One of the best things about working on the Gin Queen is meeting some very interesting people who are more than generous with their time and knowledge about gin and cocktails.
Greg Sanderson, owner of Eau De Vie Melbourne, kindly sat down with me for an hour last week to chat cocktails and during our discussion about cocktail lists, signature cocktails and what inspires him, he showed me how to make the perfect martini. It’s his favourite : Tanqueray 10, Lillet Blanc, a dash of bitters and an orange twist.
I’m formulating another larger post on martinis in general but I wanted to share Greg’s tips. They are definitely going to improve my martini making and general cocktail making skills at home.
How to Make the Perfect Martini
Liquids in FIRST.
For this version Greg went for a 4:1 ratio. 60ml Tanqueray 10, 15ml Lillet Blanc, a dash of bitters.
Often in our desperation to get our drinks as chilled as quickly as possible there is a temptation to throw the drink over the ice. Greg kindly pointed out that in doing so, we’re diluting immediately. So to avoid that. Liquid in FIRST. Then add ice.
DON’T over stir (or overshake)
OK, I’ll admit it. I’ve been over stirring my martinis and negronis. Greg says 30 seconds stirring is plenty. Just enough to remove the ethanol but not too much that you’ve over-diluted. Try to move the ice together. (Re: shaken cocktails. 15 seconds is plenty.)
Don’t remove your bar spoon before you pour.
You want to avoid chipping any ice and them ending up in your drink, so keep the bar spoon in as you pour. This is a good one for me to remember as I’m probably a bit heavy handed with my stirring and the ice sometimes takes a battering.
Buy some dry ice
If only! I double-checked with Greg whether the addition of dry ice was theatrics over science, but during his time with Diageo, they conducted experiments on chilling drinks and discovered that adding your cocktail to the glass (even a chilled one) will increase the temperature of the drink. Eau de Vie get around this by adding dry ice. At home I do my best without dry ice by popping all the utensils and ingredients in the freezer 15 minutes before I need them.
Prepping the garnish
Once you’ve taken a slice of orange, make sure you remove as much of the white pith as possible. Cut to shape and finally twist over the drink to release the orange oils and then drop into the drink.
Greg Sanderson is a hospitality professional who is well known for his extensive experience in the bar industry and passion for all things cocktails and spirits related. After completing a Bachelor of Business Major in Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Queensland Greg relocated to the UK to pursue work within the cocktail and spirit scene. Greg prides himself on being a booze nerd and has plied his trade behind the bar in Australia the UK and briefly the US. Upon returning to Australia Greg has worked and run such Melbourne drinking institutions as Gin Palace, Murmur, Black Pearl and is currently the Co-Owner and General Manager of Eau-de-Vie Melbourne. Greg has won many competitions and accolades along the way however his most proudest accolade within the bar industry was winning the much sought after title of 2012 Australian Bartender of the Year at the Bartender Magazines Bartender Awards.