Martini. A drink I associate with my 17 year old flat mate in first year of university getting read for a night out and mixed with lemonade. A classic Italian aperitif to ready you for your big Italian family dinner originating specifically from
What is it though? Tuesday past a packed room of novices and experts packed Jub Jub to find out
It is vermouth, a fortified wine flavoured with over 40 botancials (herbs, roots and barks) both macerated into water and infused can generally be classified into two categories:
French aka Dry
Italian aka Sweet
So we started with ROSSO which smells distinctly of sage but the palate is very different with port like fruits, cinnamon and also citru lingering with a bitter, herb driven aftertaste. It serves in more cocktails than I can list including MITO (developed between Milan and Turin), Manhattan, Americano, El Presidente and Negroni – all with their own fabulous stories of origin and all coming seriously back into vogue. And of course the humble Martini itself.
The white or BIANCO was designed to appeal to the female population and has distinct notes of vanilla and again a bitter finish.
Serve – with freshly squeezed lime, lots of ice then you could always add basil too like a Caipirinha. No sugar required, the Martini is sweet enough.
Serve – described as one for the men (only in
!) and best served with Prosecco Italy
Lastly the GOLD, almost impossible to find and soon to be discontinued as the design agreement comes to a close. This was designed between Martini and Dolce&Gabbana, made with saffron which also added to the colour and helped name it.
Serve – with ice and fresh ginger rubbed around the rim of the glass
So what do I think? Well I was looking for a vermouth at a decent price (it lasts about 6 weeks in the fridge if you are not drinking all the time) to make Manhattans with and I will certainly give this one a try. In fact if summer comes round this year I can see a punch bowl filled with Martini Roasto, Prosecco, mint , strawberries etc and see what friends think as a tasty and cheap alternative to Pimms.
We finished the night upstairs in the Jub Jub Club enjoying a Spag's Head (on the new menu) and another Martini drink (I forget which) but both are on the left and both are delicious. As for our host, Giuseppe Gallo was personable, entertaining, charming and I hope to attend another of his events soon. As always, a huge thanks to Callooh Callay for putting this on.