The Hot and Dirty Martini

Grrrrrrrrrrr    This is a very simple variation on the classic martini, and its obviously got a very arresting name.    I first had a hot and dirty martini at the Mermaid Inn in New York. It’s an excellent aperitif as it really gets your digestive juices churning. It’s perfect before a special dinner, whether it’s Sunday lunch, seafood, a romantic meal for two or … Continue reading The Hot and Dirty Martini

The Sri Lankan Arrack Martini – the Serendipitini

   I have been working on this concept for a long time. It’s not a true martini, but it aims to serve a similar purpose, especially for those in Sri Lanka, perhaps without access to gin or vermouth. I resisted pressure to name it the Tamil Tiger Martini (it’s fiery, complex and deadly) as this would feel wholly inappropriate after Sri Lanka’s bitter internal tragedy. … Continue reading The Sri Lankan Arrack Martini – the Serendipitini

Egyptian Duqqah to accompany a martini

Ground nuts, herbs and spices served with bread and some good quality oil.    I was born in a town in Scotland called Alexandria. It subsequently says Alexandria as my place of birth in my passport, which in turn has led to some interesting questioning by customs and security personnel at various airports I’ve visited in the Middle East. “Are you Egyptian?” “I will be … Continue reading Egyptian Duqqah to accompany a martini

A martini using gin infused with coriander/cilantro

 I have previously mentioned that Coriander (cilantro) is the Marmite of the herb world (you either love it or hate it). I have also previously mentioned that I love it. So I infused some gin with it. Coriander is already one of the flavours infused into many gin varieties, although juniper is (or should be) the dominant flavour. Being a traditionalist I would normally … Continue reading A martini using gin infused with coriander/cilantro

The hot hot Sriracha martini

It’s a thing now. What do Thais and Texans have in common? A penchant for spicy food. I have a good friend, currently in Texas, who recently announced his addiction to Sriracha hot chilli sauce, a fiery concoction from Thailand. A US national and an Arabist, he has a very interesting career and academic background, with some very intriguing (and often hilarious) tales from London … Continue reading The hot hot Sriracha martini

The Raitini (cucumber raita martini)

What kind of martini should you serve before a curry? This one. Indian summer? No, just a British one. As much as I love a classic gin martini, sometimes it can leave your mouth just a little too raw before you eat a fiery dish, so I started to contemplate an alternative, something with less alcohol but more flavour to compliment the curry. Of course, … Continue reading The Raitini (cucumber raita martini)