I’ve been as faithful as I can to the gin and vermouth martini during 30 martinis in 30 days, and while I’m steering well clear of appletinis, some alternative recipes are too good not to share. The Spanish Martini (or sherry martini) is one of those.
It’s a twist on a classic martini, using sherry instead of, or as well as, dry vermouth. Sherry is made using white grapes and comes from Jerez in Spain. Fino and Manzanilla are the two styles of sherry that work best, giving a brighter, less botanical heavy martini with a good savoury hit. Have a play with different sherries to see which you like best. Just remember to treat your sherry like a vermouth, keep it in the fridge and remember it will go off after a few weeks.
I first experimented with a Spanish martini when tasting Four Pillars Cousin Vera’s gin using Fino, the driest and palest of traditional sherries, and yes I garnished it with Jamòn, because why wouldn’t you?
However, one of the best Spanish martinis I tasted was at a special pop-up in New Orleans with Ford’s Gin during Tales of the Cocktail. There they used Manzanilla, a crisp, bone-dry sherry that works exceptionally well in place of vermouth (see main image).
For 30 martinis in 30 days I’ve made another version of a Spanish martini using Xoriguer gin from Menorca, one of the only gins in the world to have it’s own appellation, or geographic designation, and Fino sherry. I’ve adjusted the ratio of gin and sherry as Xoriguer has a lower ABV (38% than most gins used in a martini.
Ingredients for a Spanish martini
60ml Xoriguer Mahòn gin
20ml Fino Sherry
Stir gin and sherry in an ice-filled mixing glass for 45-50 seconds. Double strain into a chilled glass and garnish with an olive.