There has been a great deal of debate about what makes a true Martini. Books have been written about it, and notable names have argued its finer points. Some feel a real Martini must be made with gin (as opposed to vodka). But should it contain a whisper of vermouth? A full shot? The debate will no doubt continue, so the best course of action is to experiment and find your favorite formula
While Martini wars rage on, few can argue that the Gin and Tonic is one of the quintessential drinks of summer. The classic recipe in a tall glass over ice garnished with a sliver of lime can’t be beat on a hot day. The fresh lime gives the drink zest and complements the gin’s herbal flavors—a combination that gives the beverage an aroma similar to fresh-cut grass.
Gin, the indispensable element in these drinks, starts with a neutral grain spirit (usually distilled from barley or corn), and is flavored with a number of botanicals including the essential juniper berries, and also coriander, lemon and orange peels, licorice, and other carefully—guarded secret additions. A fine gin will typically contain six to 10 botanicals, sometimes more.
Some new gins on the market have toned down the juniper to appeal to vodka fans. And with the recent upswing in micro distilling, new gins are lining liquor store shelves. Local gins like 3BEES gin, a product of Sherwoods Winery & Distillery in Duluth, Du Nord Fitzgerald Gin in Minneapolis, and Solvieg Gin of Far North Spirits in Hallock are all local options for the herbaceous spirit. Just about anyone should find a style suitable for raising a glass to summer.