is a blueberry-balsamic martini. Sounds strange? Well, this is the restaurant that serves limoncello sno cones, after all. To make a blueberry-balsamic martini at home, all you need is blueberry flavored vodka, white balsamic vinegar and fresh blueberries. Here’s the recipe from Chef Tom Pantley:

Blueberry Balsamic Martini
1 1/2 ounces Smirnoff Blueberry Vodka
1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar, or to taste
2-3 blueberries

Directions and tasting notes from Pantley: “Shake it (ingredients) well with ice and strain into a martini glass. Drop in 2 or 3 blueberries. The vodka and the vinegar are both clear, so the cocktail is clear like a martini. The acid in the white balsamic vinegar cuts some of the alcohol sharpness, just like a squeeze of lemon would. But the vinegar does not make the drink sour like lemon would. It really helps the natural flavor of the blueberries come out. Just don’t use too much of the vinegar, our your cocktail will taste like a blueberry salad dressing. Use it like you would a little vermouth in your martini.”

This is the fifth year for March Martini Madness, and the restaurant has given away 6,000 of the martini glasses to date (this month, they intend to give away 2,000). Each week features a different colored glass.

Toscanos Cafe & Wine Bar
Where: 437 29th St. N.E., Puyallup
Phone: 253-864-8600

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