The dress? Check. Louboutins? Check. Good company? Check check check. All ready for the party except the drinks! There will be champagne of course and this year we are drinking Louis Roederer Brut 1er Cru but how about a hint of old school Hollywood glamour thrown in the mix?
I’m thinking of vodka martinis. Easy, simple, and in an instant you’ll be taken back to the glamour and glitz of 50’s Hollywood era. Imagine yourself as Marlin Monroe, decked out in sparkling diamonds, sipping martini at the party in Savoy hotel in 1956…
This cocktail had its heyday throughout the three decades of 1950’s to 1970’s. When Hollywood stars and bohemia like Ernest Hemingway, Marlene Dietrich, David Niven and Humphrey Bogart were seen drinking martinis on and off screen, everyone wanted to drink it as well. But no one has done more for the classic martini than James Bond with his famous “shaken not stirred” gin martini.
A shaker or stirring glass
A bar spoon (a teaspoon will do)
A strainer glass
A martini glass
2 parts of very good quality vodka (I use the Grey Goose, Belvedere or U’lovka)
1/3 part chilled extra dry vermouth
Optional: dash of orange bitters, olive brine
To garnish: Lemon zest or olive
How to make it:
Chill your martini glass -the easiest way is to fill it with ice but you can just put them in to the fridge for 30 min.Fill your shaker or stirring glass with plenty of ice, add vermouth and stir to make sure the ice is coated with vermouth. Strain the excess of vermouth and ice water leaving coated ice in the shaker. Add the vodka and stir for about 30 seconds to chill and dilute the drink (You can do shaken martini just like in the movie but in reality you may end up with a drink, which is too watery. That’s why I prefer to stir rather than shake dry martini).
Now strain your cocktail into the chilled martini glass and garnish the drink with a twist of lemon peel or green olive.
If you prefer gin rather then vodka just swap the vodka for the best gin you can afford. You can also add some of the olive brine to make your drink a bit more savory- that would be the Dirty Martini.
Here is Jamie Oliver’s way how to make the lemon twist (and it’s the best way I’ve seen so far) ”…cut a long piece of zest (around 8 to 10cm), then tightly wind it around a straw or the handle of a teaspoon. Remove your straw or spoon and you’ll be left with a spiral.” Brilliant!