How to Make the Perfect Martini

gin martiniA Martini is a personal thing, so this is actually my perfect Martini.

I got the recipe at a decadent and very enjoyable evening at The Mount Street Deli which was hosted by Sam Galsworthy of Sipsmith (with one of the head mixologists from Annabel’s on martini making duties).

What you’re getting here is a light, zesty, Gin Martini.

What’s a dry Martini?

Wetness (or dryness) is the amount of Vermouth in your Martini and is very subjective. It has changed over time, varies according to country (and seems to vary from bar to bar). In very broad terms, anything less that 1 part Gin to 1 part Vermouth could be considered ‘dry’. More important than requesting a ‘dry’ Martini is requesting the exact ratio that you want.

In this case, I’ll be making a Martini with 6 parts Gin to 1 part Vermouth.

Ingredients.

A Martini is a very simple cocktail, so the two key elements to creating the taste are Gin and Vermouth.

Gin.

A good London Dry Gin is essential, and I’m using the excellent Sipsmith London Dry Gin (in honour of my host). To avoid having to chill it on the day of making your cocktail, I’d suggest that you keep it in your freezer.

Vermouth.

I prefer a white, zingy Vermouth so will be using Noilly Prat.

Ice.

You’ll need ice to chill your glass and for mixing your Martini. Ideally this will be ‘fresh’ ice, frozen on the day that it’s used. If you’re feeling particularly decadent you can used bottled spring water (but tap water will also do fine).

Lemon.

We won’t be adding the lemon to the drink, but we will be using it as an aromatic.

Equipment.

Glass.

Don’t feel as though you have to go for the now ubiquitous Vino Martini Glass, use whatever you’d like. You could always try something classic like a crystal Port Glass instead.

Cocktail Maker.

This is where you’ll mix the Gin, Vermouth and ice.

Cocktail Strainer.

You’ll use this to pour the Martini from the Cocktail Maker in to your glass.

Cocktail Stirrer.

I prefer to stir the cocktail, so this is used to mix the Vermouth and the Gin.

Sharp Knife.

This is to cut peel from your lemon.

Method.

  1. Cool your glass ready for your drink using some of your ice
  2. Cut a strip of lemon peel approx. 1 inch thick and a couple of inches long. Remove the white pith from the strip so that you are left with just the yellow skin.
  3. Once your glass is cool remove the ice.
  4. You don’t want to add the lemon peel itself to the drink as it will change the flavour and overpower the taste of the other ingredients. However, the aroma of the lemon will add a very pleasant layer to your Martini, so fold your peel in half over your glass until you see a little spray enter the glass. You’ll be surprised by how sweet and pleasant this smell is (without actuall altering the taste of your Martini).
  5. Add 6 parts Gin and 1 part Vermouth to your cocktail maker.
  6. Add ice and stir gently to mix and chill the ingredients. I stir rather than shake: if you shake ice then you chip bits of it into your Martini which then dilute and change the ratio, altering the taste.
  7. You can tell when the Martini is suitably mixed and cooled because condensation will appear on the cocktail maker.
  8. Pour your Martini through the strainer and serve immediately.

There you have it – my perfect Martini, and maybe yours – it’s certainly fun to try it in any case. Experiment with different Gins, Vermouths, and ratios and let me know how you like yours . . .

. . . and we did all this without mentioning James Bond.

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