Monday, February 18, 2013

the wet martini

I drink far too much. Far, far too much. But hey, no one wants to live forever and besides, self-awareness is what matters. I is what I is. Family Day today, a completely random holiday, but that's how we do in Canada, and no one should be complaining about a day off in the middle of the most depressing month of the year.

I had to bring some work home from the office; never any fun, but the job has to get done one way or another. Saturday night, alone, and after an afternoon in front of the computer, needed a drink before dinner. One didn't seem enough, and before I knew it, I was on my fourth. The wet martini, with my pig's trotter, sea cucumber, and greens. Perfect.

Dry vermouth is fabulous. Yes, I get it, Martini & Rossi is hardly the best we can do, but it gets the job done. And sometimes as long as the peg fits into the hole, you go with it, square or round or otherwise. I like Tanqueray A LOT. And yes, again not the best gin you can find, but I love that spiciness, the overt herbal, juniper aromas. So it's all about proportions, and for mine, I use a 1:2 ratio for dry vermouth to gin. No shaking - lots of ice, and 30 seconds of spirited stirring (with a chopstick of course). And no olives ... god, no olives. Freshly peeled lemon zest, and you squirt the oils onto the martini before dropping it in. Two or three strips of lemon should do you just fine. They say that properly made, 1 martini is too little, and 2 is too many. What do they say about 4 then?

The wet martini

We need gin, dry white vermouth, lemon, and lots of ice.

Put a martini glass or coupe into the freezer to chill.

Fill a mixing glass with ice.

Add 1 ounce of dry white vermouth and 2 ounces of a quality London dry gin.

Stir in a smooth motion for 30 seconds - the ice should glide in the mixing glass and make very little sound.

Strain into your chilled martini glass or coupe.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel 2-3 strip of lemon zest, making sure there is no rind underneath.

Squirt the oils onto your martini and drop the lemon peel(s) in.

Enjoy. It will be ice-cold, complex and elegant, yet burn going down. You will be hungover the next morning. This is not a drink for pussies.


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