Recipe notes by Rachel
The Martini is my favourite ways to drink Sky Wave Gin; I even prefer it to the classic G&T. Sky Wave Gin adds a fabulous extra dimension to this classic cocktail, with its slightly spicy lingering finish…take it as dry as you dare. The Martini screams of sophistication, from the heady style of the 1920s through to its iconic status as James Bond’s drink of choice – although it should always be stirred, never shaken – sorry James!
The origin of the Martini is lost in the mists of time. Certainly, it appears in numerous late 19th Century cocktail recipe books from both the UK and US. Some say that legendary bartender “Professor” Jerry Thomas created it at San Francisco’s Occidental Hotel sometime before 1887; his Bartender’s Guide of that year includes a recipe which bears some slight similarity with the modern drink. Alternatively, Alessandro Martini started marketing vermouth in Italy in 1863 under the brand name of Martini, and this may be the source of the cocktail’s name – although vermouth, and versions of the cocktail, are recorded well before this.
I recommend Noilly Prat vermouth, which is French, not Italian! I also strongly suggest that you stir, not shake, your Martini – there is a view that excessive shaking can ‘bruise’ the gin and, although we shake in other recipes, the flavours in the Martini would be harmed by a bruised gin – after all, a Martini is mostly about the gin!
To make the Martini drier, use less vermouth. Some recipes even suggest swirling the vermouth around the glass and throwing it away before adding the gin and bitters mixture; it was Noel Coward who said, ‘A perfect martini should be made by filling a glass with gin, then waving it in the general direction of Italy!’ And he should know.