A Martin Miller’s Gin martini

I first collected a bottle of this gin in Madrid airport duty free. The unusual branding caught my eye. Made with pure Icelandic water with a traditional English gin technique, it sits in a tall, proud-looking bottle with straight lines and clean imagery. There are strong maritime tones to the bottles appearance.

  
The gin has a crisp, dry flavour that you can lose in a gin and tonic (make sure you choose a tonic that does the gin justice). In a martini, however, I thought it went very well.

It has a smokey-smooth character, not too strong on juniper, or indeed any botanicals, which helped make a subtle but simultaneously bold martini.

  
To hark to its Nordic links you could drink it around mid-summer (midsommar), or mid-winter, but to be honest it would work at any time of year. Like most classic martinis it will go well with seafood but there’s something about this gin which makes me want to pair it with smoked things in particular – fish or meat. 

  
It also went down very nicely in the smokey air as we waited for steaks to cook on our fire pit. Despite the beautiful sunset it was freezing up in the Hebrides when we drank this, but we kept warm with the strong spirits inside us as we stood around the fire. 

  
Feeling a little bit merry, I went for a nice wander in the trees shortly after. A lovely end to the day.

Swedish akvavit

It’s Christmas time and last night I decided to have a non-martini drink. I’ve previously mentioned my liking for akvavit for midsommar, but I also like it during the winter (to keep warm).
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I put some miniature bottles of akvavit (from Ikea) in the freezer for a day, then served them in heavy glasses and a single spherical ice cube. I like all the different infusions, as it adds a bit of variety to my normal gin diet.

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Skål och god jul!

The Frukostini (the Swedish breakfast martini)

The classic martini will always be my favourite, but of the non-classics, I think this is definitely one of the tastiest (even if it looks slightly alarming).

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The breakfast martini was invented by Salvatore Calabrese in the Lanesborough hotel in London. It involves gin, marmalade, lemon juice and Cointreau or Triple Sec. However, I’ve had some lingonberry jam in my fridge from my last Ikea trip which I thought might make a nice substitute for the marmalade. My imagination went from there.
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I muddled two teaspoons of jam with a laaaaaarge measure of gin (let’s say 3-4 measures). I then poured it into a frozen martini glass and topped up with some wild berry Swedish Rekorderlig cider.

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I dubbed this concoction of Swedish jam, British gin and Swedish cider the Swedish breakfast martini, or… more aptly, the Frukostini (frukost is the Swedish word for breakfast).

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To garnish, I made some toast, cut out a triangle, made a small slit with a knife, and spread on some of the jam.

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And then I drank it. And it was good.

Of course, it doesn’t need to be breakfast time when you drink these…

It reminds me just a little bit of Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development.

“Get me a vodka rocks.”
“Mom, it’s breakfast.”
“And a piece of toast.”

My favourite Arrested Development character.

https://www.drinkaware.co.uk

Skål!