Before you think “that sounds gross” I would recommend giving this one a try.
This martini idea genuinely came to me in a dream. I woke up with a clear memory of shaking up a cheese martini and decided to google whether or not such a thing existed. It turns out that at least two recipes are out there on the internet, such as the Grilled Cheese Martini, so I decided to have a go at my own variation.
I used a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese for every 100ml of vodka I wanted to infuse (when it comes to flavour – go big or go home).
Put it all in a clean jar and give it a good shake, then leave it in a cool, dark place (i.e. not like in the above photo – but doesn’t London look good?).
Continue to shake it every now and then, just when you remember – maybe one a day or so, maybe more if you’re enthusiastic and impatient for CHEESE FLAVOUR. Do this over the course of around four days.
Get yourself some plain cheesecloth. Strain the vodka infusion through it so as to remove much of the cheese goo.
Pour the strained liquid into a jar and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours.
Then, when it’s time to serve, add some vermouth to a martini glass and top up with the infused vodka, as per these instructions and measurements, i.e. 2-15ml or 0.5-3 teaspoons of vermouth (to taste) and around 80-120ml or 3-4 US fluid ounces of the infused vodka.
Before you pour the drink, the www.parmesan.com blog suggests rubbing a little honey around the rim of the glass and dusting it with Parmesan powder. This sounds delicious but in this instance I really wanted to taste the Parmesan in the alcohol itself to test how effective the infusion process had been, so I left the glass un-rimmed.
Next, stir the drink and garnish it. You could choose all sorts of things for this:
Olives stuffed with cheese would be a good alternative. Asparagus spears, perhaps trimmed so that they fit into the glass without towering over it, would also work. A basil leaf or two, or maybe some cherry tomatoes, would also compliment the Parmesan flavour.
And as for accompanying nibbles you could serve it with all of the above garnishes. Figs, walnuts, fried sage leaves and of course, cheese and biscuits, will all work well.
If you still think it sounds like a weird concoction I promise you it’s a nice, savoury/umami flavour that REALLY whet my appetite before my meal. If you make some of these for guests at a dinner party it will no doubt be a talking point.