Saturday, July 5, 2008
Finally, a Martini I like!
I have tried, really, but Martinis just haven't done it for me. It's true that I haven't tried all the possible gins in the world, but most I have tried turn the drink into a big juniper bomb, and I'm just not that fond of juniper. It's not that I don't like gin, but I prefer it combined with other flavorful ingredients, so that the juniper and other botanicals enhance those other flavors rather than overpowering the drink.
Tanqueray Rangpur Gin was a revelation for me. It has limes, along with ginger and bay leaves, added with the traditional botanicals during distillation. It's lighter and fruitier than many other gins, especially the standard bottling of Tanqueray. I wanted to mix it with something, but I didn't want to cover it up too much, to get a better notion of the flavor. I figured, what the hell, make a Martini. A "50's" style Martini at that. I'm a big fan of the vermouths coming from the California winery, Vya, because both their dry and sweet vermouth have a lot more character than just about anything else I've tried that didn't come from Carpano. (The sweet vermouth reminds me of Christmas, maybe like a plum pudding, and it makes a killer Manhattan.) And I finally landed a bottle of Angostura Orange Bitters, perfect for the older style of Martini. It's a very simple drink and far too easy to drink.
3 oz. Rangpur gin
.5 oz. Vya dry vermouth
2 dashes of bitters
Stir with ice and serve in a cocktail glass with a twist of lemon.