Imagine this: It's Hollywood 1930 and you are sitting at the bar at Musso & Frank enjoying a cocktail, quite possibly a gin martini, as you listen to the banter of Hollywood celebrities, writers and producers. This is what it's like to read "Of All the Gin Joints," a crazy collection of Hollywood tales, movie star bios and cocktail recipes written by Mark Bailey, and illustrated by Edward Hemingway.
This nostalgic book brings to the forefront events you've most likely never heard before. At times you will find yourself laughing out loud at the antics taking place and at other times blushing at the scandalous nature of the stories unfolding before you. And maybe, at some point, you may even find yourself wanting to make a cocktail.
The classic Martini, which was popular during prohibition, was originally a cocktail made with gin and a splash of dry vermouth garnished with an olive. Over the years, the martini has expanded to include various other spirits & mixers; but I'm a gin girl so the classic is what I prefer.
Gin has been my spirit of choice for as long as I can remember. The complex flavor usually derived from juniper berries works well with most other ingredients making it a great base for cocktails. I am by no means a gin connoisseur but I do know what I like and most recently it's been Oryza Gin from Donner-Peltier Distillers
DPD is a grain to glass micro-distillery located in Thibodaux Louisiana founded by Tom and Beth Donner and Henry and Jennier Peltier. The Oryza gin is handcrafted in small batches using Louisiana rice and 11 botanicals including local cantaloupe and satsumas, as well as juniper, lavender, coriander, oris root, pink peppercorn, angelica root, paradise seed, orange peel, and lemon peel; citrus being its signature note.
In my opinion the best way to experience the complexity of a gin is in a Classic Martini like the one below adapted from "All The Gin Joints."
3oz of your favorite gin (I used Oryza)
6 dashes of Dry Vermouth
2 olives or a lemon twist
Pour gin and vermouth into a mixing glass filled with ice cubes and stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with olives or lemon twist.
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