Cheers! This Is Our New Favorite Take on the Martini.

In time for World Martini Day, a modern spin on an old classic

Plymouth
A complex and thoroughly updated take on the martini (Courtesy of The Modern)
By Kirk Miller / June 19, 2019 1:25 pm

In celebration of World Martini Day (June 19th), we decided to go modern.

Which means we didn’t try to emulate James Bond (note: Bond author Ian Fleming preferred gin) or fly to Spain to consume one bar’s 42,196th serving of the classic tipple.

Instead, we walked up the street, took a seat with the team from Plymouth Gin and had Patrick Smith, the bar manager at the Museum of Modern Art’s Michelin-starred restaurant The Modern, explain his updated take on the martini.

Smith’s variation is dubbed (natch) the Modern Martini, and it involves a lot of unexpected flavors: Some Nardini Acqua di Cedro (made from cedro lemons and dubbed “the noble cousin to limoncello”), an aloe liqueur from California, two different gins, and Rockey’s, a clarified milk punch that’s perfectly clear and the first milk punch available commercially in more than a century.

The result — which is stirred, not shaken — has an amazingly creamy mouthfeel and a real gentleness to it. This isn’t a martini to smack you in the head; this is one that goes down smoothly. Had work not beckoned, we might have had a few more. At least three.

Credit as well to the gin. Plymouth is an iconic brand that harkens back to the 18th century and is the oldest working gin distillery in England, although the brand itself has a rather disjointed ownership history. “Plymouth is such a well balanced and soft gin, and it’s incredibly versatile,” says Plymouth’s Global Brand Ambassador Sebastian Hamilton-Mudge. “But it truly excels in stirred cocktails such as martinis, where the focus is heavily on the gin itself.”

Not the easiest martini to source, admittedly, but certainly worth a trip to New York. It’s World Martini Day: you need to celebrate, right?

MODERN MARTINI

¼ oz Nardini Acqua di Cedro
¼ oz Chareau Aloe Vera Liqueur
½ oz Rockey’s Milk Punch
½ oz Dolin Blanc vermouth
1 oz Tanqueray 10
1 oz Plymouth

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir well with ice. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a lemon twist.