Celebrating National Martini Day With the Bartender’s Special

Gin with a splash of Vermouth. Stirred to chill. Simple really. Oh, if only! It seems everyone has a take on the world’s most famous cocktail. Straight up or on the rocks, crystal clear or a little dirty, extra dry with barely a breath of Vermouth … If you ask for a vodka martini, shaken not stirred, you may even be mistaken for a spy. Martinis have been considered a classy mix for sundowners or even a business lunch since their invention way back in the mid-1800s.

Photo Courtesy by bayfields.com

To celebrate #NationalMartiniDay on June 19th, we’d recommend a Reverse Martini or Bartender’s Special. This variation features more Vermouth with your Gin or vodka, resulting in a lower ABV cocktail. So yes – you can indulge in a few more rounds than usual without losing your dignity on the dance floor. And remember to leave your barman a generous tip.

With the revival of gin in all its artisanally-crafted fruity and herb-infused essences, no two martinis need ever be alike. Whether your Vermouth of choice is a dry, French-style or a sweet Italian, do ask your bartender how long it has been open. It needs to be as fresh as possible, especially for a Reverse Martini where it will play a more significant role in the flavor profile.

Photo Courtesy by pulsd.com

One of the most well-known cocktails and enjoyed all over the world, Martinis have a vague history. There are various backstories, but no-one is really sure how or where the celebrated mix began. The traditional recipe has taken on some interesting twists (beyond a rogue-ish twist of lemon) including bitters, maraschino, and citrus liqueurs. Martini snobs may shake their heads – but not their martinis of course – in despair. In this age of relaxed rules and emphasis on individuality, we think its perfectly acceptable to mix it your way.

Classic Shaken Dry Vodka Martini with Olives

If you’re mixing martinis for yourself and a few close friends, this recipe by Michael Lee at San Francisco’s Starlight Room is a great inspiration to get you started:

  • 55 ml Dolin Blanc Vermouth de Chambéry
  • 30 ml Spirit Works vodka
  • 1 bar spoon Luxardo maraschino liqueur

Add all the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice, and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a speared brandied cherry.