Gin & Vodka
A Martini is obviously about the gin and is one of the best ways to taste a gin properly. The profile of a gin will be readily apparent: do you want it calm and delicate using something like Oxley Gin, or do you want it boisterous and juniper-forward using something like Sipsmith’s VJOP? Do you also want low or high ABV? Using a Navy Strength gin pulls no punches!
If you're starting out with Martinis, we strongly recommend you avoid Navy Strengths at the beginning. While they are double-barrel shotguns of a drink and absolutely delightful, you should 'graduate' to Navy Strength Martinis, for the simple reason that if you get used to them without getting used to standard strength Martinis, you'll never appreciate a standard strength Martini and think of them as too watery, un-tasty and thin.
One small tip when making Navy Strength Martinis: because the higher ABV means more flavour is packed into the gin, they usually need to be a bit wetter than normal for the vermouth to stand up to the extra over-proof firepower of the gin. However, by using our simple ratio finding trick, you can be sure to find the right mix.
To start with, we recommend just using the classic gin you like most, though if you need a recommendation, then BBR’s No. 3 Gin is a great gin to start with. The Martini will make that gin sing as loud as it can, and get the vermouth and ratio right. Then, move onto the next gin, and start afresh with finding the ratio and vermouth combination for that gin, and you’ve begun your journey.
With Vodkas, we recommend you go for a very high quality 'premium' vodka. Vodkas are mostly neutral-flavoured, but you can tell the difference between a potato, rye, wheat and barley-made vodka. If you need a recommendation, then Konik's Tail for a grain-based vodka and Chase for a potato vodka are great.