The Gin Martini

fennelsalamisandwiches

Ingredients

Serves 4

For the Gin Martini:

  • 300mls good gin [Plymouth is my favoured tipple]
  • 50mls dry vermouth [Dry Martini or Noilly Prat, if you prefer]
  • plenty of ice, briefly rinsed
  • 4 zests taken from an unwaxed lemon [use a potato peeler]

For the tiny fennel-salami sandwiches:

  •  1 small loaf of bread, thinly sliced [preferably with a close-textured crumb; I use the French pain de mie, for best results, which will slice nice and thin]
  • softened unsalted butter
  • about 12 thin slices fennel-salami [finocchiona]

 

Method

For the Gin Martini:

  1. First of all, have the gin in the fridge and glasses ready chilled in the freezer; I use small glass beakers, inspired by those used at Harry's Bar in Venice.
  2. Now fill a large cocktail shaker [or glass jug] with plenty of ice.
  3. Add the vermouth and then pour over the gin. Mix well with a stirrer [I often use a chopstick] for about a minute, so that it is really cold.
  4. Strain into the chilled glasses and tweak the lemon zest over each filled glass using both thumbs and fore-fingers, outer skin facing down. Once you see the lemony oil spray over the surface of the drinks, discard the zest.
  5. Serve the Martinis without delay.

For the tiny fennel-salami sandwiches:

  1. Cut the first, thick crusty slice of bread from one end of the loaf.
  2. Now, holding the loaf one hand, thinly butter the newly exposed bread. Only now cut the first thin slice and lay out on chopping/bread board.
  3. Continue with seven more buttered slices.
  4. Now, lay them out, cover four of them with three slices of salami [carefully folding them over so that they neatly fit the bread].
  5. Lay over the other four slices and press firmly to seal together.
  6. Cut off the crusts, then cut each sandwich into four dainty fingers. Serve with the Martinis, whilst also marvelling at how deliciously they compliment each other.