I just made a new drink: Licorice Liqueur with vodka. Stirred, not shaken. I think it is my new favorite drink. I think I will name it “Black Rope Martini.” But if anyone has a better name, please share.

I let my husband taste it. He made a face like a 5 month old baby makes when you give it strained spinach for the first time.
He said “That’s terrible!” and his arms went up in shock and surrender, and he shuddered, like a kid who has to take nasty medicine that has a bad after taste.

Good. More for me.

I haven’t had vodka at home in about 4 months, and I keep hearing about Martha Stewart’s festive Halloween cocktails with black vodka, so I decided to get some. In honor of her. She works so hard on those holiday parties for her magazines, it’s the least I can do.

So, at 1:00 p.m. on Halloween, shortly before the children were due home for a fun-filled evening of begging for candy, I went to Ray’s Market.

Ray’s is great. It’s a high-end grocery store where you can buy broccoli, bread, gourmet salad dressing, milk, and close-out chubby mommy sweat pants for $6. But Ray’s has a wonderful secret bonus: a fully stocked liquor store in the back corner, with its own separate door. This is handy for people like me who still feel a certain shame about driving up to an icky, low-life liquor store in some non-descript mini-mall looking for vodka ’cause she’s too cheap to go out to bars.

Ray’s is nice. It’s a tiny bit snobbish. It has those wonderful cement floors that have been stained dark burgundy and polished. It has an amazing wine selection. It almost smells like Wild Oats, in that organic, high-end vegetarian way. And the check out lines are short.

Alas, Ray’s liquor store was all out of black vodka. I should have shopped for it weeks ago, apparently.

So I asked the girl at the counter if she had anything black I could put in a martini. We looked and looked, and she finally found this Licorice Liqueur on a very low shelf, at ankle level. “This might be black…” she said, as she swished it around and tried to look through the dark bottle. It was the best she could do.

It was 1:20, at this point, and I still had to buy leeks for my potato-leek soup, make the soup for my party later, and get my husband some lunch, since he’s working so hard on our start-up company. So I bought that Licorice Liqueur and zoomed home with his hot slice of pepperoni from Pizzacato, the fancy-schmanzy pizza place next to Ray’s.

I’m nice that way. I buy him special lunch sometimes. “I’ll get you some lunch,” I say, as I run out the door, on my secret mission to look for black liquor. “I’ll work on that business plan when I get home. And I’ll do the dishes, so don’t worry. You just keep programming…” I’m so helpful and nice and such an indispensable helper in this start-up business. And I get half when we sell to Google for $16 Billion.

I was going to take my Licorice Liqueur and vodka over to my friend Marla’s house so we could have martinis while our husbands took the kids out to beg for candy. It was going to be a surprise hostess gift. But for some weird reason, I got sleepy, and didn’t feel like drinking much. So I brought her the potato leek soup, drank some of her red wine and called it a night.

I didn’t even try the Licorice Liqueur until tonight, which is no longer Halloween, but is officially All Saints Day. So in honor of the saints (is there a patron saint of Licorice?) here’s my new famous recipe for a “Black Rope Martini:”

Get the vodka out of the freezer. Pour some in a martini glass. Pour in some Licorice Liqueur. Swish it around with a clean fork. Viola and yum.

If you have two or three, you may understand the “black rope” part of the name. It would be very un-ladylike of me to talk about it on my blog.

I will be serving this at all my parties now.

It’s kind of black and it’s kind of purple at the same time. It is a marvelous brew, plus I like saying Licorice Liqueur. It seems like something Martha would say.

Cheers, and bottoms up!