I’m currently visiting family in the Hebrides. This part of the world is known for its seafood, natural beauty and gargantuan drinking habits. This makes it a perfect setting for martini drinkers.
Unusually, much of the seafood caught in the rich Hebridean waters is transported to Spain. However, if you know which restaurants to eat at, or if you know who to speak to you can get yourself some of this bounty before it gets shipped away.
As usual, my first thought was: how do I incorporate this into a martini?
Luckily an adaptable recipe already exists. I came up with two variations.
If possible, take extra care with the langoustines bearing roe. Try not to crack the shells while you squeeze out the flesh. The intact shells can be served as an accompaniment to the martini and you can suck the eggs from the undersides between mouthfuls of drink. It feels Roman and decidedly decadent.
Insert a toothpick and your garnish is ready. You can vary the shape and style of this garnish depending on the species of crustacean available to you so I imagine all sorts of variations might be possible here.
(For all the langoustines which aren’t destined for martini greatness there are countless ways you can eat them. We had them flash fried in garlic with chorizo and tomatoes, then tossed them in linguine for dinner after martini o’clock was over.)
Back to the martinis, I have two recipes. Both have:
1 part (or to taste) vermouth
5-6 parts (or to taste) gin/vodka
You can either add a few dashes (or to taste) of Tabasco sauce or you can muddle a teaspoon of sweet chilli sauce in the vermouth before adding the gin. With either variation stir the drink with the crustacean garnish before serving.