Friday, July 25, 2008

Drink of the Week: Herbed Martinis

As the summer continues on, I try to find ways to use my bounty of fresh herbs in more and more dishes. Given my interest in mixology, it's only natural that I've tried using herbs in cocktails.

This martini method is very easy and fast and doesn't require that you do anything in advance (no infused syrups or liquors). All you do is take a few sprigs of herb, tear them up, put them in your mixing glass with the rest of ingredients and stir, stir, stir.

I suggest using vermouth in your martini (most "modern" martinis are vermouth-less); the vermouth smooths out the strong impact of gin (or vodka, if you must). It also makes for a gentler (read: weaker) drink, so you won't be staggering about after just one.

I used some of my "Sweet Dani" lemon basil from the backyard to make this Lemon Basil Martini. I have also used chervil, regular basil and bee balm (some know it as monarda). I think borage would be good (especially with Hendricks - to bring out the cucumber flavor) and thyme would be great in a sweet martini (use sweet vermouth instead of dry).

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Herbed Martini

Put into an iced mixing glass:
  • A few sprigs of your herb of choice
  • 2 - 3 ounces gin (I like Plymouth, Miller's or Hendricks)
  • 1/2 - 1 ounce vermouth - dry or sweet or both, depending on your herb
Stir until the drink is well chilled. Give yourself at least 15-30 seconds of stirring time - this is what infuses the liquor with the herb's flavor. Strain into a cocktail glass - garnish with an herb leaf or blossom.


Julia said...

OK, it's a huge cliche, but wouldn't you want to use dill with Hendrick's?

Sunday Cook said...

Maybe it's a cliche down there in NYC, but I've never heard of dill with Hendricks. Sounds interesting and in the interest of scientific inquiry, I shall try it. :-)

Hieronymus Stone said...

Dearest Hendrick's Enthusiasts,

There are many botanicals, dill included, that partner remarkably well with Hendrick's Gin. Our publication, The Unusual Times, offers a variety of deliciously peculiar Hendrick's Gin recipes, as well as regular dispatches pertaining to the—well—unusual.

Hieronymus Stone
Editor in Chief

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