The Martini Project
Here at the Isle of Harris Distillery, we love an Isle of Harris Gin Martini. We believe it's the perfect way to enjoy the smooth and complex purity of our spirit, while at the same time adding a sense of sophistication and occasion to the mix.
The Martini is perhaps the simplest of all mixed drinks, consisting of just three ingredients: Gin, Dry Vermouth and a garnish. To those who know, it is consider a true classic, with legendary bartender Dale DeGroff confidently calling it “the king of cocktails.”
It’s a drink with a long history, its true origins long lost in time, but boasting a reputation stretching back at least 100 years. Over many decades, the Martini has been found at the heart of all manner of cultural hedonism, being enjoyed by icons of literature, music, stage, screen, politics and the serious drinking classes alike.
The writer and satirist H. L. Mencken called it “the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet."
From the turn of the 20th Century the likes of Roosevelt, Churchill, Bogart, Sexton, Chandler, WC Fields, Sinatra, Dorothy Parker, Hemingway, Hitchcock, Bette Davis, Bond, Gable, Wilde, the Mad Men and Women of Madison Avenue and more…all swore by the powers of a well-made Martini.
But for such a seemingly simple drink, it demands the greatest care and, indeed, respect. Served in the traditional conical glass, the calm, clear liquid belies the fact that this is a serving of strong spirit, a long pour of hard liquor.
As Dorothy Parker was once (erroneously) quoted as saying, “I like to have a Martini, two at the very most, after three I'm under the table, after four I'm under my host."
Personal preference also becomes paramount, how do you like yours? Wet, dry, very dry, perfect, up or on the rocks, shaken or stirred, dirty, with a twist, with one olive or two, perhaps served as Gibson or Vesper varieties? The permutations are, almost, endless.
However a Martini is made, the fact remains that there is little place for the gin to hide and that the quality of the spirit used will, for the most part, determine how good or bad the final drink will be.
We believe our Isle of Harris Gin is best exemplified in this purest of forms, by this historic, classic cocktail where the spirit is the star.
As part of The Martini Project we have been working with some of the best bartenders in the UK to showcase the many beautiful permutations of this wonderful drink, created especially for us by some of our favourite people and places.
From the legendary Alessandro Palazzi, the Martini maestro of Mayfair, and Rob Simpson of Michelin-starred The Clove Club in London, to Stewart Thomson of Glasgow's Bib Gourmand-winning Ox & Finch and beyond, we have some incredible mixes and recipes to share with you.
Join us here every week from Friday 16th February 2018 onwards for a new recipe as we explore the multiple pleasures of the Isle of Harris Gin Martini...