How to make the perfect gin Martini

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Gin-drinking in 18th-century London was a far cry from the sophisticated world of martini mixology it is today. After a masterclass in mother’s ruin, led by Brand Heritage Director Ronnie Cox, we learn how to mix the perfect martini

To conjure up the scene of 18th century gin-crazed London at a recent Spirits masterclass, Ronnie metaphorically led us through the grimy lanes and home breweries which sent the capital into an alcoholic stupor for decades. Eventually, we emerged into the 19th century with the Gin & Tonic, temperance, a booming cocktail culture and, thanks to 1920s prohibition in the US, men and women drinking together for the first time.

Ronnie explained that throughout the decades gin has had many incarnations and, even in the modern marketplace, there is a huge difference in the botanicals (spices and fruit which add flavour) and production methods which are used to create this spirit. No.3 – our award-winning London Dry Gin – has a powerful juniper hit, zesty citrus notes and spicy kick of cardamom. It is a true purist’s gin designed to make a great dry martini.

To learn how to mix your best-tasting martini at home, we asked guest bartender Valentino Longo – from The Red Bar, Bam Bou – to explain his fail-safe recipe:

Add plenty of large ice cubes to a chilled mixing glass, then pour in 10ml dry vermouth (Valentino used Dolin) and stir. Add 50ml No.3 Gin and continue to stir (to chill and dilute the spirit). Then strain the liquid (holding back the ice) into a chilled martini glass, letting the stream of martini run over a lemon zest held over the glass. Finish by rubbing the zest on the edge and stem of the glass to release the oils and serve immediately.

Martinis are very individual, so add more or less vermouth to suit your own palate until you have your own tailor-made recipe.