There is something so satisfying about a well made Martini, and I have made what I feel is the perfect cocktail, served in a chilled cocktail glass. Bond is wrong when it comes to the preparation of his drink of choice – shaking the Gin over the ice not only forms miniature ice shards that can have the effect of watering down your drink and also provides a cloudy drink, it also affects the gin at a molecular level sometimes separating the fine distillates combined in gin. The gin needs to be treated well and stirred with respect and care.
- 100ml good quality dry Gin (I use Warner Edwards Harlington Dry Gin)
- 25ml dry Vermouth (Sainsbury’s have a very good own-brand Extra Dry vermouth)
- Ice cubes
- Fill a boston shaker with ice (at least two thirds) and pour in the Vermouth. Stir vigorously in the shaker for thirty seconds and then strain the vermouth into the cocktail glass.
- Add the gin into the shaker and stir gently, to chill the gin and mix with any trace of the Vermouth. You should stir for at least one minute.
- Discard the Vermouth in the cocktail glass by swirling it out, there should be traces of Vermouth left in the glass, although it should not pool at the bottom.
- Strain the gin from the shaker using a fine-mesh sieve into the cocktail glass. Slice a sliver of lemon and twist the offcut with the pith side on the outside, releasing the lemon oils over the cocktail glass. Twist in the opposite direction, with the yellow skin on the outside to form a twist of lemon and garnish your drink. Serve and relax!
The aromatised Vermouth should accompany the flavours of the Gin, however some Martini recipes can be overkill, leaving a overly sweet drink. Winston Churchill apparently once stated that the only way to make a Martini is by decanting the gin into a glass while glancing at a bottle of Vermouth (or sometimes reported as allowing the sun’s rays to shine through the bottle of Vermouth onto the gin) and while it is important not to miss the importance of the Vermouth, I firmly believe less-is-more when it comes to a Martini.
When it comes to garnish, this is a matter of personal preference and the choice of gin may also influence your decision of garnish. A lighter gin may be more suited to a green olive. A stronger and more potent gin could be garnished with a twist of lemon to give you a fresh and clean edge and for the more floral of gins then a twist of orange would be my choice.
Let me know what you think in the comments below! If you find any exceptional gins that make a wonderful Martini, I would love to hear about them.