Posts Tagged ‘martini’

Years ago, I gave my self an important research project: Create your own version of the perfect espresso martini.

It took painstaking research, which required drinking many espresso martinis in many a bar on my travels.

My favorite version came from a bartender working at Knave, the lobby bar at the at Le Parker Meridien Hotel in New York City. It featured Coole Swan, an Irish cream liqueur I had never tried-or heard of-before. The bartender was nice enough to write down the recipe for me, but I guess I had a little too much to drink…because I lost it! So it was up to me to use those brain cells I didn’t fry and come up with my own combination.

A lot of mixing late into the night, and I came up with what I consider to be my perfect espresso martini. As the marines say: “There are many like it, but this one is mine.”

 

Alz Espresso martini

My espresso martini

 

 

3 oz. good quality vodka, like Belvedere
3 oz. freshly brewed espresso
1.5 oz. Kahlua
1.5 oz. Coole Swan

 

Chill your martini glasses. Pour all the ingredients into a large shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into chilled glasses.

This recipe makes 2 martinis. Let me tell ya…this tasted as good the first time as it did several martinis later! I’ve found that using a high-end vodka really does make a difference in the quality and taste of the martini…as does brewing your espresso just before assembling the drink.

Recently, studies have found that drinking as little as 2 more cups of coffee a day can reduce cirrhosis of the liver! So why not kill 2 birds with one stone and put coffee in your cocktail?

I love espresso martinis, and my favorite was one that I sampled a years ago at the Le Parker Meridien hotel in New York City. The secret ingredient was an Irish cream liqueur called Coole Swan. Here’s my version of that recipe…

espresso

 

3 oz. good quality vodka, like Belvedere
3 oz. freshly brewed espresso
1.5 oz. Kahlua
1.5 oz. Coole Swan

Chill your martini glasses. Pour all ingredients into a large shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Pour into chilled glasses. Makes 2 martinis.

 

It’s a Leap Year! This weekend, have a sip of the infamous Leap Year Cocktail.

This special drink was created in 1928 by Harry Craddock, who worked at the American Bar in London at that time.

FullSizeRender (2)

 

2 oz. gin (I use Hendrick’s)
1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
1/2 oz. sweet vermouth (I use Antica Formula)
1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice

 

Combine all the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a twist of lemon.

Cheers!

With “Spectre” in theaters right now, it seems appropriate to bring this recipe back.
At first, it seemed almost silly to try to make one…but the classic James Bond martini has always fascinated me. I’m not talking about the clichéd Sean Connery “vodka martini, shaken, not stirred.”  I’m talking about the real James Bond martini, which appeared in Ian Fleming’s first 007 novel “Casino Royale” and only appeared in the most recent “Casino Royale” motion picture starring Daniel Craig.
Bondtini
To quote the novel:
‘A dry martini,’ he said. ‘One. In a deep champagne goblet.’ ‘Oui, monsieur.’ ‘Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s (gin), one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet.  Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?’ ‘Certainly, monsieur.’ The barman seemed pleasant with the idea. ‘Gosh that’s certainly a drink,’ said Leiter. 
Bond laughed. ‘When I’m … er … concentrating.’ he explained, ‘I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink’s my own invention. I’m going to patent it when I can think of a good name.’ 
He watched carefully as the deep glass became frosted with the pale golden drink, slightly aerated by the bruising of the shaker. He reached for it and took a long sip. 
‘Excellent,’ he said to the barman, ‘but if you can get a vodka made with grain instead of potatoes, you will find it still better.’ 

To quote the movie: http://youtu.be/Vc7n7yyXWsU

Bond named this drink the Vesper martini, after the character Vesper Lynd, portrayed by Ursula Andress in the 1967 adaptation, and Eva Green in the 2006 adaptation of “Casino Royale.”
My version of this classic drink remains true to the original, though I’ve changed brands due to personal preference. In the novel, Bond just asks for “vodka.” (Of course, this was back in the 1950’s when we didn’t have 100 brands to choose from!) My choice for best-bang-for-the-buck grain vodka is Tito’s: it has just enough of an edge, which is what this drink needs.
Bond asks for Gordon’s gin. I’m partial to Hendrick’s or Bombay Sapphire. Again, in the 50’s, what good British agent wouldn’t drink Gordon’s?
And the original Kina Lillet had its formula changed in the 1980’s to keep up with the times by reducing the quinine, which made it bitter. The French aperitif wine, Lillet, is today’s version: a blend of wine grapes, oranges, orange peels and quinine. Lillet is not a vermouth, though you’ll find it in the vermouth section of your favorite liquor store. Some aficionados claim the martini is just not the same without the original Kina Lillet formulation, but I find that the drink works just fine for me.
ingredients again
So…measurements true to Bond:
3 oz. Hendrick’s or Bombay Sapphire
1 oz. Tito’s
1/2 oz. Lillet
I prefer combining these over ice in a cocktail shaker, and I stir, not shake. I strain it into a chilled martini glass and I skip the lemon peel. I prefer three olives instead…stuffed with garlic, if my wife is away on a business trip!
Cheers!
Bondtini2
A side note: the correct pronunciation of Lillet is Lih-LAY. Grammatically in French, the double-l would make it sound like Lih-YAY. So to keep that from happening, they spelled it Lilet for a while until the French were used to the correct pronunciation, then they went back to Lillet on the bottle.

It’s not a Leap Year this year (next year is), but that doesn’t mean we should wait another year for a taste of a Leap Year Cocktail.

This special drink was created in 1928 by Harry Craddock, who worked at the American Bar in London at that time.

FullSizeRender (2)

 

2 oz. gin

1/2 oz. Grand Marnier

1/2 oz. sweet vermouth

1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice

 

Combine all the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a twist of lemon.

