|Nolet's Silver Gin Rose Gimlet Raindrop Cake®: photo courtesy of Nolet's
Cheers to National Martini Day. How could I not partake? A pure, simple, martini has been my favorite cocktail for many a cocktail hour…
In my upcoming book, Finishing Touches: The Art of Garnishing The Cocktail, I included my Duchess Martini. It’s my pleasure to share the classic recipe with you. And the ideal food pairing: oysters.
Anyone who knows me knows my signature drink has been the pure, elegant, straight up martini; a preference I apparently share with Humphrey Bogart, FDR, Clark Gable, and of course, James Bond. (Where are the ladies?)
I drink a vodka martini; for reasons inexplicable, I feel vodka should be potato -- perhaps it’s my father’s Czech heritage or my respect for LiV, the Long Island distillery I discovered working and writing for my book, The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook.
LiV is the first distillery on Long Island since the 1800s; a small batch, crafted spirit that is an example of what can be found in most every locale and region, reflecting a tasty sense of place: a terroir wrought by the soil, water, and distillation.
I keep the potato vodka in the freezer, along with the martini glass, and the Dolin Blanc Vermouth in the refrigerator. Cold is key to the crisp, refreshing flavor of the Duchess martini. Dolin vermouth is preferred because the variety and quality of the botanicals is extraordinarily fresh, flavorful, and smooth. There simply is no substitute. One does not want a sweet or bitter vermouth.
If drinking a gin martini with the gin being very botanical by its character, you can use the Dolin Dry Vermouth.
There is a symphony of martinis that have contributed to this cocktail’s classic status: Dry, Perfect, and Dirty.
My shorthand to make the Duchess Martini is to pour Dolin Blanc vermouth into the frozen martini glass - ⅔ full, swish around to “coat” the sides, and then pour ⅓ vodka.
One can also mix the vodka -- or gin - and vermouth in a cocktail shaker - strain and pour into a frozen martini glass.
Lemon peel, lemon twist as curling ribbon. Those who also adore martinis garnish with the classic Olive. Many enjoy a “dirty martini” adds a splash of olive brine along with the olive garnish. There was a time when I enjoyed a Gibson martini and it’s cocktail, pearl onion garnish. The briny onion pickled in turmeric offers a savory, umami note of flavor.
Almonds -- good-for-you-healthy, nuts. There are endless varieties of almonds, from straight-away salted or unsalted, to my favorite: salted and roasted Spanish marcona almonds.
|Image: Courtesy of Getty
Local, seasonal oysters, presented on a silver or glass platter with an ice and rock salt base is a sensual, visual seduction. For a cleaner look, there are also special serving platters that can be cooled enough to keep the oysters cold; no ice needed.
Enjoy the oysters with a purist’s sense: a fresh squeeze of lemon. It marries up to the martini lemon garnish, as well.
Serve the oysters with a light mignonette sauce - it complements - not overwhelms the oyster experience. Don’t mask the taste of the pristine oysters (that red sauce is a “no”).
The purity of the martini matched with the purity of the oysters is unparalleled elegance.
- 1/2 cup minced shallots (about 2 1/2 ounces)
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon of sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon of local sea salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoon of finely crushed white peppercorns (more flavorful than a pre-ground or powdered white pepper)
Peel and coarsely chop the shallots. You can put them into a food processor and pulse a few times, until the shallots are finely minced.
Place the minced shallots and any liquid released from them in a glass bowl. Add the white wine vinegar, and sugar and salt. Stir. Add freshly crushed white pepper. Stir. Let stand for 30 minutes or more to allow the flavors to fuse.
Serve cold in a small glass creamer pitcher to allow guests to either pour directly onto the elegant or provide a small cocktail spoon to get the sauce onto the “self-serve” oysters from a decorative ramekin. Guests can pick up the glamorous oysters and slurp the salty oyster meat while recounting the history of the half shell along with the mollusk as an aphrodisiac (psst - it’s true, oysters trigger sex hormones, especially spring harvests).
Another terrific martini recipe served up by NOLET -- NOLET’S Rose Gimlet Raindrop Cake®
is a whimsical, extraordinary cocktail couture.
NOLET’s Rose Gimlet Raindrop Cake®, is a perfect twist on a typical martini!
The creators of the popular Raindrop Cake have created the first-ever booze infused version of the cake, made with a NOLET’S Silver Gin martini in mind. So, instead of drinking a martini, try making the NOLET’S Rose Gimlet Raindrop Cake® to celebrate the holiday.
NOLET’S Rose Gimlet Raindrop Cake®
- 1/4 cup NOLET’S Silver Gin
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 3/4 teaspoon agar
- 1/8 cup granulated sugar
- 75ml Rose Extract
- Small edible rose petals
- Small dome silicone mold
1. Boil water in small pot
2. Sprinkle in agar and stir until completely dissolved
3. Add granulated sugar stir until dissolved
4. Add Rose extract and stir
5. Remove pot from heat and let cool for 10 mins
6. Pour mixture into mold
7. Place rose petals
8. Chill and set for at least 2 hours
9. Un-mold, serve and enjoy!