About this Cocktail
I was looking for some new takes on a classic martini and came across this on Men's Health. It sounded a little weird but as a creation of chef Todd English, I thought it was worth a try. I liked it but I don't think I would recommend it as a solo sipper. The olive oil is much a light flavor than a texture but its quite savory. With a nice cheese plate, olives, etc... I found it to work really well. Here's the back story:
Among cocktail drinkers, there is a stalwart camp that believes a true martini consists of three ingredients, at most: a spirit, vermouth, and maybe a minimalist garnishment. In their eyes, the instant that sugar granules encrust glass rim and fluorescent liquid hits mixing tin, the integrity of the cocktail collapses and it ceases to be a martini.
Look, I get it. I’ll even agree that the day-glo concoctions slung across most bars give true martinis a bad name. But with this olive oil-imbued blend from chef and Chile Olive Oil partner and devotee, Todd English, I see their argument and to them I raise a challenge.
See, most faux-tinis are filled with ingredients that deplete, weaken, and cheapen the cocktail. But this concoction? The additional ingredients in this drink elevate the flavor, the sophistication, and yes, even the health benefits, thanks to the oil’s heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. (How’s that for vice validation?)
Through the addition of citrus and herb accents, English draws out the oil’s natural fruitiness. It’s savory, rich, fresh, and invigorating all at once, but the flavors are so perfectly balanced against one another that it just works.
Now, about the oil: if you’re envisioning a thick slick canvassing the surface, stop. This cocktail wasn’t designed to resemble contaminated Gulf water; here, the olive oil is used as an accent, transforming the drink and delivering a complexity of flavor and richness of body. It tempers the other ingredients’ bright acidity for a well-rounded, clean finish. For that reason, a full-flavored, quality bottle of extra virgin olive oil is critical here. Try to cut corners by using that musty bargain bottle sitting in the back corner of your cabinet and your drink will quickly go from luxuriant to rancid and greasy.
Gentlemen, accept the challenge—you’ll be glad you did. http://www.menshealth.com/guy-gourmet/shake-olive-oil-infused-martini
1 orange segment
3 to5 fresh basil leaves
3 oz vodka (English uses Skyy, but any premium vodka will do)
½ oz dry vermouth
½ oz Cointreau
¼ oz simple syrup
¼ oz extra virgin olive oil
Muddle the orange segment and basil leaves in a mixing tin. Add the vodka, Cointreau, vermouth, simple syrup, olive oil, and ice, and shake well. Strain into a martini glass and float an additional drop of olive oil over the top.