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Classic Tanqueray Martini With A Twist Recipe

Classic Tanqueray Martini With A Twist Recipe

The Martini is a classic, timeless cocktail, one that at first may seem ridiculously simple – with a core of just two ingredients (gin and dry vermouth) – but like so many iconic creations in the world of cocktails, the devil is in the detail.

A classic martini is actually highly customizable, with the flavor of the gin core and vermouth leading itself to limitless flavor profiles – and that is before considering the influence of the garnish. With no mixer to hid behind, however, all variations of the Martini provide a highly spirituous drink that is smooth and soothing.

One of the best-known and most iconic cocktails of all time, our preferred take on the Martini is this classic Tanqueray Martini with a twist recipe. Tanqueray London Dry Gin was launched in 1830 and was actually the world’s first London Gry din. As of 2016, it is the world’s top-selling gin by volume and its squat green bottle is still instantly recognizable on any bar shelf today. A crisp and dry gin made from double distilling grain, the Tanqueray recipe is a closely guarded trade secret. Still, we do know four botanicals: juniper, coriander, angelica root, and licorice are used.

This leads to a robust juniper-heavy gin with just a hint of spice.

Classic Tanqueray Martini With A Twist Recipe

There are few gins whose flavor profile are as juniper-focused as Tanqueray London Dry Gin, which probably explains its global-staying power, and it does make excellent classic Tanqueray Martini with a twist. However, you might also want to consider substituting in the more modern Tanqueray No. Ten Gin.

Released in 2000, Tanqueray No. Ten gin was crafted to target the explosive craft cocktail revolution and cater to a new generation of gin drinkers who were more interested in exploring other botanical flavorings than just strong juniper in gin. Known ingredients include fresh white grapefruit, fresh lime, fresh orange, and camomile flower and the use of whole fresh citrus is unique as the majority of the global gin market uses dried peels.

The overall flavor is a gin with influential citrus aromatics and a heart of warm spice, making it a gin of choice in citrus-based cocktails. These citrus notes also make it one of the best gins for a classic martini with a twist, and if you are going out to purchase ingredients for this recipe, you might want to consider it. 

In short, the classic Tanqueray offers a more assertive juniper-heavy martini with a clean, near-neutral foundation and sharp, almost-spicy flavor, while the citrusy, more complex Tanqueray No. Ten gin, but both still promise an exceptional martini. 

The other collaborator in our classic Tanqueray Martini with a twist recipe is dry vermouth – a neutral white wine that has been aromatized with citrus, barks, or other herbs and fortifies with additional alcohol. This ‘proofing’ prolongs the shelf life of the wine and allows it to stand up to the gin in our Tanqueray martini.

Do note that vermouth can last for weeks in the fridge but decays due to oxidation once open and so you might want to consider buying a small bottle, so there is less to use once you have opened it. We prefer to use the classic Martini & Rossi Bianco, but you might also want to consider trying it with a Dolin Dry or Noilly Prat Extra Dry. 

If you don’t have any on hand, you can get these delivered – along with beer, wine, and liquor in under 60 minutes using a service like Drizly covering 1500+ cities in the US.

For the garnish, in this case, a twist, we recommend a lemon peel – but an orange, grapefruit, or lime can also be tried. While many bartenders rub the rim of the martini glass with the citrus skin, we recommend expressing (squeezing or twisting) it over the drink as the pungent oils can easily overwhelm the Martini otherwise. After, you may be tempted to drop the skin in afterward, which will add further flavor to the drink.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, depending on how you prefer your Martini, but often just placing it on the rim of the glass allows the aroma to continue without throwing off the martini balance. 

Now, possibly the most important this to know about making a martini is that while James Bond may have popularized it for the modern era, with his catchphrase “shaken, not stirred,” the Martini is, in fact, a stirred drink that is served up. This ensures a silky mouth-feel with precise dilution and perfect clarity.

You can store your gin and glasses in the freezer beforehand or place ice cubes in your martini glass to cool it down. But it really should not be shaken as the melting ice dilutes the drink, and it can get cloudy. To properly stir your classic Tanqueray Martini with a twist drink – you should turn your bar spoon from the top so that that back of the spoon goes around the glass constantly. It will bring the vermouth and gin together while ensuring the cocktail has an even temperature. 

While we are discussing common misconceptions with the Martini, the classic martini glass is itself a somewhat flawed vessel that necessitates you holding it to stop it spilling (and warming the contents) and is typically too big for the required amount of spirits. While we love the look and feel and therefore continue to use them – the Nora & Nora glass is often considered the best serving option. 

While the art of a classic martini is controversial and subjective, this recipe is our favorite for beginners to try out. After trying this, you can try playing with different gins, vermouths, or garnishes like olives. 

Classic Tanqueray Martini With A Twist Recipe
Yield: 1 martini

Classic Tanqueray Martini With A Twist Recipe

The perfect introduction to an iconic - and frequently misunderstood - cocktail. Try our take, then enjoy experimenting to find your favorite combination. Do you prefer it drier (with less vermouth) or more herbaceous (more vermouth).

Whatever you do, just never, ever, shake it!

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Tanqueray London Dry Gin
  • 2 ounces Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth
  • Garnish: 1 Lemon Twist

Instructions

    1. Stir all ingredients together in a chill glass.
    2. Squeeze a lemon twist over the drink, then gently rest on the edge of the glass.

Notes

    • For the garnish, in this case, a twist, we recommend a lemon peel - but an orange, grapefruit, or lime can also be tried. While many bartenders rub the rim of the martini glass with the citrus skin, we recommend expressing (squeezing or twisting) it over the drink as the pungent oils can easily overwhelm the Martini otherwise. After, you may be tempted to drop the skin in afterward, which will add further flavor to the drink. This is not necessarily a bad thing, depending on how you prefer your Martini, but often just placing it on the rim of the glass allows the aroma to continue without throwing off the martini balance.
    • Martini's are, in fact, a stirred drink that is served up. This ensures a silky mouth-feel with precise dilution and perfect clarity. You can store your gin and glasses in the freezer beforehand or place ice cubes in your martini glass to cool it down. But it really should not be shaken as the melting ice dilutes the drink, and it can get cloudy.
    • To properly stir your classic Tanqueray Martini with a twist drink – you should turn your bar spoon from the top so that that back of the spoon goes around the glass constantly. It will bring the vermouth and gin together while ensuring the cocktail has an even temperature. 

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