There are gonna be things in life that you just can’t understand. No matter how hard you try they just won’t make sense to you and it’ll be hard to see how other people can be so blasé about the whole thing. I’m that way about the vodka martini. I just don’t get it. Lots of people love this drink and I’ll give you that it’s pretty, but it’s also just so…basic. When faced with one of those inexplicable things you’ve got two options, you can just accept it or you can try to make things better. So that’s what we are doing tonight, we are going to improve the martini, through chemistry. I present, Popeye’s favorite, the Olive Oil Vodka Martini.
This one takes a little prep work, so if you want a Friday evening cocktail, start on a Wednesday. Pour two cups of Vodka, Tito’s in this case, into a sealable container and add 3 ounces of quality olive oil, a sprig of fresh rosemary and thyme. Seal and shake well before sitting aside to let the flavors mingle overnight. On Thursday, take this mixture, give it another good shake and pop it into the freezer to chill. Friday morning, you should find that the fat from the olive oil has congealed. Remove it and the herbs and strain through a coffee filter into another container. Pop this back into the freezer and go have a Friday. Now that you’ve done all that work it is time to reap the rewards.
Measure 3 1/2 ounces of your olive oil washed vodka into a stirring pitcher with 3/4 ounce of dry vermouth and a pinch of sea salt. Add ice and stir till well mixed. Immediately strain into a prechilled cocktail glass and garnish with a couple of lemon stuffed olives on a fancy cocktail pick. I really wanted to throw a piece of rosemary on the rim, but deferred to tradition on this simple classic.
It is a really lovely drink, for a martini. The rosemary comes through strongly and I love that, especially paired with the creamy mouth feel and Mediterranean flair the olive oil imparts. So there you have it, a riff on the martini that will ruin it for purists, but makes it interesting enough to justify the work. Stay home, stay safe and stay sane, my friends.