Alcohol, blogging, Bond, Booze, classic martini, Cocktail, cocktail books, Drink, dry vermouth, Gibson, Gin, James Bond, Lemon, Lillet, Martini, martini glass, Mixology, Olive, Onion, Orange, Peel, Vermouth, Vesper, Vodka, Vodka Martini
Good evening. I think you’ll be able to guess what this little blog is going to be about?
Yes, I’ve made myself a Martini and thought I’d share. There is still a part of me that thinks no-one needs to read about how I make a Martini, it’s only got 2 things in it and it really is a cocktail that changes according to personal taste so what I like someone else might not. It’s an interesting one though so I thought I might discuss the cocktail itself a little bit… though far be it from me to lead you to believe I have any true knowledge of it’s history at this point! I’m still a total Mixology rookie. Corrective comments are most welcome!
The Classic Martini is a Gin based cocktail with Vermouth and a range of ‘garnishes’. There are a number of variations and it’s here that personal taste begins to dictate a little. Bearing in mind I’ve made 3 Martinis in my life, and only have a couple of cocktail books for reference, here’s my recipe. What you may find more useful is that I’ll be including the method, which is what I’ve come to appreciate so greatly in my very brief learning period:
2 1/2 Measures Gin
1/2 Measure Dry Vermouth
The first thing you need to do is chill your glass, and by chill I mean put it in the freezer for 15 minutes (or until it’s frosted). Ideally you should use a Cocktail/Martini glass as the wider surface area impedes seperation of the drinks. When you’re ready to serve, put some ice into a tall glass and pour in the Vermouth and Gin. Stir smoothly (despite the title of the post!) for around a minute then strain the liquid into your cocktail glass. Use either a (channel) knife or peeler to cut a slither of orange peel, then twist the peel over the drink to release the oils. Wipe the rim of the glass with the peel before dropping it into the drink. Enjoy!
For reference I use The Botanist Gin, and Cinzano Extra Dry Vermouth. I find the clear crispness of The Botanist works well, but will no doubt try it with other Gins as I go. I also find the orange peel adds an extra touch of flavour without adding the bitterness that comes from lemon, but again this is all down to personal taste and I will definitely be trying alternatives. This is a fairly dry martini but the ratio of Gin to Vermouth can range from 50:50 to pretty much just Gin! I must say I find it amusing that you can have what is known as a Bone-Dry or Desert Martini, which essentially equates to a large measure of Gin…
What is in my opinion probably the most important thing I’ve learnt already though is how much of a difference temperature makes. Cooling the drink before serving and equally important, serving it into a chilled glass, makes such a huge difference it’s really opened my eyes up to the science behind so many of the classic cocktails. Why some are served chilled but without ice, whereas others are served with ice or crushed ice, and in different shaped glasses are nuances that have really helped to get me enthusiastic about the learning process.
Going back to the Martini though, I’ve mentioned, the ratio of Gin to Vermouth can range greatly but perhaps an even more common garnish than citrus peel is to use an olive. You can also use a cocktail onion, which amazingly gives the drink a different name (A Gibson), but as I dislike olives and don’t really fancy a drink with an onion, I plan to experiment with citrus and the like.
I’ve also yet to try a Vodka Martini which is exactly the same but with Vodka instead of Gin (as if you didn’t know), but as I’m a much bigger fan of Gin I will probably stick to this recipe for now.
That’s not to say I won’t be tempted to combine the Gin and Vodka to make a Vesper… if I can ever get my hands on a bottle ot Lillet!