A variation on a martini — as such, this is a spirit forward drink intended to be sipped and savoured slowly. As my concept intertwines my past life as a dancer with my current life as a bartender and the importance of self-care that overarches the two, the use of fresh and fortifying ingredients to create a drink intended to be drank conscientiously reflects this concept.
1.75oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
0.5oz Juniper-Basil infused Bianco Vermouth*
0.75oz Tomato Water**
Barspoon Floc de Gascogne
Barspoon Fino sherry
8 drops Saline Solution***
Cherry tomato, lemon thyme, and lemon twist for garnish
Build all ingredients in mixing glass. Add ice. Stir until very well chilled (approximately 40 turns). Strain into chilled coupe. Lightly express lemon zest oil on surface of drink; discard zest.
For garnish: Run fingers across sprig of lemon thyme to release aroma. Insert stems of herb into ripe cherry tomato. Twist long ribbon of lemon zest around lemon thyme. Place finished sprig on coupe’s edge.
*Juniper & Basil-infused Bianco Vermouth: Done first with sous vide. Lightly crush one heaping teaspoon of juniper berries and top with 8oz bianco vermouth in water tight bag. Immerse bag just to the top (not fully) inside a pot or Cambro filled with water, forcing out all air. Fold top of bag over three times (being very careful not to allow any water in) and secure to side of pot with clip. Ensure vermouth and berries in bag are fully immersed in water. Set circulator to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, and let sit in sous vide for 2 hours. Remove, and allow to cool. Fine strain into clean glass jar. Chiffonade 15 large basil leaves and add to infused vermouth. Seal jar, give jar a good shake, and allow to Infuse with basil for three hours. Fine strain infused vermouth into clean glass bottle.
ALTERNATIVE METHOD: Muddle teaspoon juniper berries lightly in clean glass jar. Top with 8oz bianco vermouth. Seal jar and shake vigorously. Leave to rest for approximately 24 hours, shaking gently intermittently. Add 15 basil leaves, cut chiffonade. Seal and shake, leave to rest for three hours. Fine strain mixture into clean glass bottle.
**Tomato water: After having washed and removed vines, blend four pints of heirloom tomatoes (or equivalent of regular red “on the vine” tomatoes) skins and all, in food processor until puree is smooth and uniform. Transfer puree into small pot, and bring to simmer on medium-low heat. Simmer until tomato solids separate from liquid (approximately 5 minutes). Cover a large bowl with a linen napkin. Pour hot tomato mixture over linen, being careful to keep edges of linen taut. Wearing protective gloves and holding extra linen if necessary (as mixture will be very hot), lift edges of linen up and secure together above, allowing liquid to stream through linen into bowl. Very gently squeeze tomato pulp to coax out as much liquid as possible. Allow liquid to chill fully before use. Discard tomato pulp (or use as base for pasta sauce!).
***Saline solution: Mix 20g salt with 80mL water, shaking until clear. Transfer into dropper vial.