Looking for a new cocktail to try out this weekend? Want to wind down with a fresh new drink? We’ve got you covered. Here’s what you should drink this weekend.
The martini definitely has a pretty good marketing team. Few cocktails have so embodied class and elegance like the martini. I had an unfounded aversion to the drink for many years but as my palate has expanded and I’ve broadened my horizons I realize what a fool I’ve been. A well-made martini is an excellent cocktail. Boozy, refined, and delicate. And extremely simple to make.
One of the complicating factors of the martini is the sheer volume of iterations. Sure there are dozens of riffs on how to make an Old Fashioned. But when you ask for one, there usually isn’t any follow-up. If you want to a perfect martini experience, you need to be specific. There’s a dirty martini, a dry martini, a sweet martini, let alone the fact that you can choose between gin and vodka. (We’re not even counting all of the remixes like the Espresso Martini, Lemon drop Martini, and others.)
So, first things first, try experimenting. Order a variety of martini styles (maybe not all on the same night) and settle on a favorite. I personally prefer a pretty classic gin martini served straight up in a chilled coupe so that’s what we’ll be making this weekend.
Gin – If you’re going for a gin martini, make sure you pick out high-quality spirits. There are no mixers to mask the imperfections in bottom-shelf spirits. So, consider splurging a bit – especially if you’ll be making martinis regularly. Tanqueray London Dry Gin is perfectly fine but my upgrade picks would be Neversink Spirits Gin or One Eight Distilling District Made Ivy City Gin
Vodka – The same principle applies here – don’t settle for subpar vodka if you’re making a vodka martini. And steer clear from flavored options unless that’s truly what you’re looking for. Humboldt Organic Vodka is a nice option as is Barr Hill Vodka. Ketel One is a solid reliable pick you’ll find at most liquor stores.
Dry Vermouth – Even if you’re only using the faintest whiff of vermouth in your martini, we still recommend opting for a high-quality pick. Dolin is a fantastic pick but we’re also big fans of Lo-Fi and Cinzano.
Garnish – Your garnish is a matter of personal preference. The classics are either a simple green olive or lemon twist. You can lean into the briny side with a cornichon or even a pickle slice or the citrus side with an orange or grapefruit peel. Or just go buck wild. We’re talking chili peppers, oysters, octopus tentacle – make it crazy.