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Dry, wet, dirty, stirred, shaken, gin, vodka, olives, onions or twist: The martini may be the most subjective of cocktails amongst patrons, and most feel that their preference is the only way the drink should be enjoyed. Iconic as it may be, I’ve personally never found the original especially compelling, which is why it’s refreshing to see a variation that features its gin backbone while also adding a unique blend of modifiers to bring out the best of the spirit’s flavor.

With the Brooklyn VIP at Brooklyn’s pioneering Clover Club, bartender Ivy Mix wanted to create a lighter martini on the rocks that properly framed the lavender, juniper and intense citrus notes of Brooklyn Gin. With all of that citrus, Ivy went for a funky Velvet Falernum to provide contrast and a bit of baking spice, as well as a Fino sherry for salinity and dashes of rose water and absinthe to give the drink a more floral character.

The rose water definitely stands out, as does the citrus from both the gin and grapefruit-peel garnish, but overall this cocktail is incredibly pleasurable to drink. Would it please every martini drinker? Probably not, for those who believe there should only be a few molecules of vermouth — if that — in their martini, but for its balance, complexity and adventure, I think this drink would win over anyone daring enough to take a chance.

Martini Recipe

Serving: 1 cocktail

Ingredients
2 ounces Plymouth Gin
1 ounce Dolin Dry Vermouth
1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients into a chilled mixing glass.
  2. Stir with cracked ice for 20 seconds and strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  3. Garnish with a lemon twist or olive.

Brooklyn VIP Cocktail Recipe

Serving: 1 cocktail

Ingredients
2 ounces Brooklyn Gin
1/2 ounce Dolin Dry Vermouth
1/2 ounce Lustau Puerto Fino Sherry
1/2 ounce Velvet Falernum
Dash of rose water
Dash of absinthe

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients into a chilled mixing glass. Add in the twist of one lemon, but discard the peel.
  2. Stir with cracked ice for 20 seconds and strain into a chilled rocks glass with a solid cube.
  3. Garnish with a grapefruit disc.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

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