Spending a weekend hanging out with the famous “King Cocktail”, Dale DeGroff of New York’s fabulous Rainbow Room, unearthed my new favorite cocktail. I’ve never been one to go straight for a Martini, but after chatting with Dale I found my ideal summer sip: The Vesper Martini.
Vodka or gin? The beginnings of the iconic martini were gin and vermouth. It wasn’t until the mid-1960s in the United States that vodka started to make a play. Today most people mean vodka when they order one, unless they specifically request a gin martini. Can’t decide? Have both with a dab of Lillet Blanc and voila, you may just be a martini drinker after all.
Lillet Blanc is a bottle you must add to your bar for summer. It's a wine- based aperitif that has a light honeyed citrus flavor, typically served with a slice of orange or lemon peel. On the rocks, with tonic or sparkling water this pretty pour makes a light and refreshing, low- alcohol sip mid- day or for happy hour. For something stronger enjoy it in this Vesper Martini.
In a shaker filled with ice, stir all ingredients until well chilled. Serve in a martini glass or coupe and garnish with a lemon twist.