Peggy's Gold Medal

Here we are in winter's grip, the snow, the Polar blasts and the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia. I for one, am searching for a ray of sunshine (figuratively speaking) to get me through the gray and grim cold. A bit of fresh fruit, like passionfruit, tucked away into the freezer, when the days were bright and warm, can be defrosted in the wintry months, and transport us to that summer state of mind.

Now if you were clever enough to freeze some passionfruit several months ago, well, you can go to the head of the class! But if, like me, you did not, no need to fret, you can easily substitute passionfruit puree (found at Kalustyan's on Lexington Ave. in NYC) or in a pinch, Goya Passionfruit juice.
 Be sure to check your local Latino or Asian market,
often they have items you do not find at your local supermarket.
Now here is where we summon some Rumpelstiltskin magic,and turn it into gold, not Olympic but liquid gold!
Recipe for Peggy's Gold Medal
This recipe does require some advance preparation

For 4 cocktails, you will need,
8 ounces of Vanilla/Cardamom Vodka* (Russian Standard brand works perfectly here)
 2 ounces of unsweetened pineapple juice (please do everything you can to use fresh)
6 oz. of passionfruit puree
6 Tblsps. of sugar
a vanilla bean
3 Cardamom pods, lightly crushed with a mortar & pestle
a lime

*For the Vodka, place 6 ounces in a clean jar along with 1/2 of the vanilla bean, split and scraped as well as the cardamom pods. Give a shake and tuck it away somewhere cool & dark, for two days. Strain and discard solids.

 In a small pot, place the sugar with an equal amount of water and add  the other half of the vanilla bean, split down the middle.Heat it up until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, cool.
(Feel free to make more for future use, just increase equal amounts of sugar and water.. Stores perfectly well in the fridge, for a week)  
Blend it with the passionfruit puree and pineapple juice.
FINALLY the moment we have all been waiting for......
Combine all the ingredients along with a healthy squeeze of the lime (to taste) in a cocktails shaker, add ice and shake. Strain into a chilled martini .
With the first sip you know that you have gotten the gold!

"In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.
 Albert Camus

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