Tag Archives: vermouth

Margo’s martini

25 Jan

Margo's martini

With only two ingredients to worry about, you’d think it would be a straightforward matter for a bartender to make a decent martini.

But the number of crummy martinis I’ve been served over the years are proof that this isn’t the case.

Happily, we are in the fortunate position of having two good friends who are known for their skill with martini shaker. Continue reading

Scott’s martini

24 Jun

Scott's martini

There are a lot of strong opinions about what makes a great martini. Personally, I’m pretty flexible. I’ve enjoyed them with gin and vodka – dry, wet or dirty. I’m happy with olives, lemon peel or a cocktail onion (though actually I think that’s a Gibson).

Two essentials for me: A great martini must be icy cold. And it must achieve a satisfying balance between its elements. Otherwise, it’s just a cold glass of gin…

I’m in the happy position of having two good friends who make great martinis. As Scott is visiting from Canada this week, I’m featuring his version here (with permission).  Continue reading

Manhattan cocktail

29 Mar

Manhattan cocktail

I’ve been taking things easy on the drinks front since our cocktail-tastic Christmas. But as the end of a busy work week loomed, the thought of a TGIF cocktail was pretty tempting.

The Manhattan has only three ingredients – rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters. As a Canadian, I have a nostalgic fondness for Canadian Club, but there are a lot of rye whiskeys to choose from these days, and bourbon works as well. Continue reading

Sloe gin negroni

29 Dec

Sloe gin negroni

The twelve cocktails of Christmas
#9: Sloe gin negroni

Sloe gin is delicious, and sipping a little glass of it neat while watching Alastair Sim’s Scrooge discover the spirit of Christmas makes a perfect holiday afternoon.

But a shot of sloe gin isn’t a cocktail. This led to the idea of using sloe gin in a negroni – where it cosied right up with the red vermouth, and stood its ground against the bitterness of the Cinzano.

Continue reading

Gin and It

9 Dec

Gin and It

Well, I finally solved the mystery of gin and It this weekend… In my teens, I read a lot of British crime novels – Agatha Christie mainly. It was all quite exotic to a thirteen-year-old Canadian who’d never set foot in the UK.

Country houses where retired military men were forever being poisoned, village fetes and cricket greens, debutantes and domestic servants. And the food – tisanes, gin and It, barley water, beef tea, crumpets, violet creams. I had no idea what any of them were… Continue reading