First off, gin. Anything else isn’t a martini in my books. Sorry vodka. Not sorry sour apple gross juice.
When I teach my cocktails class, the recipes and lessons focus the three central tenets of cocktail making:
- A good cocktail is a mixture of strong alcohol.
- You drink just one cocktail. Not two and certainly not a series of them all evening.
- As such, a cocktail should be refreshing and bracing. It should make you do a combination shiver/shudder that wakes up all your senses.
A Tansey martini will be ice cold, very strong and balanced. It’s a balm for a bad day, a sizzle to kick off a party evening, a celebration drink, a sad drink, a glad drink and an ordinary one. It cures a bad back (at least temporarily), settles an upset tummy (seriously) and makes me smile inside and out. My dad taught me how to make them decades ago and I’ve been tweaking the recipe ever since. Here’s my current version. For much more, how to add an optional whisky wash and a live how-to, watch this episode of the 20-Minute Cooking School.
- 3 oz gin, ice-cold (keep the bottle in the freezer)
- 1 oz dry white vermouth, very cold (keep the bottle in the fridge)
- 2 to 4 drops orange bitters
- Combine gin, vermouth and bitters in a shaker filled with ice. Shake or stir then strain into a martini glass.