Shaken or stirred. Gin, vodka or tequila. Dry, dirty, olive or a twist. The guys at Go Go Bar know that there’s many ways to make a martini and there’s also many days on which we yearn for one. So we asked a handful of Go Go’s bartenders to make five martinis for five days. Some inventive concoctions ensued.
Big Rain Martini
Joseph Williams, bar manager
The inspiration behind my martini was to push the limits of where you can take the drink. Being tequila-based, some will argue that you can't really call it a martini, but then again, you shouldn't give the name to anything with vodka near it either. So, using the broader sense of the term, I present the 'Big Rain Martini'.
Tromba Blanco is a light, floral tequila that is smooth and easygoing. It's perfect for this drink as it isn't as far removed from gin as many other more robust styles of tequila. It's easy to sip on straight, so lends itself well to a strong drink. I replaced the vermouth with a healthy rinse of Pedro Ximenez sherry, which adds a little sweetness while also accentuating the earthy notes of the tequila with toffee and raisin characters. A dash of orange bitters provides another level on the palate and helps to lift the floral notes of the tequila. Finished off with a grand orange twist to provide aroma and visual appeal.
60ml Tequila Tromba Blanco
15ml Valdespino Pedro Ximenez
1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
Stir down with ice and strain into a suitable vessel. Garnish with a long, wide spiral of orange peel.
Where there's smoke...
Brad Cooke, bartender
Cocktails are an experience that should engulf all of the senses. I'm trying to match this drink with an aroma and visual sensation, which I hope gets people excited about getting into good drinks. Haymas gin, with its luscious orange and spice blend bodes well for the base of this twisted Martinez. I'm highlighting those botanicals aided by the impressive addition of Antica and a Fernet Branca mist. It makes this drink a whiskey drinker's martini. The dehydrated orange, cardamom and nutmeg-smoked base provides an aroma that surrounds the drinker and catches the attention of everyone else at the bar.
60ml Haymans Old Tom Gin
30ml Antica Formula Vermouth
2 dashes Bokers Bitters
1 dash Orange Angostura Bitters
3 cardamom pods
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 dehydrated orange slice
Place the cardamom, nutmeg and orange slice into a smoking net under glass and light until smoking. Cover. Ice up a mixing glass and stir down the gin, Antica Formula and both of the bitters. Remove smoking net from the bulb, being careful not to lose too much of the smoke, and turn the glass the right side up. Strain the ingredients of the mixing glass into a martini glass and garnish with a Fernet Branca mist.
Mr Miller's Boiler Maker
Candice Longmire, bartender
‘Mr Miller's Boiler Maker’ is the martini version of the bartender's favourite ‘beer and a shot’, matching up spicy Goslings Rum rinse with Martin Miller's Westbourne strength and Antica Formula. Pouring the rinse into a shot glass just seemed like the best idea because tipping out a good rum makes me cry. Garnish with a fat strip of orange zest. Yes please. You drink this by sipping the martini and then tasting the shot of rum and working your way back and forth.
60ml Martin Miller's Westbourne Strength Gin
3 Bar spoons Antica Formula Vermouth
30ml Goslings Rum
Big Ass Orange Twist
Rinse your glass by placing ice in a Martini glass and pouring Goslings Rum over the ice. In a mixing glass place the Millers and Antica Formula, add some sexy ice and stir down until cold and delicious. With a Julep strainer, hold back the ice in your Martini glass and pour the Rum into a shot glass, spinning the glass as you pour. Julep-strain the Martini into your rinsed glass, zest the orange twist and serve. Best way to enjoy ‘Mr Miller's Boiler Maker’ is to have a sip of the martini, wait for the rum to come through, sip your rum and go back to your martini, repeat. Definitely not for beginners.
Cutlass Chilli Mac Milli
Max Plumley, bartender
The Scurvy dogs down at West Winds have been plundering for bush tomatoes to add to their Cutlas Gin. I've scuttled some vermouth in favour of chilli and cucumber and infused plum wine to whet up this little number. Who said you don't make friends with salad?
60ml Westwinds Cutlass Gin
5ml Noilly Prat
5ml Chilli and cucumber-infused Choya Plum Wine
Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass, stir down with ice and strain into a crystal glass. Garnish with cucumber sleeve and chilli on the rim.
Kevin Cheetham, bartender
I feel the main point of a martini is to accentuate the subtle flavours for the base spirit. I therefore chose Blue Ribbon Gin, with its peppery notes that work well with Asian flavours. As I wanted to have a savoury spiced flavour, the Green Chartruse and celery bitters gives this martini a fresh, fiery finish.
60ml Blue Ribbon Gin
1 dash of celery bitters
Rinse a chilled martini glass with the Green Chartreuse. In a mixing glass, pour in the gin and the celery bitters and stir down with ice. Discard the rinse contents of the martini glass and strain the contents of the mixing glass into the martini glass. Garnish with an obnoxious piece of celery and cracked pepper.
Gin Soaked Sundays start at Go Go Bar this Sunday January 15, kicking of a weekly affair of martinis from 5pm with a separate martini list promoting the classic cocktail.