The Harris Lavender Martini


Our journey into the joys of the Martini continues this week, an ongoing exploration of the world’s most famous gin cocktail. We’ve looked at some of the history and key terminology, the importance of ice and the Martini’s role in enjoying good food.

We’ve also shared exciting new recipes, made in collaboration with some of our favourite bars and restaurants across the UK. We have more of these to come and hope that by now you’re feeling inspired enough to start making and mixing your own versions at home.
 
The Martini is an incredibly personal drink, one man’s preference might be another woman’s poison, but half the fun is discovering what you like and how you like it. So, with just a few items and ingredients, you can set up your own Martini bar at home and start experimenting.


   


Firstly, you’ll need a good gin, the foundation of all good Martinis, so choose the best quality spirit you can afford and make sure it’s one you love. Obviously, we recommend Isle of Harris Gin with its London Dry style, just perfect for this classic cocktail.
 
Then you’ll need a bottle of Dry Vermouth, essentially a fortified wine aromatised with a variety of herbs and spices. If you’re just starting out, you can use the easy to find and affordable Martini Extra Dry or Noilly Prat Original Dry brands. We also like Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambéry which you can find online.
 
Finally, you’ll need a few garnishes to play with. Plump, unwaxed lemons would be a good start, some fresh, green Spanish olives (the ones stuffed with pimento work well), and perhaps a jar of good pickled onions for making a traditional Gibson.


   
 
Equipment wise, you'll need some glasses, the classic v-shaped ones will serve you well to begin. A Japanese mixing glass is essential, a simple vessel to stir and chill your spirit in. Then add a jigger to measure, a teardrop bar spoon to do the stirring with and finally a strainer, either Julep or Hawthorn style.

That’s it, you’re good to go!

Next week, we’ll share a very simple recipe and take you through the basic techniques involved in making a Martini step by step. Meantime, we’re delighted to share the latest collaboration in our project, this time with Anastasia Mourgela from The 158 Club Lounge at Hutchesons City Grill in Glasgow.
 
Ana’s new Harris Lavender Martini reminds us of the fragrant machair flowers which bloom here in the Outer Hebrides each summer and connects our Isle of Harris Gin to the land in a simple and subtle creation. Discover the recipe and more about Hutchesons City Grill, a wonderful restaurant set within a beautiful listed building in heart of the city’s historic Merchant City, over on the dedicated Martini page.

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The Harris Lavender Martini Recipe


Our thanks to Anastasia Mourgela, Amie Duncan and James Rusk at Hutchesons City Grill.

Hutchesons City Grill, 158 Ingram Street, Glasgow G1 1EJ / www.hutchesonsglasgow.com

Photography by Brian Sweeney / www.sweeneypix.com

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