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  • Writer's pictureDrunk as Lords

Perfect Summer Martini


Perfect martini
Photo: Hayman's of London

If you are a vodka martini sort then it really doesn’t matter too much what brand you use, provided that it doesn’t burn like battery acid. If you drink real martinis, on the other hand, the choice of gin matters. A lot. These days gins range across the drunken spectrum from “almost vodka” through “botanical” and “floral” before ending up at “soul-kiss a Christmas tree.”


The trick in making a great martini is to be vaguely Buddhist about the exercise and choose the Middle Way.


So it was that Captain Bill came over for a test run. I’ve sailed with Bill for years, and his martini was featured in my book, Drunk as Lords so he knows his way around a shaker. We were discussing an upcoming regatta we weren’t going to and, due to a crack in the Arkabutla damn, the club hasn’t even got a lake in which to sail at home. Which is depressing and pretty much explains why we’d gotten into the martinis.


My go-to right now for gin is Hayman’s of London, they make a near-perfect London Dry. They are the are the good people who single-handedly rescued the Old Tom style of gin from historic obscurity. It’s an interesting style that makes a nice change for soda or tonic, but it doesn’t really work with a martini. A bottle of Hayman’s Vibrant Citrus, on the other hand, makes a near perfect one.


The website tells me that it’s bursting with kumquat, Persian lime, pomelo and mandarin. And who am I to argue, It is certainly bursting with something. We went with a roughly 5:1 ratio with a fresh bottle of vermouth. I say roughly because it may have been closer to 6:1, shaken, with a pimento stuffed olive. The bleu cheese stuffed olive, is swell, but makes the drink murky. We tried a second one with a twist, and it was super clean but you have to really like citrus.


The general rule of thumb with a martini, even a perfect one, is that it is like a breast: one is not enough, three is too many. We had too many before heading in to eat a pile of éttouffé to soak up the handy work.


Then we returned to the martinis – this was ill-advised. Although, in my defense, you simply cannot pass out in your own bed. That’s called going to sleep.

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