Here’s the Aloe Sapphire martini at Room, the restaurant inside Twelve Centennial Park. It won “Best Restaurant Cocktail” in a contest sponsored by Bombay Sapphire. Because of that, I decided to give it a spin even though I fear sweet martinis and think aloe vera should only be used topically.
It is one of the further-out drinks on Room’s far-out martini list. Contents: gin (yay), grapefruit schnapps (I can deal), fresh rosemary (sure, why not) and fresh aloe vera juice (eww?). All this for $12.
Taste: sweeter than I normally like but interesting. The flavors all kind of dart in and around each other. The aloe vera juice has a distinctive taste — honeyed and tropical, but with a clean, tart edge, like litchi. And here I thought it was going to taste like ointment. Not that I eat ointment…
Afterwards I asked to see the bottle. It’s a Korean beverage, which I later picked up on a trip to Super H Mart. It tastes kind of like natural Hawaiian Punch, and it has a lot of little juicy bits floating around inside. The kids kind of liked it.
The cocktail is a creation from Room’s enterprising mixologist, Steven Kowalczuk, who teaches sold-out mixology classes and it at work on a pilot for a drinks TV show. I’ll spend a day with Kowalczuk for a Restaurant Stories column in an upcoming Sunday paper.