SWEET TOOTH

People in celeb-driven New York restaurants like Lotus (409 W. 14th St.; 212-243-4420) don’t drink anything so passé as a mere cosmopolitan martini. To tempt the upper masses, Lotus offers a high-maintenance half-cocktail, half-dessert called the Caramel Martini, and it’s being ordered by the likes of Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meg Ryan, and Jennifer Lopez.



CARAMEL MARTINI
Spun sugar (recipe below)
1 oz. caramel syrup (recipe below)
2 oz. Stolichnaya Vanil vodka
Pour 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water into a saucepan and bring to a slow boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook until the mixture becomes light brown and thickened. Do not stir.

For spun sugar, carefully dip a fork into the caramel, then flick it over a wooden dowel or wooden spoon handle that is set over aluminum foil. The flicking movement should create very thin strands that will quickly harden.

To make the caramel syrup, remove the remaining mixture in the saucepan from the fire and add 1 cup cold water, then stir to stop the cooking process.

In a shaker with ice, pour caramel syrup and vodka, then shake and strain into a martini glass garnished with a tuft of the spun sugar.