Although I'm an aficionado of almost every kind of alcohol, I'm not much of a beer drinker. There are only a few circumstances when I enjoy a cold beer: while watching a baseball game, after a really hard day of skiing, on a boat, paired with sake, and when I'm eating Indian food, particularly an extra spicy plate of vindaloo. But when I walked into India's Pearl, which recently took over the space occupied (for a minute) by BB's Bistro and for years before that by Lola, I spotted a list of clever specialty cocktails – and one seemed a perfect complement to vindaloo. The Cardamom Martini ($7.50), made with Finlandia Lime Fusion vodka, vermouth and cardamom, tasted super-clean and fresh. While most people -- at least, most people in this country – usually think of cardamom as one of the many ingredients in their chai tea, the subtle, ginger-like taste of the spice, with its pine undertones, is common in Middle Eastern cooking, and it worked unexpectedly well with the lime vodka. India's Pearl also has a fairly extensive list of Indian beers (Kingfisher, Jhoom, Taj Mahal, Maharaja Premium Lager, Dansberg), as well as the largest wine list I've ever seen in an Indian restaurant (not that I've looked at a wine list in an Indian restaurant before). Still, starting off with a Cardamom Martini at India's Pearl, the newest jewel in the string of restaurants on South Pearl Street, could really spice up your night.
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