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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Happy Hour - Gin Martini

Wow, what a crazy few weeks it has been!  I know that September/back to school is hectic for parents and teachers.  We are neither, but I started a brand new job two weeks ago, with all the changes to routine that entails.  Plus, we just bought a new house and put our house on the market!  It's a very exciting time, but also very stressful and busy.  We often have to leave the house at dinnertime for showings, and keep it spotless between showings, so needless to say, we haven't done much cooking. 

We had to pack up some glassware to make our home look more spacious for showings, but I insisted on keeping my martini glasses and shaker.  In this stressful time, I'm not going to deny myself a martini!

This is a traditional gin martini with a twist.  You can use an olive instead, but I can't stand olives, and I love the way the lemon adds a little bitter, sour flavour to the drink.

A gin martini is full of gin flavour, so you want to use your very best, favourite gin.  My dear friend bought me Hendrick's Gin for my recent birthday and it would be fantastic in this. I used Bombay Sapphire East which is subtly flavoured with black pepper and lemongrass. You'll also need dry vermouth.  

There is some controversy over what makes the "perfect" martini.  The less vermouth, the more dry it is and some like it very dry. But I started with a 2:1 ratio of gin to vermouth and liked it fine. If you are new to gin and/or martinis, this is a good place to start. You can fiddle with the amount of vermouth to make your perfect martini. 

For this martini, mix 2 ounces of gin and one ounce of vermouth in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice and shake until the shaker is frosty, about 30 seconds.  

Use a zester or sharp paring knife to remove a strip of lemon peel from a fresh, clean lemon.  Twist the peel over the glass to release the oils, and pour the cocktail over a the lemon into a martini glass.

You can see this martini is cloudy, not clear. That's from shaking it, which causes ice crystals to make the drink opaque.  James Bond's "shaken, not stirred" causes this cloudiness which is not ideal for martini connoisseurs.  For a clear martini, stir the cocktail gently rather than shaking it.  I am not that picky. 

Since the ingredients are nothing but booze, this makes a very boozy cocktail, but it can be just the thing before dinner or after a long day. It is sophisticated and tasty which is sometimes just what you need.


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