It’s Very Easy in the Keys


Key Lime Pie MartiniA couple years ago, at my now-sister-in-law’s graduation dinner and engagement, I ordered a delightful cocktail: the Key Lime Pie. It was dessert in a glass.

And ever since then I’ve wanted to recreate it.

This is a prime opportunity, don’t you think?

Key Lime Pie martinis are quite common and I easily found 7 recipes within half a page of Google results. There was a unanimous agreement that vanilla vodka is the perfect base for this cocktail (and who am I to argue in the face of vanilla vodka?) but from there the ingredients diverged quite a bit. Some added pineapple juice to the line, some used juice while others used lime liqueur. One added a splash of Frangelico while others added Cointreau. And one? One included triple sec. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you know I wouldn’t even bother with a recipe that included triple sec, these days.

But of the recipes I found that I did try, something was missing. They just weren’t pie-y enough. Frankly, it all came down to one ingredient common in the pie but not in these recipes. Most of them used heavy cream, some used half and half. And my past experience combining dairy and alcohol were not pretty, those these held up better than expected. Still, even with the addition of sugar syrup or other liqueurs, regular cream wasn’t cutting it.

Ultimate Key Lime Pie Martini

2 oz Vanilla Vodka
2 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 1/2 oz Ke Ke Beach Key Lime Cream Liqueur
1/2 oz Lime Juice
Crushed Graham Crackers for rimming

Combine the vodka, condensed milk, key lime liqueur and juice over ice and shake to the rhythm of a steel drum band on speed. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with crushed graham crackers. Drink and chill. Or chill and drink, your choice.

I ended up trying out 3 of the found recipes and 2 of my own. That was a lot of alcohol to be tested, folks. But hey, somebody’s got to do it! And we do enjoy our work here at Sips & Shots.

The sweetened condensed milk was, as I suspected it would be, the key to a smooth, scrumptious cocktail that echoed the original dessert so much better than the thinner cream. (And when did you ever think you’d be hearing someone call heavy cream too thin?!)

The only downside to this cocktail is the color. Because of the Ke Ke Beach it has a greenish tint. And a good key lime pie will never be green. Seriously, you should run from it if it’s green. But because the Ke Ke Beach does such a good job of getting the key lime flavor across, we’ll forgive it the green tinge just this once.

What dessert would you like to see in cocktail form?