In the wake of World Gin Day last week, I am happily celebrating World Martini Day today!
I know the word ‘martini’ has become synonymous with ‘something drunk from a martini glass’, but I’d like to use today as a opportunity to step away from the Porn Star, Appletini and other fruity variants, and bring it back to something a little more classic.
This recipe is my favourite way to drink a martini: dry, with a good gin, lemon twist and an elderflower rinse.
The key to a good dry martini, in my eyes, is the quantity of vermouth you use. Whilst I wouldn’t go as far as Noel Coward, who famously recommended that a glass of gin was waved “in the general direction of Italy”, my preference is to rinse the ice cubes and mixing glass with dry vermouth, before draining the excess out and adding your gin.
I first starting adding the elderflower rinse when a guest at a bar I worked in professed to being “tired of martinis” (yep, I was shocked too). Anyway, the rinse adds a slightly floral fragrance to the drink without sweetening it too much, and I’ve been hooked on them ever since. I used a Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference elderflower liqueur but it works equally well with Chase Elderflower or St-Germain.
0.5oz / 15ml dry vermouth
1.5oz / 45ml London Dry Gin
0.5oz / 15ml elderflower liqueur
Chill your martini glass. Fill a mixing glass (any pint-size glass with thick sides will do) with ice, and add the vermouth. If you prefer your martinis wet, leave in. For a dry martini, swirl the vermouth around the glass to coat the ice, then drain the excess.
Add your gin and stir slowly, holding the glass with a thumb and forefinger at the base (otherwise you will warm the glass, causing faster dilution!). Taste frequently, as stirred drinks are a fine art – stop too soon and you might as well have drunk the gin straight; stop too late and it’s a watery mess.
Just before you think it’s ready, remove the ice from your chilled martini glass, and pour in the elderflower liqueur. Swirl round the glass then, again, discard the excess. Strain your martini into the glass, garnish with a lemon twist, and drink!