As a Master Gardner, the word “botanical” is a trigger word that always catches my eye. Therefore the “Not Not Martini,” an interesting cocktail name to be sure, which I came across while thumbing through our latest issue of Fine Cooking Magazine, uses botanical gin, so I was more than intrigued. However, despite our rather extensive liquor cabinet collection, we did not have any botanical gin—and that my friends is the KEY ingredient. But it wasn’t long before I made the purchase.
According to the chef/author, “this takes the classic gin martini—gin, vermouth, extra olives—out of its unwieldy and aesthetically deficient glass (I love this phrase!), sets it over ice, and adds fino sherry and orange liqueur. The final drink ends up as something not quite martini but also not not martini. Don’t worry: The extra olives are nonnegotiable.”
It’s a very sophisticated, adult-like drink—and ALL liquor other than the olives—so plan on leisurely sipping one in front of a fireplace some weekend evening.
Not Not Martini
- 2 oz. botanical gin, such as The Botanist
- 1 oz. fino sherry
- 1 oz. dry vermouth
- 1/2 oz. orange liqueur
- 2 2-inch strips lemon peel, one for each glass
- 3 to 6 pitted Castelvetrano olives per glass, threaded onto two toothpicks
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the gin, sherry, vermouth, and liqueur.
- Put on the top and shake (or stir vigorously with a long-handled spoon) until the mixture is very cold, about 15 seconds. Strain into two ice-filled lowball glasses.
- Hold the lemon peel with two fingers by its long edges, skin facing down into the glass. Pinch the peel to express the citrus oils into the glass, rub the peel along the rim, and discard the peel.
- Add the olives, serve and relax.