Cheers!

It seemed almost silly to try to make one…but the classic James Bond martini has always fascinated me. I’m not talking about the clichéd Sean Connery “vodka martini, shaken, not stirred.”  I’m talking about the real James Bond martini, which appeared in Ian Fleming’s first 007 novel “Casino Royale” and only appeared in the most recent “Casino Royale” movie starring Daniel Craig.
Bondtini
To quote the novel:
‘A dry martini,’ he said. ‘One. In a deep champagne goblet.’ ‘Oui, monsieur.’ ‘Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s (gin), one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet.  Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?’ ‘Certainly, monsieur.’ The barman seemed pleasant with the idea. ‘Gosh that’s certainly a drink,’ said Leiter. 

Bond laughed. ‘When I’m … er … concentrating.’ he explained, ‘I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink’s my own invention. I’m going to patent it when I can think of a good name.’ 

He watched carefully as the deep glass became frosted with the pale golden drink, slightly aerated by the bruising of the shaker. He reached for it and took a long sip. 

‘Excellent,’ he said to the barman, ‘but if you can get a vodka made with grain instead of potatoes, you will find it still better.’ 

To quote the movie: http://youtu.be/Vc7n7yyXWsU

Bond named this drink the Vesper martini, after a female agent in the story.
My version of this classic drink remains true to the original, though I’ve changed brands due to personal preference. In the novel, Bond just asks for “vodka.” (Of course, this was back in the 1950’s when we didn’t have 100 brands to choose from!) My choice for best-bang-for-the-buck grain vodka is Tito’s: it has just enough of an edge, which is what this drink needs, and it’s half the price of other grain vodkas, like Grey Goose.
Bond asks for Gordon’s gin. I’m partial to Hendrick’s, which adds wonderful floral notes to the drink.
And the original Kina Lillet has had its formula changed in the 1980’s to keep up with the times by reducing the quinine, which made it bitter. The French aperitif wine, Lillet, is today’s version: a blend of wine grapes, oranges, orange peels and quinine. Lillet is not a vermouth, though you’ll find it in the vermouth section of your favorite liquor store. Some aficionados claim the martini is just not the same without the original Kina Lillet formulation, but I find that the drink works just fine for me.
ingredients again
So…measurements true to Bond:
3 oz Hendrick’s
1 oz Tito’s
1/2 oz Lillet
I prefer combining these over ice in a cocktail shaker, and I stir, not shake.
I strain it into a chilled martini glass and I skip the lemon peel. I prefer three olives instead…stuffed with garlic, if my wife is away on a business trip!
Bondtini2
A side note: the correct pronunciation of Lillet is Lih-LAY. Grammatically in French, the double-l would make it sound like Lih-YAY. So to keep that from happening, they spelled it Lilet for a while until the French were used to the correct pronunciation, then they went back to Lillet on the bottle.
Alz Espresso martini

Alz Espresso martini

One of my recent mixology projects was to finally create my own version of the perfect espresso martini…one that has been developed from painstaking research (that means drinking a lot of other espresso martinis.) My favorite local espresso martini here in Rhode Island comes from Asterisk in Newport. They sell thousands of them in the summer season, and part of their success is using freshly brewed espresso. But overall, my favorite espresso martini was one that I sampled a couple of years ago at the Le Parker Meridien Hotel in New York City. It featured an Irish cream liqueur called Coole Swan. The bartender was nice enough to write down the recipe for me, but I guess I had a little too much to drink…because I lost it! So it was up to me to come up with my own combination.   So here it is… ALZ ESPRESSO MARTINI 3 oz. good quality vodka, like Belvedere 3 oz. freshly brewed espresso 1.5 oz. Kahlua 1.5 oz. Coole Swan Chill your martini glasses. Pour all ingredients into a large shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Pour into chilled glasses. Makes 2 martinis. Let me tell ya…this tasted as good the first time as it did several martinis later! I’ve found that using a high-end vodka really does make a difference in the quality and taste of the martini…as does brewing your espresso just before assembling the drink.

A couple more ideas for your foodie Dad this Father’s Day…

Baking Steel: I’ve got a pizza stone for my home oven. But if I want to grill a pizza on the barbecue, a stone will simply crack from the heat. This is the solution: a solid slab of steel that can take the heat and will give your pizza the perfect char on the crust. It’s also great on the grill for fajitas, veggies, anything small that could fall through the cracks of your grill. http://www.bakingsteel.com

Mason jar cocktail shaker: A fun new way for Dad to make his martini. http://www.masonshaker.com

mason jar, baking steel

One of my recent mixology projects was to finally create my own version of the perfect espresso martini…one that has been developed from painstaking research (that means drinking a lot of other espresso martinis.)

My favorite local espresso martini here in Rhode Island comes from Asterisk in Newport. They sell thousands of them in the summer season, and part of their success is using freshly brewed espresso.

But overall, my favorite espresso martini was one that I sampled a couple of years ago at the Le Parker Meridien hotel in New York City. It featured an Irish cream liqueur called Coole Swan. The bartender was nice enough to write down the recipe for me, but I guess I had a little too much to drink…because I lost it! So it was up to me to come up with my own combination.

So here it is…

ALZ ESPRESSO MARTINI

3 oz. good quality vodka, like Belvedere
3 oz. freshly brewed espresso
1.5 oz. Kahlua
1.5 oz. Coole Swan

Chill your martini glasses. Pour all ingredients into a large shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Pour into chilled glasses. Makes 2 martinis.

Let me tell ya…this tasted as good the first time as it did several martinis later!

I’ve found that using a high-end vodka really does make a difference in the quality and taste of the martini…as does brewing your espresso just before assembling the drink.