On a lazy grey Sunday afternoon at the cocktail hour, I invite my friend Raquel to test drive my new Nick and Nora cocktail glasses. Martinis are Raquel’s favorite cocktail. She was skeptical about the glasses at first (before they were filled). Then she seemed to warm up to them. We decided to concoct a variety of martinis. I like vermouth. Raquel does not. She does that wash of vermouth over the glass thing and that is it. We did not follow James Bond’s tenet and we stirred ours instead of using the cocktail shaker. I heard that stirring makes it colder and does not cloud the drink. We cracked the ice that we used for stirring because supposedly the jagged edges will create more surface of cold ice to chill the drink to the maximum. We chilled our Nick and Nora glasses with ice and seltzer because Raquel says the seltzer makes it colder.
I had some things on hand for martini enhancement. Adam’s Ranch Dirty Martini Mix that I picked up at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. It is very high quality olive brine. I also have Arthur Marc’s Queen Olives stuffed with bleu cheese made in beautiful Schoharie County, New York. I buy these at the hardware store in the charming town of Middleburgh. These olives are delicious, fat and overstuffed with very good bleu cheese.
To start, Raquel chose a vodka martini with a wash of vermouth and jalapeño stuffed olives. Raquel would not touch the bleu cheese olives because as a kid she milked goats. She hates billy goats and anything reminiscent of their smell. She liked the kick the jalapeño olives gave her martini. I like vermouth, so mine was 2 ounces gin and 1-ounce vermouth with 1-teaspoon dirty martini mix (olive brine). The three ounces fit perfectly in the Nick and Nora glasses. I had the pungent bleu cheese stuffed olives in mine.
Next, we try a drink concocted by my favorite cocktail blogger Nancy Mitchell of The Backyard Bartender. She did a very creative series of Harry Potter inspired cocktails. We decided to make the Draco Malfoy, a martini made with pickle juice. Nancy says it is just like Draco “smooth, sleek and just a little bit nasty”. We used pickle juice from The Pickle Guys on the Lower Eastside. They will sell you a couple of scoopfuls of prime pickle juice straight out of the barrel for two bucks.
The Draco Malfoy Martini from the Backyard Bartender
2oz Gin (or Vodka if you prefer)
½ oz. dry vermouth
½ oz. pickle juice
Stir or (shake) all ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled (Nick and Nora) cocktail glass. Divine.