One of the joys of Cocktail World Cup in Queenstown was listening to Vernon Chalker, Australia’s Most Infulential Person in the Bar Industry, wax lyrical about his first and favourite love, the Martini.
It is the simplest of drinks often butchered. A martini should have two ingredients, three at a push, with a garnish that compliments the drink. Lightning in a bottle, perfection in a glass, simplicity personified. A Dry Martini, well made, does not need anything else.
What if you add something else? A small change, a tweak, a nuance? something that adds layers and mystique?
This Martini won a Martini competition in 1951. It is excellent. There truly are no other words.
The 1951 Martini
Take an extremely cold martini glass and aromatise it with Cointreau. This can be done by pouring a little in the glass, swooshing it round and expelling any excess. You could also use one of those little spray bottles too. The object is to coat the glass with a film of the Orange liqueur.
In an iced tin, stir a healthy splash of vermouth to coat the cubes and dissolve any cheeky shards of ices, discard the liquid, retaining the ice. Pour in between 60 and 90 mls of Gin, I like Tanqueray, but decide for yourself. The amount of gin should reflect your thirst and the size of your vessel. Strain into the aromatised glass and adorn with an anchovy stuffed olive.
The oily film of liqueur, the funky anchovy in the olive, the dryness of the martini. Damn this drink works.