Every year around the holidays, it happens. Like clockwork. For as long as I've worked for or at the Houston Press. The Outback Steakhouse gingerbread martini article crawls out of the netherdepths of the Internet like some ink-stained zombie as people across the United States scour search engines for the recipe to what is, apparently, the most popular Christmas cocktail in the country.
Five years after Debbielou Mountjoy first wrote the article, it is the first hit that comes up on Google when you search for "Outback Steakhouse gingerbread martini" recipe, amidst a swamp of imitations and knockoffs and desperate people begging Yahoo! Answers to show them the Bailey's Irish Creme-soaked light. I've never tasted the Outback Steakhouse gingerbread martini, but I can only imagine it must be the cocktail equivalent of the McRib to inspire such cyclical bouts of passion year after year.
Maybe this will be the year that I finally try both. Preferably not at the same time.
Outback Steakhouse's Gingerbread Martini
1 ounce Ketel One vodka 1 ounce Baileys Irish Cream liqueur 1/2 ounce Kahlúa liqueur 1/2 ounce Monin gingerbread syrup 1/2 scoop vanilla ice cream -- semi-melted Whipped cream Gingerbread cookie
"Because of corporate policy," Mountjoy wrote, "Outback wouldn't give me the exact amounts of each of the ingredients (another reason I don't like chains), so I cooked up this version in the home lab and it was perfect. Mix the first five ingredients over ice, shake well, pour into a chilled martini glass and top with a generous portion of whipped cream and a gingerbread cookie. You'll be trippin'."
Another old cocktail recipe recently resurfaced while sifting through the Houston Press archives from 10 years ago, this one for another odd-sounding concoction from a chain restaurant (albeit a local chain): Los Tios' Ramos Gin Fizz. Our former Stirred & Shaken columnist J.W. Crooker wrote about finding it on the Tex-Mex restaurant's menu and shuddering at the thought of a gin drink that also contained milk.
And then he tried it.
"Bracing myself, I took a cautious sip," Crooker wrote. "The first think I thought of was horchata, the popular, lightly sweetened rice drink in Mexico and Spain." Although I've yet to try the cocktail myself, it seemed a natural pairing with the gingerbread martini. The recipe is as follows:
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Los Tios' Ramos Gin Fizz
2 ounces Tanqueray gin 2 ounces 2 percent or skim milk 2 rounded teaspoons powdered sugar
Combine ingredients in a shaker half filled with ice. Stir until cold and strain into a cocktail glass.
Salud. I think.