52% of my fellow Britons want to leave the EU. I have no idea what this will mean long term, but the pound is already suffering. I’m sad, because I like being European as well as British.
Here’s a martini made with Spanish gin and French vermouth. Yes, I know it’s early.
Gin Mare is the gin of choice, a really interesting gin with lots of herbs and no fixatives (orris root, etc.). But that’s OK because it’s not going to last long. Noilly Prat is the vermouth of choice, and it’s great for cooking too. I’m trying Regan’s orange bitters (as an alternative to Fee’s).
Mix the lot in a mixing glass and stir, then strain into a cocktail glass and garnish. I like green olives. I use a ratio of 3:1 gin to vermouth plus a bar spoon of bitters, which was fashionable around the 1920s.
It’s a fairly complex and subtle martini. I think the Gin Mare may be better shaken in a dirty martini, but it’s tasty anyway. The Regan’s is very different from Fee’s, much less citrus and a lot of spice. Probably better suited to savoury cocktails in general, though I’ll keep the Fee’s for my gimlet recipe. Chin chin!
This is the recipe I used for a cheapskate French 75:
- 25 ml gin
- 25 ml lemon juice
- 25 ml sugar syrup
- 100 ml cava or prosecco
- slice of pink grapefruit
The IBA’s standard recipe is 6:3:1.5 champagne to gin to lemon juice, with a couple of dashes of sugar syrup. Cross’s Classic 1000 Cocktails halves the gin and uses a teaspoon of caster sugar. Ideally the garnish should be a maraschino cherry but I was out of those.
Combine the gin, juice and sugar in a glass and mix with a bar spoon. Then just add ice and top off with sparkling wine and garnish.
A gimlet is a small, sharp tool for drilling holes, and a gimlet cocktail is similarly short and sharp. According to my favourite cocktail book (Robert Cross’ Classic 1000 Cocktails) the Gimlet emerged in 1930 as a cross between two cocktails, a Gimblet (1 1/2 gin, 1/2 lime juice) and a Gimlet (1:1 msr Plymouth gin and Roses Lime Cordial). The adjusted recipe in the book is
- 2 msr Gin
- 3/4 msr Roses Lime Cordial
- Soda Water (optional)
This may be traditional but it’s a crap cocktail. You can do much, much better with fresh lime juice and simple syrup (i.e. make your own cordial). There are more recipes on the wikipedia page here, but my recipe is even better.
Gather your ingredients. Always use a decent gin that you like enough to sip neat — Boodles here works well, but I’d use Bulldog if I had some. Even though there’s a strong citrus flavour, the wrong gin will give a soapy undertone.
The other ingedients are the juice of a fresh lime, simple syrup, and my special ingredient — orange bitters (Fee’s here).
- 60 ml gin
- Juice of 1 lime
- 20 ml syrup
- A dash (or bar spoon — 5 ml ish) of orange bitters
- Lots of ice
- Cocktail shaker
- Cocktail glass
There are a few ways to serve. An Old Fashioned glass works fine, but a conical martini-style glass is better to smell the fresh lime with the orange and gin aromatics.
Just combine the gin, juice, syrup and bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake hard. I reckon you want to aerate the cocktail, which will change the mouth feel and aroma. When you pour there should be a little foam on top.
You could scoop out some ice at the end and float it in the drink if you want. Hold the glass by the base.