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Weekend Wine Pairing ~ Martini Party!

Almost everyone loves a cocktail party! I love them because they are relatively easy and surprisingly inexpensive ways of having people over. Cocktail Parties give people an excuse to dress up. There is a simple touch of glamour to people chit-chatting over cocktails and caviar. Some good shopping, a little bit of preparation, plenty of ice, and you have a party!

Less is more.

Pick one or two cocktails to feature. Just tell everyone you invite, “We are having a Martini party this Saturday! Would you like to come?” Yes, you want to have back-ups, say some beer, some chilled Champagne and wine, even a bottle or two of other basics (Bourbon, Vodka). But, letting people know what they are getting into sets their expectations and anticipation.

Let’s say you want to throw a Martini Party. First, plan on tending bar for the evening, so have your food already plated and ready to go. For the food, I like to set platters and trays around the party to create an inviting atmosphere. Many classic hors d’oeuvre are perfect pairings for Martini’s – Caviar, Smoked Salmon and Lox, Crab Cakes, Deviled Eggs, Shrimp Cocktail, even Oysters on the half shell.  Also, have back up snacks: nuts, chips, crackers, cheese, in case more people show up or they show up hungry.

First things first.

A Martini is a cocktail made with gin and vermouth, and garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Classic is a ratio 2:1 gin to vermouth, International Bartenders Association dictates a ratio of 6:1 (which could end up being quite a party), but I like to use better vermouth and get the ratio closer to 1:1. I also recommend using smaller martini glasses 3 – 4 ounce to help restrain consumption a little.

Lenny’s Martini (serves 4)

8 oz. The Botanist Gin

6 oz. Dolin Dry Vermouth

Squeeze lemon wedge

4 shakes orange bitters

8 olives on picks

Lemon twist for rim

Prepare chilled martini glass running lemon twist around edge of rim. Discard. Combine ingredients in shaker with ice. Stir until all ingredients thoroughly. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with cocktail olives.

The Botanist Islay Dry Gin $42.99

(Taste Botanist Gin Saturday April 22, 2pm – 5 pm)

The Botanist Gin is truly one of kind. Made by one of my favorite scotch producers Bruichladdich, it is the Gin produced on Islay. While most gins are made using a column or continuous still, Botanist is made in an old Lomond pot whiskey still, nicknamed Ugly Betty. That means that the base distillate is made with same care and attention as a fine scotch. Second, while all gins have Juniper along with a usual cohort of six or seven botanicals, Botanist contains 31, of which 22 are native to the Southern Hebridean Island itself. It should be noted that most of the native botanicals sound like they came straight out of a Harry Potter novel; rest assured the final product is delicate and not surprisingly floral.

A great Gin and good quality Vermouth some good olives and plenty of ice …

The botanical quality of a Martini lends itself very well to seafood of all sorts. How about an update to classic Shrimp Cocktail? My Kick Butt Shrimp Cocktail will change the way you think about the cocktail sauce.

Kick Butt Shrimp Cocktail  Ingredients + Recipe

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