I’ve got to say up front that I am not a cocktail kinda guy, never have been. Growing up in rural NSW a cocktail was considered to be something like a bourbon and coke and came out of a UDL can (I see some of you nodding out there). So I’ve moved on since these days? … well kinda. Still the idea of putting fruit (lemon) in my beer makes me want to punch someone and start talking about motor racing but some things have changed.
I was once served up a dry martini and it was one of those aha moments. I got it; strong on the booze, complex flavours and a thousand variants in a simple dry drink. The Engineer in me decided that I needed to find the ‘Ultimate Dry Martini’. A man of experimentation, I have tried dozens of combinations and this is the outcome of those years of sacrifice and tireless work. wink.
This is The Ultimate Dry Martini and I believe the Ultimate Mixed Drink. Enjoy.
2 parts Bombay Safire Gin (chilled)
1 part Grey Goose Vodka (chilled)
0.5 part Noilly Prat Vermouth
Generous fresh lemon twist
Secret Ingredient (see below)
All liquid ingredients poured shaken into an ice filled skaker. Shake like there is no tomorrow for 10-20 seconds and pour into a chilled glass. Garnish with a lemon twist or two.
With a drink like this (and most others in fact), the temperature of consumption has a dramatic effect on the flavours experienced. I believe that you can always let a drink warm up if it is too cold but chilling it back down is always difficult. I like to consume these just as the ice is starting to melt off the side of the glass and there certainly shouldn’t be any ice shards left in the drink itself.
Up front you get the unmistakable botanicals of the Bombay Safire Gin. This gin has quality aromatics that you don’t find in all premium gins charging well beyond this price tag. I have probably tried half a dozen different gins and this is a classic. A traditional dry martini is all gin but I found that by adding 1 part Grey Goose vodka added a different character that quite honestly I cannot explain. Try both and you will get it.
Noilly Pratt is what makes the dry martini ‘dry’. Don’t skimp and buy the Martini brand as the sweet nose (yes I know ironic) you get from Noilly is just down right better. If the lemon you use for the twist is ‘off the tree fresh’ you will get a lot more fragrant citrus oils in the glass and the entire kitchen for that matter.
So the secret ingredient. I once read that the secret ingredient to a great martini is water and it is absolutely true. The real tip is how you get the water. For me, I fill the shaker with ice, add the ingredients and shake the hell out of it for 10 to 20 seconds. This will displace ice/ water into the drink slightly reducing the strength of the alcohol. I see this a little like adding water to whisky to let the flavours and aromas out. This is why a shaken martini IS better than one stirred. The shaken martini has added water that improves the whole drink.
The above is in my mind the ultimate but other variants you could consider at a pinch.
- 2 parts vodka to 1 part gin. Although a completely different drink, worth a try when the BS stocks are running low.
- A lemon twist can be replaced with a couple of pimento stuffed olives. Get some decent olives from the deli not that muck from a bottle.