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.
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.
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.
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.