In pursuit of the perfect martini, No.3 Gin has enlisted the expertise of Dr. David Clutton, the only person in the world to hold a PhD in gin, and Alessandro Palazzi, Bar Manager at DUKES – famous for producing one of the best martinis in London.
As classic cocktails experience a resurgence, the classic martini remains popular in the UK, with history dating back to the 1860s. 150 years on, the martini remains a timeless classic, with countless variations having been created. Originally, the martini was born from just three ingredients, however: gin, vermouth, and a choice of garnish – traditionally lemon rind or an olive. So with so few ingredients, it’s absolutely vital that the all-alcohol cocktail’s ingredients are of the highest quality.
On making the perfect martini, Alessandro Palazzi, Bar Manager at DUKES says: “The glass, the temperature, the vermouth, and the spirit – which is the star of the show – and to finish, the citrus. If you don’t like citrus, you can use Nocellara olives. The perfect martini comes down to your choice of ingredients.”
“The perfect martini comes down to your choice of ingredients”
Dr. David Clutton, one of the distilling experts behind No.3 Gin, adds: “For a great martini, you need a great gin. You don’t need a whole host of botanicals to make a gin taste good; a good gin has to be built on top-quality juniper. When you drink a martini, you get this lovely, fresh aroma from the juniper, alongside slightly bitter, earthy notes from the angelica. A lot of the aromas and flavour compounds in lemon are also very similar to those found in juniper, making citrus the perfect garnish for a martini. I like to compare it to an orchestra or a choir – all the ingredients are complementary, giving you a longer length of taste.
“You think of the martini as being quite a simple cocktail, but in fact it’s one of the most complex that’s ever been developed. There are so many theories on how it originated and how it should be made, but it’s about what you like to drink personally; what suits you, might not suit everyone else. That’s what makes the martini classic, reliable and a ritual of preparation.”
How to make the perfect martini
From wet to dry, Vespers to Gibsons, there are many ways to create a martini – but the following tips can be applied to level-up almost any style.
For a traditional martini, a high-quality gin is suggested over vodka. No.3 was created by Berry Bros. & Rudd and is the only gin to have been awarded World’s Best Gin four times at the International Spirits Challenge. No. 3 also launched a pre-bottled Vesper Martini last year, created in collaboration with Alessandro Palazzi, containing vodka and vermouth, as well as No.3 Gin.
Martinis are best served cold. To give your martini a silky texture, place your gin in the freezer for at least a few hours to keep it cold.
Never underestimate the importance of ice. Store in a sealed container within the freezer so it doesn’t take on any other flavours.
Forget James Bond, you should always stir your martini. Stirring gives greater control over dilution and avoids aerating the cocktail. If shaken, the end result will be over diluted and cloudy.
Not just there for aesthetic appeal, garnishes add another dimension to your cocktail. A twist of lemon, when expressed over the top of your martini, adds a lovely citrus aroma as the oils sit atop the cocktail and dominate the final mouthful.
Rosé Martini Recipe
A twist on a classic martini, Ross Bryant, Brand Ambassador of No.3 Gin has created a sweeter riff on the cocktail, with Lustau Rose vermouth and a twist of pink grapefruit.
Rosé Martini Recipe
- Chilled martini glass
- 60 ml No.3 Gin
- 20 ml Lustau Rose Vermouth
- A twist of pink grapefruit to garnish
- Add the gin and vermouth to a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled martini glass.
- Garnish with a twist of pink grapefruit.
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