A Bombay Martini

I was picking up some supplies in the supermarket when this gin caught my eye. Bombay London Dry Gin: more muted in appearance than its bright blue Sapphire  sister, it has a simple, almost stringently-coloured branding. I am not a fan of floral or overly botanical gins in my martini so I though that this one with only 8 botanicals (to Sapphire’s 10) might provide … Continue reading A Bombay 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

The Stinging Nettle Martini

   This is how to take the natural sting out of a nettle leaf and replace it with the more subtle but no less painful sting of vodka. Does it ever feel like nettles are taking over your garden… and your LIFE?   If so, don’t panic! Alcohol will come to your rescue.    Apparently the Romans imported nettles (Urtica dioica) to the British Isles … Continue reading The Stinging Nettle Martini

The mango martini

 Growing up on an island off the west coast of Scotland, I don’t think I even saw a mango until I was a fully grown adult living on the mainland. However they almost immediately became my favourite fruit. I love their sweetness combined with a zesty taste that reminds me of the smell of pine needles. This pine flavour might be one of the … Continue reading The mango martini

Paesan Restaurant, Farringdon, London, 4/5

Cucina povera means ‘poor/poverty kitchen’, and this restaurant specialises in traditional Italian ‘peasant food’. If I was reviewing food and service this place would get full marks. So when I have to mark them down for very small (but crucial) martini points it makes me feel bad. I even added a subjective point to this rating – because they make their own in-house olive-infused gin. … Continue reading Paesan Restaurant, Farringdon, London, 4/5

This post is self-indulgent

Nibbles I don’t actually like the word ‘nibbles’. It sounds frightfully bourgeois. Nonetheless, it’s nice to have something to eat to accompany a martini, especially if it’s been a long day and you’re waiting for dinner. Here are some past examples. The root of all evil: carbs, fat and cheese flavouring, deep-fried. Langoustine with roe. Olives, of course. Nuts. You can’t go wrong with nuts. … Continue reading This post is self-indulgent

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)

Sri Lankan bites

When I was based in Sri Lanka, a country where they know how to work hard and drink harder, it was almost essential that alcohol was served with food. The Sinhalese actually use the word ‘bites’ to describe this. It was during my time in this fascinating, beautiful but complex country that the importance of serving tasty nibbles with your drink was strongly instilled in … Continue reading Sri Lankan bites

The perfect martini setting

As I have already implied, the act of drinking a martini is almost sacred. If you’re going to consume such a large amount of alcohol in one drink you’ve got to make it count. As such, in addition to the drink itself, the temperature, the accompanying nibbles, etc, you should also consider the location. Unless your temperament suggests otherwise, you wouldn’t want to have one … Continue reading The perfect martini setting