The Cashew Fusion Martini Cocktail

The Cashew Fusion Martini Cocktail

by Mixologist Carmen Hurtado of Ike’s Bistro

The Cashew Fusion is the Star of Martini Night at Ike’s Bistro. It is a truth widely acknowledged by Arubans that cashews make delicious juice. To take that juice and distill it into an artisanal local liqueur is the inevitable result of a good idea, which is what one local company did.

— Photography: Kenneth Theysen

At Ike’s Bistro, Mixologist Carmen Hurtado took that cashew liqueur, added some vodka, citrus and foam and turned it into a drink she calls a “Cashew Fusion,” which headlines the Friday night martini specials at the Manchebo Resort’s poolside restaurant.

The Friday martini menu includes this cocktail and 11 other martinis, such as a classic gin martini, a hazelnut martini (vodka, Frangelico and cacao white) and Hurtado’s other bestseller: a basil martini with pineapple, ginger syrup, lime foam and fresh basil juice made with plants from the restaurant’s garden and from her own home.

Hurtado came up with this drink a few years ago, before she was promoted to hostess. Back then, she was doing bartending competitions and creating molecular cocktails. Most of the drinks list is still hers and she trains new staff to make her fresh juices and foams, including the subtly nutty cashew foam that she siphons on top of this drink’s sweet-and-sour citrus base.

“I made this so that our guests would have something special from Aruba,” she says. The family-owned company, Sam Wine and Cashew Liqueur, also makes wines and champagne. “I like that they use what we have on the island,” says Hurtado.

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The Cashew Fusion Martini Cocktail
Makes 1 cocktail

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1 ½ oz. vodka
½ oz. cashew liqueur
½ oz. simple syrup
¼ oz. Cointreau
1 ½ oz. fresh orange juice
Squeeze of lime
5 thin circular slices of lime, for garnish

  1. Combine the vodka, cashew liqueur, simple syrup, Cointreau, orange juice and squeeze of lime in a cocktail shaker with ice.

  2. Add ice to a rocks glass and add a few circular slices of lime vertically against the glass so they’re visible from the outside.

  3. Shake then strain the cocktail into the prepared glass.

  4. Add a few more ice cubes so the foam stays cool and siphon the foam on top.

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Makes 10 servings

4 oz. cashew liqueur
3 oz. lemon juice
2 oz. simple syrup
2 egg whites
4 oz. water

  1. Combine the ingredients in a siphon.

  2. Shake and charge with two CO2 canisters, shaking again between and after each canister.  Chill until needed.

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R&B, jazz and lounge singer Lucre Houtman sets the mood every Friday while you sip your first – or second – martini.
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Hurtado started making her own limoncello – nicknamed Carmen-cello – in 2014 and keeps a bottle behind the bar. The sweet infusion of lemon peel, cloves, a touch of orange and sugar is the perfect after-dinner sipper.
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If you don’t have a siphon, you can make the cashew foam by whisking the egg whites, lime and sugar to stiff peaks, like a meringue, then spooning it on top of the drink. You can also add a little gelatin before whipping to make it extra-firm.

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