Jan. 26th, 2009

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  • 17:48 Created a new cocktail incorporating Cynar AND thyme. Funky good! #

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The Martinlez

2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
1 1/2 tsp. Cynar
half an orange, sliced
leaves from two branches off a sprig of fresh thyme—about 1/8 tsp leaves

Muddle orange, thyme leaves, and Cynar in shaker or mixing glass. Add plenty of ice, gin, and vermouth. Shake or stir, strain through a fine strainer into a cocktail glass. (uh, simple conversion tells me 1.5 tsp = 1/4 oz. so... yeah... not sure what I was thinking)

I made three variations, one with sweet vermouth and one with dry, each with 4 drops of Peychaud's, then one with dry vermouth and no peychauds. They were all pretty good. I found I liked the dry vermouth-no-peychaud's version best—and in this case actually preferred the shaken version over the stirred, since clarity was not a requirement. But use a fine strainer, not a bar strainer or the shaker top. Otherwise you'll have a bunch of pulp and shit floating in your glass and it looks gross and feels dreadful in the mouth.

The others were very rich but I liked the tight tartness of the dry vermouth version. It felt more focused and also I think the two bitters didn't compete. We had all these oranges around the house and I was staring at the Cynar (I don't spend a lot of time staring at my bottles, normally) thinking about ways to play off its funkiness. Then I realized sweet oranges might actually balance it really nicely. The thyme—well, I've been wanting to get more herbal with cocktails. I thought about the original Martinez, which in one variant I've tasted (not all, as google reminds me), used healthy quantities of orange bitters, liqueur, or both. This reminded me of a Martinez in that sense, only much more funky. So I thought the L in the name would communicate a little more funk. Try one today!
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