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Ordering Your Perfect Martini with Isaac

How to order your perfect martini with Botanist bartender Isaac!

Ordering a martini can be daunting so we sat down with Isaac from The Botanist to talk us through his process.

As Bar Supervisor at The Botanist, Isaac is naturally passionate about craft distilleries and possesses curiosity towards identifying the botanical complexes that are blended together for consumer consumption.

Step 1

Gin, Vodka or Vesper?

Are you a gin-thusiast, seeking the smoothness of vodka or need a subtle sweet complexity by combining the two? A martini highlights the intricacy of a spirit so choose one that excites you, or in the case of a vesper two!

Step 2

Fifty-Fifty, Wet, Dry or Lillet?

With the increase in craft vodkas and gins we have seen a decline in the role of white vermouth in martinis. If you are hunting a martini with lower alcohol content try a fifty-fifty martini, or if you are looking for a gentle martini that pairs well with citrus a wet martini is the way to go.

A dry martini has less than 6:1 spirit to vermouth, I like to achieve this by just washing the glass with vermouth. To make sure that your martini is dry ask the bartender for a vermouth glass wash, this ensures that the ratio remains small.

Lillet is traditionally used with a vesper martini as it adds a touch of sweetness. A glass wash will complement the subtleties within the spirit so it is also perfect for delicate gins such as barrel aged gin.

Step 3

Clean or Dirty 1 to 5?

There is always risk in asking for a dirty martini as some bartenders will add one small bar spoon of brine, whilst others will hand you a drink that looks like the streets of Mumbai. When a customer orders a martini I will ask how dirty out of 5 they want it, each number correlates to an extra bar spoon of brine. If they want it excessively dirty they will usually say a number off the scale. Use this same approach when ordering.

Step 4

Choose a garnish

If your martini is clean or just lightly dirty, citrus is a good option. Use your bartender’s knowledge to find out what the vodka or gin usually pairs with and get a twist.

If you are exploring gin martinis don’t be afraid to ask for a matching botanical such as rosemary, mint, sage or thyme. Adding a touch of aromatics will enhance your martini experience.

If you have gone dirty, you love olives so why not have more? Ask for one, two or three but any more than that and you’ll exceed space in the glass and raise some eyebrows.

Wait where is the shaken or stirred step?

A martini should only be stirred…

Experiment until you find a combination that works for you. We may never possess the smoothness of James Bond but at least we’ll know what we’re talking about when it comes to a killer martini!

Pop by, say hi to Isaac & order a martini that will suit your palate!