Mastering The Martini: A Holiday Martini Roundup
Happy Holidays everyone. Hopefully your Thanksgiving was amazing. We did the usual split-family tradition spending time at my family’s house and then on to my In-Laws. We didn’t even need the alcohol to make it through this time haha. Anyway, a few weeks back one of our favorite brands of gin Bombay Sapphire reached out to us about some amazing variations of the classic martini they had been working on. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a huge martini guy, but I know a lot of our readers are. We get flooded with emails asking for recipe suggestions and if you could believe it, Martini’s are in the top 3 request. What’s up with that? I mean I get it, over the years we’ve had James Bond, Carrie Bradshaw, and Don Draper all trying to convince us Martini’s are the sh*t so it must be true right? The cool thing about the martini is it’s probably one of if not thee most versatile of all the classics. Mastering the Martini is all about how you interpret or prefer it.
Do you like it shaken or stirred, up or on the rocks, twisted or dirty. How about dry or extra dry? Maybe you’re feeling fancy and want to infuse some flavors or muddle some fruit juices. There’s so much you can do to make it your own. It’s perfect for any party, especially during the Holidays and you might even convince a stubborn guy like me to try one. Below we’ve shared several recipes, each created by some of the nation’s top bartenders accompanied with a quote on their unique spin on the timeless classic.
- 2 oz Bombay Sapphire
- 2 tsp Cranberry Sauce
- .25 oz dry curaçao
- .25 oz cinnamon syrup
- 1 dash five spice bitters (Bar Keep)
- “The Martini was called ‘the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet’ by H.L. Menken. and, although the classic recipe involves only gin and vermouth, in the American spirit of invention, the cocktail can be experimented with to no end. In light of the holidays, The Yuletide Martini takes inspiration from some of the brighter flavors of the holidays, and incorporates cranberry, orange and spices to evoke the feeling of holiday spirit. E.B. White called the martini the ‘elixir of quietude,’ and this martini is meant to be just that: a quiet moment to be found in the hectic rush of the holiday season. Cheers.” – Created by Bombay Sapphire Denver’s Most Imaginative Bartender Winner, Tacy Rowland of Bol in Denver.
- 1.75oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
- 1 oz spiced rum
- 1 scoop Hazelnut ice cream
- 0.5oz cherry liquor
- Jerry Thomas bitter
Pour all the ingredients into a shaker except the bitter and cinnamon, then shake with no ice, just with a strainer cord, the ice cream will melt into the drink chilling it out perfectly, getting creamy and ready for some cinnamon grated on top and Jerry Thomas bitter.
“It’s a delicious martini-style cocktail perfect for Christmas, with hazelnut notes and cloves, all surrounded with cinnamon aroma, cherries, and vanilla from the rum. It’s a cold blend that has a floral body from the Bombay Sapphire Gin, that warms you up in the cold. It is also perfect for a summery Christmas on a fantastic tropical island. Enjoy responsibly! Salute!” –Created by Bombay Sapphire NY’s Most Imaginative Bartender Winner, Vincenzo Cangemi of Ovest Pizzoteca & Bar in NYC.
- 1.5 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
- .75 oz. fino sherry
- .75 oz. Martini Rossi Bianco
- 3 dashes bitter truth celery bitters
—Created by Bombay Sapphire SF’s Most Imaginative Bartender Winner, Brian Means of Dirty Habit in SF
- 1.5 oz Bombay Sapphire
- 0.75 oz Noilly Pratt Ambre Vermouth
- 0.5 oz Benedictine liqueur
- 2 dashes of Orange bitters.
- Garnish: A toasted orange swath.
Method: Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice and stir about 30 times. Strain into a cocktail coupe. Peel off a swath from an orange. Before you express it over the cocktail, take a match and flame it to the outside peel of the orange swath until slightly warm and toasted (3-5 seconds). Express by squeezing the sides of the orange peel near the lighted match over the cocktail. A light spark should appear as the oils of the orange peel escape. Set peel in the glass as garnish.
This is a holiday spin-off of the usual Martini by mingling holiday flavors of sugar and spice and everything nice. We got the wonderful citrus notes from the orange bitters and the toasted orange swath which pairs well with the spice from the Benedictine and Bombay Sapphire gin. The Noilly Pratt Ambre vermouth helps balance the two flavors together to harmonize on your palate. This is a slight play on a martini predecessor called the Martinez. – Created by Juyoung Kang of BLVD Cocktail Company in Las Vegas.
- 2 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
- .5 oz Nigori sake
- .5 oz Manzanilla Sherry (or another dry sherry)
- 2 dashes Orange bitters
- 1 drop Vanilla extract
- * Stir over ice, Strain into a coupe/martini glass, garnish with a Lemon and Grapefruit peel.
“The Martini parented many of the drinks we know and enjoy today. This winter sipper takes one of its classic variations, the Tuxedo (which uses dry sherry in place of dry vermouth), and adds a little unfiltered sake, which gives it a nutty finish, round mouth-feel, and the appearance of snow. It’s brightened up with some citrus oil and vanilla extract, and is sure to warm you up while wearing your suit & tie during your next holiday family gathering.” – Created by Bombay Sapphire Austin’s Most Imaginative Bartender Winner 2014, Justin Lavenue of Austin’s The Half Step Bar.
- 2 oz plum win
- 1 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin.75 oz cranberry juice
- 3 drops of orange bitters
- 3 lime wedges
- 2 bar spoons of Demerrara sugar
Muddle lime and sugar in glass. Add rest of ingredients. Shake well and strain into Martini Glass. Top with lime wheel with dried cranberries — Created by Bombay Sapphire Miami’s Most Imaginative Bartender Winner, Philip Khandehrish of The Setai Bar in Miami.