Much to the dismay of my friends and family, I certainly was not blessed with a single bone of sophistication in my body. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to attend the exclusive Martini Etiquette Masterclass hosted by the achingly erudite Mark-Francis Vandelli, perhaps better known for his television appearances on Made In Chelsea.
As the schooling commenced, it was quite clear that I had a lot to learn. Before the Martinis even appeared, Mark-Francis commenced with an in-depth history of this glorious drink Ã¢â‚¬â€œ of’paramount importance’ if you want to impress your drinking pals/appear like a Martini Connoisseur. As if by magic, Martini number 1 emerged Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the Classic Martini. Gin and Extra Dry Vermouth are of course the main ingredients, garnished just as James Bond would have, with two Kalamata olives.
Typical me, with a gorgeous elegant drink placed before me, I thought it would be rude not to’get cracking and sip away’ but OH NO. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Wait! I haven’t even taught you how to stand at the bar yet Ã¢â‚¬â€œ put that drink down.Ã¢â‚¬Â Mark-Francis exclaimed. Mark had conveniently bought along a friend Lucy (great name, and similar to me Ã¢â‚¬â€œ she had a lot to learn in the Martini Etiquette department).
Now the wondrous Lucy, bless her, was demonstrating exactly how not to stand, poor posture and unfortunately half of the drink down her front. Ã¢â‚¬Å“To match such a sophisticated drink, one must delicately balance confidence along with subtle charm.Ã¢â‚¬Â With a few tweaks, Mark-Francis had transformed Lucy into this Martini drinking butterfly with an impressive air of refinement. This makeover was our cue to consume the first Martini Ã¢â‚¬â€œ delicious.
The next lesson in Martini etiquette was once again directed at me Ã¢â‚¬â€œ honestly the one time I wear lipstick to a food review and the next thing I know I become the poster girl for unsophistication. That’s right, I had lipstick along the rim of my Martini glass. Shameful. Not to fear, Mark-Francis tip number two Ã¢â‚¬â€œ subtly dip your finger in your drink and trace this around the glass, and voila, no more stains. Genius!
Enter Martini number two, the French Martini – Ã¢â‚¬Å“The perfect refreshment for a warm summers evening.Ã¢â‚¬Â This one was arguably my favourite Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a mixture of Vodka, Chambord and Pineapple juice. Sweet, but not enough to make your teeth hurt. Ideally, I would be sipping this beauty on a warm summer’s evening in the South of France but hey, Dirty Martini Hanover Square is the next best thing that’s for sure.
This rule is once again more directed to the ladies (although, without wishing to be restricted by any sexual binary bias, because as you know we at Foodepedia are fully inclusive regardless of the height of your heelÃ¢â‚¬Â¦) but if one is tottering about in silly high shoes, it can be particularly difficult to sashay effortlessly through a crowded bar without spilling your drink down your front.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Confidence is key. A martini glass can be your most powerful weapon when it comes to wading past a gauntlet of attractive bar guests. The position of the Martini is crucial Ã¢â‚¬â€œ do not hold it too close to your chest because one, it can cover up your assetsÃ¢â‚¬Â (Mark-Francis! You hound!) Ã¢â‚¬Å“but two Ã¢â‚¬â€œ it shows your open and invitingÃ¢â‚¬Â. Who would have thought I would come away with three martinis and an education on my boozy body language?
Ah yes, the final Martini of the night. Cloudy headed but poised with my new found posture Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the well-renowned Espresso Martini was placed before me. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This only works if you have the freshest of espresso, lashings of vodka, a dash of Kahlua, all blended together with a hint of butterscotch schnapps.Ã¢â‚¬Â Just the kick one needs to brace the carnage of the tube home from when caught from Oxford Circus.
Now if you want to try your new-found stylish hand at a few of these delectable MartinisÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ look no further. Below are the recipes themselves for each of the three I was lucky enough to sample. SantÃƒÂ©!
· 60ml Ketel One Vodka or Tanqueray Gin
· 3 Sprays Martini Extra Dry Vermouth
· 2 Green Olives / Lemon Twist
- Olives are to be placed on curly bamboo stick
- Olives are to be of an equal size
- Olives are to be green
Lemon Twist Ã¢â‚¬â€œ
- Peel the skin of a lemon to the length of 12cm
- Trim the sides to get a width of 1cm
- Cut diagonal ends to the strip however keeping the length from point to point of 12cm
· Pour Vodka or Gin into Boston mixing glass
· Add 3 sprays of Martini Extra Dry Vermouth
· Stir briskly over cubed ice for 30 seconds/to correct dilution and length (taste)
· Double strain into chilled Martini glass
· Garnish and serve
· 35ml Absolut Vodka
· 15ml Chambord
· 35ml Pineapple Juice
· Add all ingredients to Boston mixing glass
· Shake and double strain into chilled Martini glass