Since it opened in 1984, Indochine has been one of Manhattan’s buzziest see-and-be-seen spots. Part of the charm might be the celebrity and fashion-centric clientele (Andy Warhol dined here, too, of course), the trademark palm-leaf wallpaper or the delicious French-colonial Vietnamese menu, but part of it is definitely the restaurant’s trademark drink, the Indochine Martini.
“When Indochine opened 29 years ago serving French-Vietnamese cuisine, the inspiration for this drink was an Asian twist on a vintage martini,” Jean-Marc Houmard, a partner in the restaurant, says.
Actually, there’s no better time to indulge than right now. “An Indochine Martini is great anytime of the year but especially good when the cold weather hits,” Houmard says. “The warmth of the spicy ginger goes straight to the heart and there’s nothing better than sipping an Indochine martini while looking out the restaurant’s windows at snow falling on Lafayette Street.” That certainly sounds good to us.
The Indochine Martini
At the end of the bar, Indochine keeps a large glass container filled with slices of pineapple and ginger that steep in a premium vodka for about a week. To make the Indochine Martini, start with a ripe pineapple that you peel and cut into one-inch think slices. Peel some fresh ginger, slice it and add it to the pineapple. Cover with a good quality vodka (about two bottles), and let infuse for up to two weeks. When ready, strain and pour the following into a shaker:
1 1/2 oz. pineapple and ginger infused vodka
1 oz. triple sec
3/4 oz. fresh limejuice
Splash pineapple juice
Shake well with ice and pour into martini glass, garnish with one floating mint leaf.