Nowadays, us food obsessives do love all things artisanal from our food and wine to beer and spirits. The rapid rise of craft spirits and their devoted followers has been mirrored with the rise of the mixologist. Muddling and mashing, infusing and concocting, cocktails haven’t been this big since the 60’s. But when it comes to the classics, the Martini never goes out of style.
From James Bond to Don Draper, this classic cocktail has always been the epitome of ‘cool’. The martini’s sophisticated simplicity takes it beyond that overused (read lazy) adjective ‘iconic’.
Known for his love of a good cocktail Ernest Hemingway was always inventing various methods to keep his beloved libation, icy cold. From freezing the cocktail onions to creating massive ice cylinders from tennis ball tubes, Papa liked them extra dry and extra cold. His character, Frederic Henry in ‘A Farewell to Arms’ reminisces of imbibing martinis: “I had never tasted anything so cool and clean. They make me feel civilized.”
What IS a martini? Purists (me included) will say that it must always be gin based. Never, ever vodka. But in his latest volume, ‘The Martini Guide – Shaken and Stirred’, cocktail expert Steve Quirk has devoted equal time to Vodka based versions.
This handy book joins Steve’s other successful titles from his single cocktail series including ‘The Margarita Guide’, and the Rum Cocktail Guide’. The ‘Martini Guide Shaken and Stirred’ looks at the history and the several theories surrounding the origin of the cocktail to planning a Martini party. The how-to from ranges from shaking or stirring to frosting glasses, making sugar syrup, glassware and fruit peels and juices.
Beautifully illustrated with moody photography, the book includes over 70 recipes and 50 photos. Steve’s Gin-based Martinis include the intriguing Blues Martini – dry Gin and Vodka with a dash of blue curacao. For the Vodka lovers – the Kiwi Martini is Vodka, a dash of sugar syrup, crushed fresh kiwi fruit pulp and a slice of kiwi fruit to garnish.
Yes, of course, the Martian is a scintillating green – a simple blend of Gin and Midori. The Black Martini is a sultry mix of Gin and Black Sambuca – violet hued and designed for romance.
The classic Dry Martini is 75ml of dry Gin and 15ml of dry Vermouth with your choice – olive or a twist.
With over 70 gin and vodka based recipes, The Martini Guide is designed to demystify the martini. There are recipes and instructions for both the inventive and the classic and something for the cocktail lover in all of us.