Gin and Tonic advice courtesy of @GinMonkeyUK

This isn’t a standard martini post but the Gin Monkey very kindly gave me some advice on tonic water for those of you who would like some guidance for making G&Ts. I don’t drink G&Ts very frequently anymore but they were my drink of choice before I discovered the simplistic power of a martini.

  • Her basic rule for tonic is to stay away from artificial sugars and slimline at all costs.
  • Make sure it’s cold.
  • Add plenty of ice.

As regards certain brands, it will depend on the gin and your personal preference but Waitrose own brand tonic was recommended, as was Fever Tree and even the classic brand Schweppes.

And on the subject of garnishes it can also depend on the gin. A slice of lemon is more traditional, although some people prefer lime. Both the Gin Monkey and myself are in the lemon camp. Other gins, such as a Hendricks, go with a slice of cucumber. Pink grapefruit can work. Some like Gin Mare go well with rosemary and olive (I MUST try this amazing sounding gin in a martini – it seems made for it) but there are all sorts of possible pairings, often recommended by the gin-makers themselves. I’ve heard rumours about chilli and mangoes and while I’m a bit of a traditionalist I like both of those flavours.

You can see more about G&Ts on the Gin Monkeys site here. I particularly enjoyed the entry on Spain.

The Gin Monkey also provided her thoughts on favourite gins to use in a martini.

She agrees with my personal preferences for Beefeater and Plymouth gins but also recommends Beefeater 24, Tanqueray No. 10 and Martin Millers gin.

Finally, she recommended that I try out Fords Gin as being seriously impressive. So that’s on my to-do list.

Thank you to the Gin Monkey!

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Rosemary’s Baby martini – not as terrifying as it sounds

Remember the Rosemary Martini I made the other day? I experimented slightly last night and have subsequently come up with a Version Two.
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Using the rosemary-infused gin/vodka from the same recipe, put together the martini using the following proportions:

1 part (or to taste) sweet vermouth
1 part rosemary gin/vodka
4 parts normal chilled gin/vodka

It’s more subtle than the full blown rosemary martini but I preferred it.

It also means that the infused gin/vodka lasts much longer. Which is good because rosemary takes bloody ages to grow.

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Best served with friends/family.

Rosemary Martini

A subtle but effective variation on the classic martini.

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First of all, you have to infuse the gin or vodka with the rosemary.

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Take fresh rosemary and strip off the leaves. Discard the woody stalks. Wash the leaves. In terms of proportions, use roughly a handful of leaves for the amount of gin/vodka needed to make two martinis. Chop them up and add them to a jar.

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Fill it up with gin/vodka, seal it and give it a good shake.

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Leave it in a cool (but not chilled) dark place for at least 24 hours.

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Pour it through a sieve, then pour the filtered alcohol into a bottle. Put the bottle in the freezer for at least 24 hours.

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When it’s time to serve, peel some lemon and squeeze the oil into a glass, then serve as follows:

1 part (or to taste) sweet vermouth
4-5 parts (or to taste) infused gin/vodka
Garnish with a sprig of washed, slightly rubbed (to release the flavour) rosemary

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When you’ve finished drinking you will hopefully find yourself sucking the rosemary garnish dry. At least that’s what my family all did. The lushes.