Sunday, 7 July 2013

The Perfect Summer Martini(s)

This weekend has been so, so hot. I did have a beach trip planned, but had to cancel last minute to dog-sit these little cuties...

I didn't mind all that much... We've been on some nice long walks around Old Sarum and Stonehenge, coming back gasping for something cool and refreshing. Something like my Perfect Summer Martinis.They're delicious, fresh, and best of all can be whipped up in minutes, perfect for a summer barbecue or picnic. I made an Earl Grey Martini (inspired by my recent trip to Jamie's) and a Strawberry Basil Martini, but I'll give you some more ideas at the end.

The Earl Grey Martini

What you'll need:
For each Martini:

  • 50 ml Gin 
  • 25 ml (ish) Lemon Juice
  • 25 ml (ish) Earl Grey Simple Syrup
  • Cucumber
  • Ice
  • Something to shake it in...
To make the syrup:

Simple syrup, or Gomme is used in a hell of a lot of cocktails. Luckily, it's incredibly easy to make. Simply mix equal measures of caster sugar and water in a small pan, and heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then allow to cool before use. You can make it in larger quantities as it will keep for ages. Just pop it in a sealed bottle and chuck it in your drinks cupboard. 
To make the Earl Grey Syrup I used 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar and 4 teabags. Once the syrup is hot, pop in your teabags and leave to infuse for a few minutes. Then remove and allow the syrup to cool.

To make the cocktails:

Unfortunately my cocktail shaker is packed away somewhere amongst my uni possessions, and so I had to resort to the trusty jam-jar. It works just as well though (they're also great if you want to pre-prepare cocktails, as you can add all the ingredients except the ice and pop in the fridge/on the barbecue table and then people can add ice and shake as they want them. Great for a garden party...). 

1. Pop some ice in your cocktail shaker/jam jar, and add 50 ml of Gin 

2. Squeeze in some lemon 

3. Add your simple syrup and a few slices of cucumber (the cucumber adds a nice freshness), then shake it like a polaroid picture.

It's hard to get a good picture of that bit...

4. Strain into your Martini glass and garnish with a slice of lemon. 

Mmm. Tastes so British. I bet the Queen is tucking into one of these right now (She definitely reads my blog...). 

Some people suggest infusing the gin with the teabags for a while, but anyone who knows tea knows it's best infused in something boiling, and leaving it for too long will result in a really bitter drink. I gave it a go anyway, for experimentations sake and my way is definitely better. Just saying...

The Strawberry Basil Martini (Strawbasiltini?)

Ooh look at those colours...

What you'll need:
For each Martini:

  • 50 ml Gin (or Vodka)
  • A handful of Strawberries
  • 5-6 Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Ice

I'm lucky enough to have lots of fresh herbs growing in my garden in these pretty boxes, but you can easily pick some up from the supermarket. 

1. Pop your strawberries, basil and syrup in a glass, and muddle (mash - think pestle and mortar action). Again my cocktail stuff is packed somewhere, so I just used the bottom of a juicer. Fancy right? Keep going until it's all slushed together. 

2. Add your gin

At this point you can leave it to infuse for a bit, or carry on if you want it now. I like to add in a tiny bit of lemon juice too, but just a tiny bit, but it's up to you...

3. Add ice, shake furiously and then strain into your glass. Garnish with a strawberry or some basil leaves. 


As I said, you can make this in tons of flavours. Here's a few more ideas that all follow a basic shake (with lots of ice) and strain method. 

The Strawberry Mint Martini
  • Very similar to the Strawberry Basil, just but with fresh mint instead. Use 50 ml Vodka instead of Gin.
The English Garden Martini
This is one of my absolute favourites for an evening barbecue. This works best if you muddle the mint and lime like a Mojito first, but you can just squeeze and shake.  
  • 50 ml Gin
  • Squeeze of Lime
  • 20ml Elderflower Cordial
  • 5-6 mint leaves
  • A few cucumber slices
  • 25ml Pressed Apple Juice (not from concentrate)
The Lemon-grass and Ginger Martini
SO, SO DELICIOUS. And kind of Martini's go..
  • 50 ml Gin
  • 12.5 ml Vermouth
  • Chunk of Fresh Ginger Root (thumbnail size)
  • Fresh Lemon-grass stem (chopped)
  • 20 ml Honey, or Simple Syrup (honey works best)
  • 20 ml Pressed apple juice
Muddle the ginger, lemongrass and honey. Add everything else, shake and strain. You can also use half an apple and muddle it with the first ingredients, if you're feeling super dedicated. 

Now, off to sunbathe. It's almost Martini time, right?

No comments:

Post a Comment