The Journalist Cocktail: A classic Martini with a bit more pizazz
There are times when I want something that falls between a neat spirit and a cocktail. A Pink Gin, Tequini or Thunderbird spring to mind. These let the base spirit shine through in all its delicious glory but add a little something extra to excite the taste buds. The Journalist cocktail is another such drink that takes gin as its base and sends the Martini to a different place.
Everyone has their own preference when it comes to the classic Martini. If I was going to order a cocktail in a bar – assuming that the aforementioned bar had a good selection of gins and the mixologist knew exactly what they were doing – I would have a Gibson. That isn’t to say that I wouldn’t want to drink my way through their cocktails menu. Whether or not I got to the bottom is a whole other matter.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, there are as many variations on a Martini as there are people to order them. On this occasion, I wanted something good, strong and juniper flavoured to sip prior to sitting down to dinner. The first thought that crossed my mind was a Gibson, but this one one of those occasions when, shock horror, I didn’t feel like having one. My next thought was a double gin on the rocks. Again, looking through my current collection of gins this didn’t really appeal. Whilst they would all be delicious being sipped over ice, I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to savour each sip.
What I really wanted was something with my “house gin”. This gin changes month to month, but the basic premise is that it is not too complicated or too expensive so that I feel guilty about mixing it with a lot of other ingredients and not paying it much mind. On this occasion, my house gin was Greenall’s. It’s good quality in its own right, but as it was on offer, I grabbed a couple of bottles.
Having finally decided on my base gin, I once again turned to my library of cocktail recipe books for inspiration. Grabbing my copy of 1001 Cocktails and Other Decadent Drinks, it fell open at The Journalist Cocktail. Upon reading the ingredients, this was exactly the drink that I was looking for.
The published recipe for the Journalist cocktail asked for 1½ measures of gin, a dash each of dry and sweet vermouth and 2 dashes each of lemon juice, triple sec and Angostura Bitters. As usual, I played around with the proportions until I got just the right balance between sweet and dry, citrus and fruit. The end result of my tinkering with the Journalist Cocktail was not only a delicious balance of flavours that played a supporting to the gin, but also a cocktail that anticipated the coming summer days.
So below is the recipe that I finally settled on for my Journalist cocktail. By all means copy it, but I would firmly suggest that you have a little play with the proportions of the vermouths to get that perfect blend that you like in your cocktails.
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THE JOURNALIST COCKTAIL RECIPE
2 measures gin
5ml sweet vermouth
5ml dry vermouth
5ml lemon juice
dash of triple sec
dash of Angostura Bitters
Pour ingredients into an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake it vigorously like a source who is reluctant to give up a story. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.