I’m always shocked by the way that an orange peel or a lemon peel can transform the experience of drinking a mixed drink from something mundane to something magical. In a similar vein, eating the olive in a martini will totally transform the imbiber’s perception of the drink. So this Mixology Monday, let’s really make a study of art of the garnish, by mixing up drinks where the garnish plays a central role in the experience of the drink… This type of garnish is traditionally in the realm of tiki, but you could mix anything, so long as the garnish is the star of the show.
When I read this month’s theme, I was reminded of a dinner party we had a couple of summer’s ago. It was a great ode to the the bounty of summer. On the first course, I paired some soft-ripened cheese (Seal Bay Triple Cream, mmmmm), fresh fig, walnut, and a drizzle of orange blossom honey with a summer edition martini.
(Above two photos circa 2010 courtesy of Michael Thrash)
The only thing that changed about this classic cocktail was the garnish. However, the way the it changed the feel and ambiance of the drink was dramatic enough that we are still talking about how it set the stage for the following courses. I think that the garnish really became the central player and the fact that it was in a really well known cocktail, and essentially recreated the drink experience, makes it a perfect fit for the Garnish Grandiloquence.
So even though it didn’t evoke the essence of fall, it did remind us again of summer and inspired us to add some flowers to our Thanksgiving dinner.
2 oz Gin (We like Hendricks)
1/4 oz Dry Vermouth (We prefer Dolin Dry Vermouth, but for this rendition we used Vya Dry which is nice as well)
1 dash (or 1/4 tsp) Orange Bitters (We used some homemade orange bitters, but really enjoy Scrappy’s Orange Bitters in Martinis)
Peel of Lemon
Stir in a mixing glass with ice until nice and chilled.
Discard the peel. Garnish with an edible flower.
The flowers are easily the focus of this drink and really add something special to the martini.