Finding something original for this month’s Mixology Monday Challenge, “almost, but not quite, a Martini“, was somewhat of a difficult task. The Martini is such a popular cocktail that it already inspired hundreds of variations (and I am not talking about the abominations that don’t bear much resemblance to the gin and dry vermouth classic, other than the glass they are served in). For example, The Savoy Cocktail Book contains endless variations on this theme that only differ by dashes of various ingredients, from bitters to curaçao, grenadine, or absinthe… I picked eau-de-vie as my inspiration. Aside from calvados, these fruit brandies are seldom used in cocktails, although they make great accents thanks to their powerful flavor. The Death & Co Cocktail Book, which I’ve been mixing from rather extensively in the past few months, contains a few of interesting recipes with pear brandy that encouraged me to go in that direction.
Plum Blossom Martini
2 oz Tanqueray Old Tom
1 oz Dolin dry vermouth
barspoon Etter aged plum brandy
I went with the classic martini template, gin and dry vermouth in a 2:1 ratio, that I accented with a barspoon of aged plum eau-de-vie. Plum was the obvious choice as plum trees are in bloom all over San Diego right now, so this felt very much in line with the current local vibe. I wanted the eau-de-vie to shine so I went with a gin that is delicately restrained, Tanqueray Old Tom.
My thanks to Dagreb for hosting the challenge this month, and Fred for coordinating the event.