Key Lime Pie cocktails are spring and summertime favorites. They are tangy, lightly sweet, creamy and oh, so delicious. What’s not to love?! It’s dessert in a glass.
A local restaurant and bar, Upstream Brewing Company had a Key Lime Pie Martini on their cocktail menu at one time. I found it interesting due to the Licor 43 inclusion. Most Key Lime Pie martini recipes call for KēKē Lime Cream Liqueur instead.
Licor 43 is Spain’s most widely exported liqueur with a distribution to over 60 countries. Cuarenta Y Tres is Spanish for ‘43’. Apparently there are forty-three herbs, spices and flavorings added to this liqueur, consequently the name; Licor 43. This liqueur has a golden hue with hints of orange and vanilla. It is excellent as a sipping liqueur for after dinner, but even better as a secondary layer to add dimension to mixed drinks and cocktails. The Key Lime Pie cocktail is a perfect example of how layers of flavoring make or break a drink.
Upstream’s Key Lime Martini did have nice flavor, but was a bit thin for my taste. The Licor 43 was totally lost under the Rose’s Lime Juice. The concentrated form of sweetened lime gave their version a slightly acidic, tart taste rather than the drink coming together smoothly as a whole. I think it’s a shame to add a premium spirit such as Licor 43 to a mixed drink only to have it smothered beyond recognition. It should be used to enhance a cocktail and make it unique, memorable even.
Key Lime Pie Cocktail – adapted by Cheri Loughlin
1-1/2 ounce Vanilla Vodka
3/4 ounce Licor 43
1/2 ounce Fresh Lime Juice
1 ounce Half & Half
Lime Twist Garnish
Crushed Graham Cracker
Rim chilled cocktail glass with lime. Dip rim into finely crushed graham crackers. Chill until ready to use. Combine liquid ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until thoroughly blended and chilled. Strain into prepared cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh lime twist.
For a weeknight or weekend out, give the cocktails and cuisine at Upstream Brewing Company in the Omaha Old Market a try. While at home try this version of the Upstream Key Lime Martini.
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Cheri Loughlin is the Omaha writer and photographer behind www.intoxicologist.net and author of Cocktails with a Tryst: An Affair with Mixology and Seduction. You can email Cheri with comments and questions at str8upcocktails at gmail.com.