Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's Miller's Time

I made a dynamite batch of Martinis the other night when my darling brother-in-law Jim stopped by for a visit. Failed to take any pictures but I will add one when I make another, probably in about half-an-hour.

Eight parts Miller's Gin
One part Vya Dry Vermouth
One dash Fee Brother's Lemon Bitters

Shake with plenty of cold ice (and yes, not all ice is the same temperature) and pour into a well chilled Martini glass of your choosing. I prefer mine to be on the small side and then make an additional Martini if I want more rather then ending up with half of a less than ice-cold one. That is my biggest gripe about the expensive ones that you get in bars now. They are too damn big.

If you are compelled to make a BIG Martini to justify the price and cut down on the mixing and shaking time, serve a more than decent four ounces in an appropriate sized glass and then figure out a way to keep the rest cold. In a little shaker with ice is one way, but not the best. In a little carafe stuck in ice is even better. Or just make the damn things smaller, charge less, and let the customer decide if he wants more.

I get one of those big Martinis and it starts to go warm on me I start thinking I should have just bought a pint of gin at the liquor store and drunk it straight from the bottle. A hell of a lot cheaper that way. Particularly when so many bartenders now seem to regard Vermouth as an after-thought and not an essential ingredient. Given the quality of the Vermouth most bars use and it's questionable freshness, that probably isn't a bad idea, though.

Anyway, my Martini was very smooth and a bit perfumy. Just a hint of a yellowish tinge. No garnish required, but a thin slice of cucumber floated on top wouldn't be out of place.

I also poured Jim a shot of my Hangar One Chipotle Vodka and had an 'aha' moment. Todd, my friend at the liquor store, and I have been pondering over a use for Crop Organic Tomato Vodka. The next time I replenish my stock of Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka I am going to pick up a bottle of the tomato and experiment with making a Bloody Mary Martini using it, the Chipotle vodka, a dash of Worcestershire (bonus points to those who can spell that without looking it up or checking a bottle) Sauce and a dash or two of either Tabasco Sauce or Louisiana Hot Sauce. Maybe a bit of horseradish juice, if I can get some out of the bottle.

This would be perfect for those of us who like a Bloody Mary in the morning but shudder at the thought of ingesting anything as healthy as tomato juice.

I will be sure to let you know how my experimenting turns out.