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47 Articles

Grocery Shop Fails. How to Make a Frosty Martini.

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Grocery Mission: Fail

Grocery shop fails. Don’t mind my frosty martini. I’m baffled by how many accounts I’ve read of people, regular and celebrities alike, trying to invent new ways to make the coldest martini. Here’s how: Measure your vermouth and gin in two separate mixer glasses and stick in freezer for 20 minutes or a little longer – just under the freeze threshold of the vermouth. Mix together, stir gently and serve in a martini glass. Don’t James Bond shake, for heaven’s sake.

Crawfish and a Belmont.

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A bit of cajun crawfish and andouille sausage in reduced wine sauce and a creamy Belmont gin cocktail made with homemade raspberry syrup. The most I’ve cooked in a week. My fridge is a barren desert. My recipe for a Belmont: a shot of gin, 1/2 a shot of raspberry syrup and 1 shot of heavy whipping cream, shaken vigorously on ice and strained into a champagne coup.

Decadent Weekend.

Decadent Weekend update: I woke up around 11 to realize that I’m out of cheesecake, but I’ve started some lobster tails steaming, so me and the cat will survive. I’ve also caught up on my nerdy research, and I now know several more famous martini recipes, including Hemingway’s Montgomery, most variations of Ian Fleming’s Bond nonsense (Do not. I repeat, do not), and the martini habits and recipes of the last dozen Presidents, including Hoover, Roosevelt, Reagan and Nixon. I have ascended to the next belt in martini-fu.

Wanted: Poolside Martini Maker.

I’ve drafted an ad for the local job listings: “Wanted: Poolside Martini Maker. Applicants must be able to respond to nonverbal cues to produce an ice-cold, classic 3:1 gin martini with minimal variation within three minutes. Will train. Adequate shade and food will be provided. Upon successful trial, a permanent weekday position may be offered. James Bond martini recipe advocates need not apply.”

Gin Tasting Notes: Opihr Oriental London Dry Gin.

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Opihr Oriental London Dry Gin

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a Gin Tasting Note. Today I found this intriguing bottle of gin waiting for a review: Opihr Oriental London Dry Gin, hailing from England, of course. Its label manages to sum up a couple centuries of colonialism, as does its description of spices of the former spice route, from India, Morocco, and Indonesia. It delivers on its peppery promise without overwhelming, both on the front and the aftertaste. Curiously they’ve managed to sweep the usual bite of gin under the rug, and this is even more pronounced in both dirty and dry martinis. With the usual bite of gin gone, your martini sipping will turn into martini gulping, so be warned. Verdict: the lack of bite might make a martini enthusiast frown, but it’s perfect if that same bite has kept you from enjoying a martini. And unlike many gins, this one holds up best by itself served neat, unadorned.

Martini Mod: The Alexandre.

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The Alexandre

If you know your martini lore, you know that circa 1906, a dash of orange bitters was part of the standard recipe of a classic 3:1 dry gin martini. I swapped the orange bitters today with a 1/4 ounce of Grand Marnier (French orange cognac liqueur) and it is fantastic. I call it the Alexandre, in honor of Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle. No olives needed in this recipe, though in a few days I’ll be trying the castelvetrano olive flambĂ© recipe I found.