In honor of it finally being Friday and almost being Saturday, I have decided today, as I am ready for a drink at happy hour already, I will give you my secret recipe for the “New Dirty Martini”.
As those close to me know, vodka to me is terrible. Bless those who can down the stuff, because I cannot take one sip, or whiff, of the stuff without getting shivers down my spine.
It could be due to my college days when I would drink nothing but a “vodka, soda”. OMG It’s Low in Calories! No Sugar! I still get a buzz on! Whatever. Now, it’s ruined for me. I pretty much stick to tequila, bourbon and scotch. Tequila more in the summer/warm months, and bourbon/scotch in the colder months. Don’t know why I do this but I just love a Knob Creek when it’s cold out, and well, tequila get’s the party started, especially when I’m throwing them back like a Pro New Yorker (which I always wish I was: wannabe).
One summer evening while the BBQ was on and we had just gotten back from the beach, I, for some reason wanted a martini. I could have made a tequila one, but I thought that could be a bit too dangerous, so I pulled down the Tito’s handle that has been sitting on top of my fridge since our last party, or was it the one before that? I can’t remember.
As I opened the bottle, trying not to smell the stuff, I thought, ‘What would make this taste good?” We had just grown basil in the garden and as per usual, I had an overstock of lemons sitting on my kitchen counter–which usually end up going bad because I buy so many for some reason. Basil and Lemon. Okay that’s good.
As I used my jigger to pour the perfect portion of vodka into my shaker, I held my breath, desperately trying not to have it ruined for me before I could even try it. I balled up some basil from the garden and put it in the palm of my hand and smacked it, letting the oils from the leaf leak out, creating this amazing aroma of fresh basil– dropping it in the shaker. I didn’t want lemon juice because I didn’t want a sour drink, I wanted it to be refreshing, I peeled the rind into little strips and gently–with the skin facing the inside of the shaker squeezed the edges together releasing the zest and then dropping the peels into my ingredients.
Thinking this wouldn’t be enough to mask the aroma of the vodka for my first try at this spirit again, I grabbed my quinine cordial, an amazing cordial made by Hendrick’s. I measured a 1/2 oz. and added it to my tin. With the addition of ice, and a good seal, I shook the shit out of it to liven the citrus notes I had added.
After straining it into my martini glass, I slapped a basil leaf and laid it on top of the drink; but to me it wasn’t finished just yet. I needed something else in it to create a different texture. I grabbed the olive oil that I caught out of the corner of my eye, thinking basil, lemon, olive oil? Sounds like an Italian’s life. I drizzled it on top and finally, took a sip of this vodka concoction.
To my surprise, I absolutely loved it! I was so thrilled with the fact that I could take down vodka and not make that sour puss face as I did it, the face you commonly see in bars when people order shots.
Recipe: The New Dirty Martini
2 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Quinine Cordial (optional, I have tried it without this and it is still wonderful)
2 Basil Leaves – “Ball and Slap”
2 Lemon Peels – Zest and add to shaker ( you can also add a squeeze of lemon if you wish)
Strain into martini shaker.
Basil leaf for garnish
Drizzle desired amount of olive oil on top
The Naked Bohemian