Early this week, a colleague described a Martini she enjoyed with her husband over the weekend. The description was delivered with a reverence usually reserved for life changing events. As described, it was clear that a garnish consisting of a blue cheese stuffed olive wrapped in thick cut bacon transformed this Martini from an ordinary cocktail to a memorable one. It got my attention.
Not long ago, a Martini made with Bombay Dry Gin was my cocktail of choice. I have since cut back on these potent libations but, I keep a bottle of Bombay and a good quality vermouth in my liquor cabinet for those occasions when this classic cocktail is called for. Please keep keep in mind that a Martini is a gin cocktail and vodka is a not a legitimate substitute.
A quick check of my larder revealed that I had on hand large green olives, a great Point Reyes blue cheese and store bought, thick-cut bacon. So, game on.
The result is a great “betcha can’t drink just one” Martini. In fact, this cocktail includes all of the major food groups and two of these might be enough for a light, weeknight dinner.
There is, however, one thing I would do different next time. My colleague described a really thick piece of salty bacon and my grocery store “thick-cut” bacon while good, was not really all that thick. Next time, I plan on using a thick slice of Guanciale — Italian pork jowl bacon.
- 1 slice of thick cut bacon
- 2 large green olives, pitted
- Blue Cheese (Point Reyes Farmstead Original Blue was used here)
- Gin (I like Bombay Dry Gin and prefer it to Bombay Sapphire.)
- Dry Vermouth (Dolin French Vermouth was used here)
- Bring a skillet to medium heat. Cut the bacon slice in half cross-wise and cook in the skillet until fat is rendered and the bacon browned. Set aside on a paper towel to drain.
- Cut the bacon strips in half once again so that there are 4 pieces about 1.5” long. Stuff the cavities of the green olives with blue cheese. Slide one of the stuffed olives on a short wooden skewer followed by two pieces of bacon and another stuffed olive.
- Fill Martini glass with ice to chill. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Empty ice from the Martini glass and then pour in a small amount of vermouth. Swirl the vermouth in the glass to coat and then discard the vermouth.
- Place one cup of ice in a shaker and add three shots of gin. Shake vigorously for 1 minute.
- Place olive/bacon garnish in the glass and then strain the shaken Martini mixture. Serve with nuts, or potato chips.