A cocktail onion is normally a pearl onion pickled in salt water (brine) together with little amounts of paprika and turmeric, so that it can be used in cocktails such as martinis. Cocktail onions, alongside maraschino cherries and cocktail olives complete the set of the three top most garnishes found commonly in bars. Just like the other two garnishes, cocktail onions normally come in huge containers, which securely safeguard the onions along with the medium used to pickle - normally brine.
Normally, a pearl onion is the best choice for cocktail onions, as it makes an ideal cocktail because it is in nature very sweet. At other occasions, crystal wax (white Bermuda) onions, which are also sweet onions, are used. More often than not, mixologists would go for the whiter versions of onions, because a large number of cocktail consumers suppose cocktail onions should be white.
Characteristically, cocktail onions ought to be brined, after being seasoned with the spices. Sugar can also be supplemented to the brine to help bring out the real sweetness of the onions. As a result, the salty -sweet brined onions pair very well with sharp-tasting beverages. Cocktail onions can also be used to enhance the taste and appearance of straight, aromatic or salty beverages.
Typically, when the cocktail onions are in the brining process, they preserve a somewhat crunchy feel, which as expected would augment a special mouthfeel. By the mere fact that the cocktail onion is made using a sweet onion, it is very implausible to upset the drinker's digestion with a dreadful, eye watering taste. This is not to say that non-sweet onions cannot be used for cocktail onions, as some cultures have used bitter cocktail onions as garnishes.
It is very easy to prepare cocktail onions at home. You can start off with a single pound of sweet onion.
1. First of all, bleach the onions lightly so that the skin can loosen up, and then chop off the roots, the stems and the skin.
2. Your next step would be to measure half a cup for each of the following: cider vinegar, sherry vinegar, salt and water.
3. You can then add a ¼ cup of sugar, together with spices to have that distinctive taste. Spices such as peppercorns, juniper berries, mustard seed, turmeric powder, allspice, chile peppers or rosemary can be used.
4. Heat the concoction over normal heat until it boils; add in your sweet onions as you stir lightly. Allow the mixture to boil for two more minutes and then remove.
5. Let it cool down slowly, then add a cup of vermouth
6. Finally, refrigerate your mixture, after putting it in an airtight container.
Remember to always use a clean tool to fish out a cocktail onion when needed, so that you will not end up contaminating the entire mixture. A cocktail onion forms the signature garnish of the renowned Gibson martini. Note that the cocktail onions can be consumed after finishing the drink, or even left behind, wherein it all depends with an individual's tastes and preferences.
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