We're as pleased as *ahem* punch to be able to bring you a series of classic cocktail recipes in the run up to Christmas, all taken, The Complete Home Bartender's Guide (Sterling Epicure), a revised and updated version of the invaluable book by veteran mixologist Salvatore Calabrese.
"They call me the Maestro: I’ve been creating cocktails for nearly forty years. Bartending is in my blood!" says Salvatore, who was born on Italy's gorgeous Amalfi Coast. "When I first started working behind the bar, aged just eleven years old, I discovered the power a bartender can have and the way a bar can bring people together. I’ve been captivated ever since."
His illustrious career has seen the Maestro tending bar at such world-famous establishments as London's Lanesborough Hotel and Duke's Hotel in Knightbridge. Salvatore's, his own venue in Mayfair, was named Best Bar at The London Lifestyle Awards 2012, and the multi-award winning Mr Calabrese can also be seen in action at Mixology 101 Bar & Lounge in Los Angeles.
So who better to provide a raft of classic cocktail recipes for us to enjoy over the festive period? We start with a double helping of classics, in the shape of the Whiskey Sour and the Maestro's own take on The Martini. Enjoy!
The original sour of the 1850s was made with brandy sour. Now it is made with whiskey.
- 1 2⁄3oz / 5cl rye whiskey
- 2⁄3oz / 2cl fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon egg white powder
- dash gomme syrup
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and a slice of orange if you like.
This is the classic Martini. There are just two ingredients: gin and dry vermouth. The only addition is an olive or a twist of lemon, depending upon your preference.
I keep the gin in the freezer, and a day or an hour before I know I have guests coming over, I put the glasses in the freezer to chill. A great Martini is one that stays very cold for as long as you drink it.
- 3oz / 9cl gin 1 to 2 drops extra dry vermouth
Take the chilled cocktail glass from the freezer, handling it by the stem only. Pour the chilled gin directly into the glass.
Fill a clean Angostura bitters bottle with dry vermouth so that you can shake a few drops of vermouth through its pourer into the gin. I do not mix the cocktail. I float two to three drops of vermouth over the top of the drink.
Cut a thin twist of lemon, then face the twist upside down over the glass and twist it to drop a few tears of juice in the drink. Rub the twist around the rim for the final touch to the perfect Martini. An olive is optional.
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