This Orange Martini comes from the Sipsmith 'Sip' book, and is a slightly simplified version of the Savoy Cocktail guide drink from the 1930's. 'Sip' scales it down to an individual serving (handy) and does away with the rinse of orange bitters in the glass to keep the ingredients down to 3 (which is arguably cheating because the orange peel garnish is key here, but it's delicious so I don't mind).
Maybe because the taste of vermouth is how I imagine the taste of the interwar years I keep finding myself drawn to my Virago collection for inspiration and I could well imagine the a Provincial Lady drinking something like this at a party - either one of her own, or at something she's found herself at.
It is definitely a party kind of drink because it involves a little bit of preparation - which is why the Savoy recipe is for 6, and Sip suggests making it by the batch. It would keep in the fridge for up to a month*, or is a good one to make ahead if you have people coming round.
It's not the strongest Martini either, which also makes it a good option for a boozy kick off to a weekend lunch, or a late afternoon drink. The basic recipe is 25ml of London dry gin, 25ml of dry vermouth, 10ml's of sweet vermouth, and the pared peel of quarter of an orange per serving. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass and let them steep for a couple of hours. Add ice, stir, and strain into a coupe glass.
This one is another object lesson in the power of a few small tweaks to comprehensively change the character of a drink. The dry vermouth in this one is the backbone of the thing, the gin gives it a bit more kick, the sweet vermouth rounds out the edges, and the orange provides its USP. It's not the driest Martini, but it's definitely a drier style of cocktail.
Another variation on it if you're short of time is to use an orange gin like the Tanqueray Seville and just add a twist of orange peel as a garnish at the end.
*don't leave the orange peel in it if you're keeping a batch in the fridge, the flavour will be over extracted.
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