These are pickled green tomatoes and they rule. Photo: Claire LowerHappy hour with 3 ingredientsHappy hour with 3 ingredientsThe weekly beverage column with super simple but delicious libations.
I like to drink martinis –all types of martinis– but the salty, ice cold, dirty martini is my first gin-based love. They are especially good to eat in an inflatable hot tubThis is where I mostly drink nowadays.
However, I don’t like getting out of the hot tub to mix one up. Getting off my Coleman for some reason isn’t my favorite, but getting off to measure, move and strain? No thanks! This disdain for leaving warm water led to the creation of a streamlined, salty boy; It still requires some measurements, but no stirring of our effort. This means I can get back to the hot tub a few minutes earlier than if I had mixed a traditionally made martini. That’s valuable to me.
One thing that has always bothered me a little about this martini genre is the dilution by adding saline solution, which is mostly water. This can be mitigated by a little Replacing part of the wormwood with brineas it keeps your ratio of gin to other liquids the same, but it’s still a more dilute drink than a classic 3: 1 or 5: 1.
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Instead of stirring gin, vermouth and brine with ice to cool and dilute them, I cool the gin in the freezer, keep the brine and vermouth in the refrigerator and build everything in a (also chilled) glass so that the brine can dilute to do. After doing a lot of taste testing, I decided on a ratio of 2 1/2 ounces of frozen gin to 1/2 ounce each of refrigerator-cold dry vermouth and brine.
Not all salt solutions have the same salt (or acidity) content, but I tried this recipe with a super aggressive gherkin salt solution. a sweeter fermented green tomato brine; and a few that are somewhere in between, and I haven’t been disappointed yet. If the saline solution in your fridge is super salty, try 1/3 ounce and see how that works for you. (I have been known to eat maldon flakes straight from the salt fountain, so my palate may be a little more sodium chloride tolerant than yours.)
This martini requires that you remember to put your gin – and ideally a glass – in the freezer beforehand, but that’s not very difficult and the other two ingredients should already be in your fridge. To make this streamlined, salty, fairly stiff treat, you will need:
- 2 1/2 ounces of frozen gin
- 1/2 ounce of refrigerator-chilled dry vermouth
- 1/2 ounce chilled brine
Pour everything into a chilled coupe or martini glass and stir gently to combine. Garnish with your favorite pickled item. Repeat this process as needed.