I am the type of martini drinker that does not even open the vermouth bottle while making my own. Just glancing at the bottle while I am shaking the shaker away is just fine by me. So the fact that I am liking a reverse martini comes as quite a big surprise to me. This all came about when I was finishing up my latest read Dearie, about Julia Child. Whether or not she came up with this idea I am not certain, but it is the first I had ever heard of it. A reverse martini is 2/3 vermouth to a 1/3 gin. Shaken and then served over ice. I first gave this a try the other day at Hawthorne, and I really liked it. Super refreshing. It has the feel of a Summer drink. I don’t really drink martinis during the hot months, as they seem to get warm as opposed to super chilled, which is how I really like them. Plus a big tub of gin in the heat makes me sleepy. With this, the vermouth becomes the star. The gin is just a stylish background singer. A fresh bottle of vermouth is helpful. My studying around on the topic found that vermouth can loose a bit of its fabulousness when old. So often a bottle can last ages, so easy to see this happening. We had a newish bottle of Dolin that worked quite lovely. Julia preferred Noilly Prat, so we picked up a bottle of that yesterday, which meant I had to give it a test run last night. Insert smile. I think I actually preferred the Noilly. Julia gets it right again.
This Wine Wednesday is not so much about a certain wine, but rather an interesting recent observation about what to serve with wine & cocktails. On my recent NYC trip with friends, almost every place we wined or dined offered deviled eggs on the menu to have with drinks. This is not a new concept by any means, but I did find it interesting at how often they were on the menu, almost everyplace offered them. For which I/we were elated. A deviled egg might just be one of the more perfect cocktail foods–delicious, filling and interesting visually. We tried them often, with many to most times, the eggs were served on a bed of arugula, as pictured. The above image from Tipsy Parson. When in doubt or looking for a new option with cocktails, you just can’t go wrong with a deviled egg.
We were given some very special bottles of gin for Holiday gifts–I guess our friends know of our love of Friday eve martinis. One bottle was a type I knew very little about and had only tried a few times. Having our very own bottle has changed that, and I have done a bit of research on this spiffy, somewhat apothecary style bottle. Distilled in Alameda, California, St. George Spirits has been around for 30 years. Terroir gin is an ode to the wild beauty of the Golden State. This profoundly aromatic gin is forest driven and earthy. Think Douglas fir, California bay laurel, coastal sage–and you have one very unique sipping gin or one amazing martini. Plus the bottle looks quite cool sitting out to be visually enjoyed. Good stuff.
I snapped this photo of the black glass martini shaker weeks ago when I was straightening up things around the shop. We have carried these for quite some time, but the beauty of it really caught me eye. Such a handsome shaker–perfect for whipping up a batch of martinis.
Speaking of martinis, we stayed true to a portion of our Friday night ritual last eve. We arrived in New York around 7, and had the car take us right to the London Terrace where we are staying in an apartment for the time we are here. Such a lovely, lovely building. One of my favorite things about the city is all the amazing things you can get delivered right to your door. A quick spin for a few provisions while TPS was out on his walk with Bailey, and we had fixings for our cocktail. A quick call and in no time we were sitting in the apartment having an out of this world Italian meal with our martini. Welcome to New York!
Sitting by the fire reading a book, is a lovely thing. Sitting by the fire reading a book while sipping on a martini is a really lovely thing. I think of martinis as very social cocktails. A proper martini glass, laughter, friends. But I really have been enjoying an abbreviated version while reading a book by the fire before dinner on the week-end. A WestWard martini is my quick version of a favorite cocktail, while avoiding all of the bells and whistles.
A simple glass will do. Shake gin with a dash of vermouth if you must, but pouring it right into the glass is fine too. If the bottle of gin has been waiting in the freezer, all the better. The key is having an ice cube in the glass, waiting. Since I have been into the jumbo ice cubes of late, all the better. Skewer an olive, and you are set. Book optional.