Blueberry Lemon Verbena Martini

Published On September 27, 2012 | By Ken Leung | Cocktails, Vodka

I never experienced the seasons when I grew up in sub-tropical Hong Kong or in mild California–that had to wait until I moved to New York.

I remember the precise moment when New York felt like home. I was returning from an annual visit with my family in Hong Kong. On a cold January afternoon, the plane descended onto the JFK runway. The City was winter bleak and gray, partially covered in slushy snow. It was the kind of snow residents navigate every winter, but it certainly wasn’t an image for a souvenir postcard. I was glad to be back in a place that had seasons.  From that point on, when I returned from a trip, The City always felt like home and appeared fresh with new adventures to discover.

Vacations are a great way to relax and return with a revitalized sense of comfort, familiarity, and roots. For several summers, we drove up to the Cape for a quick getaway, but for the last few years, it’s all about the Maine coast for us. We enjoy the laid back, friendly atmosphere of Ogunquit. The beach is beautiful with fine white sand, and the cuisine is just what one needs for a New England vacation–lobsters, clams, and very fresh fish.

During our evenings there, we go for pre-dinner cocktails at our favorite bar. I’ve always been a basic martini kind of guy–simple and pure wins over fussy and sweet. Last year, I surprised myself when I took a chance on a Blueberry Martini. Perhaps it was the way we watched the bartender make it for another patron or that blueberries are in season and local, so I ordered one.  Upon the first sip of purple, I was smitten. It was Maine in a glass.

As we drove back into the city, crossing the bridge, the subtle pleasure and relief that we were once again back in New York returned. This time though, we brought back a very Maine souvenir.

Storing Purée and Syrup: Freeze purée and syrup in ice cube trays. Once frozen, pop them into a freezer bag and you’ll them ready for your next cocktail. You can also use them straight from the freezer to make frozen cocktails.


Ken is the boy behind the blog, Hungry Rabbit. View Ken’s other posts.

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About The Author

Ken Leung
has been delivering killer cocktails with us since the very beginning. Ken is blogger atHungry Rabbit. Follow Ken on twitter @hungryrabbitnyc.

21 Responses to Blueberry Lemon Verbena Martini

  1. Amanda says:

    That blueberry puree is killing me. I love it. I love blueberries. I love this drink!!

  2. Yumm! I love idea of blueberry puree. Not sure if I could find lemon verbena leaves here though, unless they import it in, which I hope they do. Otherwise, I guess if there’s verbena syrup for sale, perhaps that could work too? How I wish I could have a glass right now.. hehe.. Have a great weekend ahead boys!! Cheers~

  3. Aggie says:

    Oh I’ll take one of these for breakfast! That’s ok right? ;)


  4. I’m generally not big on martinis, but this one sounds fantastic with the blueberry puree!

  5. That color is amazing! I have never been to Maine but from all the stories of vacations there that I have heard lately, I would say you nailed it!

  6. Well, verbena syrup has got me all in a tizzy!

  7. Alison Lewis says:

    fabulous!! Loving this blog! My newest favorite

  8. Denise says:

    Ken, have yet to hit Maine. Definitely on my bucket list of must visits. I have a feeling, I will love the laid-back atmosphere as well. Verbena is one of my favorite herbs to grow (it is like a weed) and to use in cooking. Will have to whip up a batch of these to say good-bye to summer.

  9. I could drink that Blueberry puree on it’s own! But I mean, I would never turn down the addition of vodka. I mean…

  10. Wow…this sounds amazing! I love the combination of flavors you have combined here, and the color is gorgeous! I want one :)!

  11. Jeanette says:

    I love the deep jewel tone color of this martini!

  12. I absolutely love the flavor combination – I’m a sucker for anything blueberry and then vodka… SOLD!

  13. Gourmantine says:

    As a sworn lemon verbena addict, I’ve been making deserts with it for ages, but a cocktail?!!! You’re my new hero!

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  16. Shurik says:

    I love your blog man. The photography is amazing.

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