I could probably state the obvious, but I'm sure you've already heard that it's Father's Day. By now dad has probably perfected that skeptical grin for the plethora of items he may or may not wear or may or may not don on his dust-covered tool belt. Of course we love dad, but maybe today he needs some reassurance that he doesn't need to plug in, search for an extension cord for, splash on after he shaves or determine whether better half or full Windsor with. That reassurance should most assuredly come inside of a glass that should probably not don the phrase 'Number One Dad'.
That reassurance comes best served in a chilled glass with or without olive. Martini glass preferred since this is Nation Martini Day. James Bond's cocktail of choice gets national attention today. What's great about a martini is the many different tweaks and updates it goes through, but the best to me is still the classic martini. Ice, gin and the great, but often backseat driver, vermouth.
Vermouth is an aromatized wine that is very mild but quite fragrant and an excellent co-star to soften the blow of strong spirits like gin and whiskey. When paired with gin it makes a very delicious and satisfying cocktail as both the vermouth and the gin have herbal and floral notes that complement each other. Classically chilled, the cool down of the cocktail makes it a refreshing sip with a vibrant finish that elevates it to seasoned and mature.
For my National Martini Day nod, I'm having a classic British gin with and trying it with a new vermouth to the renowned Fratelli Branca Distellerie in Italy, Carpano Dry Vermouth. It's drier and it contains less sugar, but has an intense flavor profile and slightly acidic taste that goes from spicy and citrusy to a finish that's a touch fruity. Here's a classic and simple recipe:
2 1/2 ounces Dry Gin
1/2 ounce Carpano Dry Vermouth
Green olive for garnish
Chill a martini glass, combine gin and vermouth into a shaker with ice, shake then strain into the martini glass and garnish with a green olive.
What's even nicer is that the salty olive garnish adds another element to the flavor experience. So whether dad has the greatest or the sketchiest day today, make a list, check it twice to make sure you've got all the makings for a great dry martini to make the rest of his week look brighter.
Carpano Dry Vermouth is great to have in your home bar for a great dry martini and other cocktail recipes like a Manhattan and can be found at your finer alcohol, wine and spirit stores. As always please remember to drink responsibly.