Instead of taking a safe route for this post, I'll instead expand upon a simple rule that I've discovered over the years: that the Martini is a bulletproof recipient of almost any flavor you throw at it. Now look, I'm not going to wax poetic about how perfect the Martini is, and I'm also not going to suggest that putting weak bullshit like curacao or Angostura bitters in your Martini is exciting and new at this point. Anyone who knows my blog knows that I post some unorthodox shit. I don't intend to disappoint.
I'm here to suggest that you try to get a bit crazy when it comes to adding things to your Martini, and you might be surprised at how well it works, in the end. If you're in a floral mood one day, I might suggest adding a few heavy dashes of rhubarb bitters to your Martini; I've also even been known to put a drop of rosewater in the mixing glass before stirring. If you can tolerate a shaken Martini, your options widen. For a fruity mood, try adding a few pieces of citrus peel into the shaker and let the ice pulverize it. Try that with chunks of pineapple, pear, or ginger. For an herbal mood, try shaking with basil leaves. A savory mood is my favorite... shake the Martini with a sprig of rosemary. Or add a dash of mezcal or Islay Scotch.
Today I'm taking you to two extremes of savory and herbal Martinis, respectively. The former is a way to drink your vegetables, and the latter is simply a bonus. I decided to end up naming them due to cocktail ego, but I won't be giving them the Original Remix tag. I ended up calling them the Chef's and Gardener's Martinis.
Martini au Chef de Cuisine
1.75 oz gin
.5 oz dry vermouth
1 drop (not dash) celery bitters (optional)
1 half thin slice of red onion
Shake all ingredients with ice. Double strain into a cocktail glass. Olive or cocktail onion garnish.
The onion doesn't taste like you think it will. It adds a sweetness to the drink and perfumes it in a way that's not very much like onion. This is a great choice if you want an extra savory Martini before a big meal.
Martini au Jardinier
2 oz gin
.5 oz dry vermouth
.25 oz absithe
1 sprig parsley
2 sprigs cilantro
Chop herbs with 2 or 3 cuts, and shake all ingredients with ice. Double strain into a cocktail glass. Half lemon wedge garnish.
If you never muddle mint in your Juleps and are afraid of bitter chlorophyll, this isn't the drink for you.