This one goes by many names…
- The Octopus-tini
- The Octopussy Martini
- The Loch Ness Monstini
- The Nautilus-tini
- The Maritime Martini
- The Tako-tini (tako no matini / タコのマティーニ)
- And finally, the Spectre Martini
Add squid ink and octopus tentacle soaked in balsamic vinegar to make an unusual variation of a dirty martini and Le Jacques Coustini.
Get yourself some sea legs by drinking one or two of them. You will need:
- Olives in brine
- Squid ink
- Balsamic vinegar (possibly sweet mirin as well if you fancy being fancy)
- Boiled octopus tentacle (other seafood garnishes such as langoustine can be used as a substitute if desired). The octopus tentacle can be prepared from frozen as well as fresh.
- Perhaps some seafood to serve as an accompaniment (optional – and see here for some ideas)
- And finally, the hard stuff: gin/vodka (perhaps a brand with a maritime or seafood connection)
First of all, I went to Borough Market, which pretty much supplies everything you need for a martini.
I bought whelks and cockles as an unusual accompanying snack.
I also bought some squid ink.
When I got home I took some cooked octopus tentacles out of the freezer and soaked them in balsamic vinegar for several hours. There’s all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff in my freezer – here’s why.
You only need to soak the octopus for enough time for it to defrost but after 4 hours it will have absorbed a lot of flavour which is good. You could also soak it in a slightly japanese marinade combining balsamic vinegar and sweet mirin, of around 4 parts vinegar to 1 part mirin.
Remove the octopus pieces and pierce them with toothpicks (unless you want them to appear au naturale draped over the rim of your glass).
- When drink o’clock arrives open the olives and pour some of the brine into a glass. Serve the olives to your guest(s). I use Fragata tinned olives stuffed with anchovies, because (a) the fish continues the maritime theme and (b) they taste amazeballs. The brine is also very good.
- For each martini you intend to make transfer 4 teaspoons of the brine into a separate glass.
- Into this glass squeeze about half a teaspoon of squid ink per martini and muddle it until it has broken into small globules. This is your brine and ink mixture to flavour and colour the martini. If I think back to chemistry class this might be called an emulsion but martinis have made me forget and I would have to defer to someone with superior knowledge.
- In a chilled martini glass pour the brine and ink mixture (as above, 4 teaspoons of brine and half a teaspoon of ink per martini).
- Add a dash of vermouth (or to taste) then stir.
- Add 4-5 measures of gin or vodka then stir.
- Rinse the vinegar off the octopus tentacle and balance it on the edge of the glass.
- You can serve additional octopus tentacles with toothpicks as appetisers.
And there you go, it looks like some frightful creature crawling out from the deep of the black lagoon but I promise you it tastes nice. The brine and seafood will hopefully set off your appetite before a meal.
Given its appearance it might be a good drink to serve during Halloween, or if you’re having a James Bond theme party.
Add more brine if you like your martini dirty.
If you prefer your martini ‘clean’ you can simply make a classic martini and serve the octopus as a garnish.
Voila. Fit for a Bond villain.
If you have any other potential name suggestions for this one let me know in the comments below.