Nothing screams classic cocktail like a martini, and today I’ll be mixing up a Gin Martini. The Martini has seen many variations: shaken or stirred, gin or vodka, with an olive or a twist. It’s been thickened, sweetened, and even colored. But the classic Gin Martini, in its simplest form, has remained a staple.
It’s a testament to the idea that sometimes less is more.
The Martini’s origins are a bit murky, with various theories and legends. Some trace it back to the Martinez, a cocktail from the mid-1800s. Others link it to the Martini & Rossi company or the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco. What’s clear, however, is how the Martini evolved – from a sweeter drink in the early 1900s to the drier versions popularized in the mid-20th century. I love looking into the history of classics like this one, you really get to see just how far back the realm of mixology stems. But I think it’s finally time to break down my way of mixing this recipe up!
Before getting into the cocktail mixture itself, I started by pouring a bit of dry vermouth into a martini glass and swirling it around. This method, called a “wash”, subtly infuses the glass with vermouth’s aroma, ensuring its presence without dominating the drink.
Now, the name of this cocktail states the obvious, gin is at the center of this martini. The flavor of gin can vary significantly depending on the brand and type, ranging from floral to herbal, with subtle notes of citrus and spice. This element makes gin a versatile base for the Martini, allowing for a spectrum of taste experiences.
A dash of orange bitters introduces a citrusy, slightly bitter undertone. It’s a subtle addition but crucial in enhancing the Gin Martini’s depth and complexity.
The garnish is a lemon twist, and I topped it off with just that! The oils from the lemon zest brighten the drink, offering a fresh, zesty nose.
Step 1: Pour a small amount of dry vermouth into a martini glass. Swirl it around to evenly coat the interior of the glass, then pour out the excess.
Step 2: In a mixing glass filled with ice, combine the gin and the dash of orange bitters. Stir to combine.
Step 3: Strain the mixture into your rinsed martini glass.
Step 4: Garnish with a lemon twist.
The Gin Martini is a piece of history, an icon of cocktail culture. I for one love sipping on this on a Friday night after a long weeks work. A delicious and relaxing experience!
Cheers to this exquisite, ever-evolving masterpiece.