Isle of Harris Gin celebrates the iconic Martini for World Gin Day

From the legendary Alessandro Palazzi, the Martini maestro of Mayfair, to bartenders from Glasgow and Aberdeen, some of the best bartenders in the UK celebrates the iconic gin martini cocktail.

Three recipes created for a lovely Isle of Harris Gin project for #WorldGinDay are showcased below. These were selected from a total of seven created for the project, as with a little sourcing of ingredients you can serve them up at home, perhaps you know a special occasion coming up…something ginny?

Each bartender also explains their inspiration behind their Martini ‘twists’. 

The recipes are unique and very different from one another, showcasing a different approach to working with a complex, and interesting gin like Isle of Harris gin which features savoury, floral and herbal notes alongside classic gin flavours due to a unique combination of botanicals inspired by their home in the very north of Scotland.

Take some inspiration for your Martini serves for Saturday 9 June?

The Stromberg Martini

"The inspiration came from my love of Ian Fleming novels, and the fictional character and Bond villain Karl Sigmund Stromberg..."

Alessandro Palazzi, Duke's Hotel, London

Ingredients:

  • 100ml frozen Isle Of Harris Gin
  • 5ml Sacred English Dry Vermouth
  • Sardinian Bottarga (a rich and intense delicacy of salted, cured fish roe)

Method:

  1. Take a Martini glass with a maximum capacity of 125ml and freeze it.
  2. Freeze your bottle of Isle of Harris Gin
  3. Add 5ml of the Sacred English Dry Vermouth to the frozen glass and swirl to coat the inside.
  4. Add 100ml of frozen Isle of Harris Gin
  5. Grate a little of the Bottarga on top to garnish to your preferred intensity.

“Stromberg lived in Atlantis, his palace submerged under the sea off the coast of Sardinia, Italy. I wanted to celebrate the ‘maritime pleasures’ in this unusual gin, bringing together an additional element of delicious Sardinian Bottarga which intensifies the unusual Sugar Kelp tones. The original Martini was created with gin, often many people think it was created with vodka. It is important
when making a Martini cocktail to ensure the glass and the spirit itself is as cold as possible. The common mistake amongst bartenders is to serve it in a warm glass, or even to dilute the cocktail with too much ice during preparation. This is why I serve the Martini cocktail in a frozen glass as well as keeping the gin the freezer. For me, the Martini cocktail is a symbol of purity and elegance. The gin Martini speaks for itself through the botanicals and when served properly, is a cocktail you savour. “

Tarbert Sunset Martini

"It’s evocative of sky, land and sea, as the sun is setting on the day."

James Sutherland, 56 North, Edinburgh

Ingredients:

  • 60ml Isle of Harris Gin
  • 5ml Vermut Lustau Sweet Sherry Vermouth
  • 3 drops Isle of Harris Sugar Kelp Aromatic Water
  • Sprig of fresh Thyme
  • Pink Grapefruit peel

Method:

  1. Place bottle of Isle of Harris Gin in freezer until ice cold.
  2. Place a large block of ice into a mixing glass.
  3. Add the gin, Vermut, aromatic water and thyme to the mixing glass.
  4. Squeeze a large twist of pink grapefruit into the liquid and drop the peel into the mixing
    glass.
  5. Stir with a bar spoon for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Strain slowly into a chilled coupe glass.
  7. Squeeze a fresh twist of pink grapefruit over the drink and place into the glass.
  8. Tie or clip a stem of fresh thyme onto the stem or rim of the glass to add a final, fragrant herbal aroma.

“With a slight pink / red hue this drink is reminiscent of the sun setting over the water. It has a touch of sweet sherry, freshness of pink grapefruit peel with the green notes of thyme, and the ocean notes of sugar kelp water. It’s evocative of sky, land and sea, as the sun is setting on the day. Very simple but exceptionally tasty!”

The Harris Lavender Martini

"Garnished with a lavender flower, this is a really delicate twist on a Martini."

Anastasia Mourgela, The 158 Club Lounge, Glasgow.

Ingredients:

  • 50ml Isle of Harris Gin
  • 7.5ml Briottet Creme de Violette Liqueur
  • 15ml Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry (Dry)
  • Dried Lavender flowers

Method:

  1. Chill a Martini glass with crushed ice.
  2. Pour the dry vermouth over the crushed ice.
  3. In a chilled mixing glass, add 3 lavender flowers, Isle of Harris Gin and the Creme de Violette.
  4. Add cubed ice to the mixing glass and stir with a bar spoon for precisely 45 seconds to achieve the desirable dilution.
  5. Discard crushed ice and vermouth from the Martini glass.
  6. Double strain contents of the mixing glass into the vermouth washed Martini glass.
  7. Garnish with a dried lavender flower.

“As the Isle of Harris Gin is a very smooth spirit which leaves a very subtle aftertaste, it is perfect to work with more delicate flavours such as lavender, which is a personal favourite. As the drink was created at Hutchesons, the home of the Parma Violet cocktail, adding Violette liqueur was a must. The dose allows for a perfect lavender colour to be achieved. Garnished with a lavender flower, this is a really delicate twist on a Martini. Not too wet, not too dry, and created in a way to simply compliment rather than overbear the flavour of the Isle of Harris Gin.”

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