New unique cocktails for World Martini Day 2022

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Journalist H. L. Mencken described the martini as “the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet”. And this perfect cocktail has its own annual party day. World Martini Day, on the third Saturday in June (June 18, 2022), is an independently organized global tribute to the martini and the bars, brands and drinkers to celebrate this popular cocktail.

The IBA (International Bartenders Association) defines a martini as a gin to dry vermouth ratio of 6:1. However, this definition is for purists as there are many varieties made by bartenders around the world, including the famous vodka martini favored by fictional spy James Bond who enjoys his drink “shaken, not stirred”. And in Casino Royale, Bond author Ian Fleming invented the Vesper martini, with gin, vodka and Kina Lillet. Some drink experts attribute the popularity of vodka martinis in large part to James Bond and since the 1960s you must specify gin or vodka when ordering.

X MUSE, launched in 2021, is the first blended barley vodka inspired by Scottish spirit-making traditions. And Jupiter Artland co-founder Robert Wilson and alcohol expert Vadim Grigoryan bravely chose barley over the more traditional potatoes or wheat to create “a sipping vodka that’s also great in classic cocktails such as martinis”. Difford’s guide says “it’s fantastic in a stirred 5:1 martini.”

World Martini Day defines a martini as a cocktail dominated by white alcohol, mixed with flavored wine. Other ingredients like liqueurs and small amounts of other spirits (maraschino, curacao, benedict, bitters, absinthe, peated scotch, etc.) can also be added to a “Real Martini”. The definition is loose enough to give bartenders some creative freedom, but strict enough that a cocktail called a martini simply because it’s served in a V-shaped glass is excluded – think Espresso or Pornstar martinis. It is also a condition of use of the World Martini Day brand that brands, bars and retailers only promote “Real Martinis”.

With these simple rules in mind, “world’s best bar” The Connaught in London offers a variety of martinis, including a new vodka martini specially created for World Martini Day 2022. Legendary bartender Ago Perrone uses a vodka unique Polish Konik’s Tail to make two cocktails to celebrate World Martini Day, the Classic and the Martini Spell (a playful nod to spelled, one of the three grains of Konik’s Tail vodka).

The Konik’s Tail Martini Spell is an evolution of the classic martini, adding to the base of the basic spirit a sweet, dry vermouth milk punch with cocoa powder and an aged cassia and lemon balm cordial. The clever combination of woody and fresh, earthy aromas and balsamic notes enhance Konik’s Tail’s unique spelled grain blend.

Konik’s Tail is a vodka with a story. A super premium small-batch vodka is the result of founder Pleurat Shabani’s 20-year journey from Kosovo to the UK, working behind the bar to craft vodka for Eastern European distilleries. Years of traveling to Poland to understand the soil, climate, grain and terroir and experimenting with 350 different blends went into the liquid. Konik’s Tail combines three grains: ancient spelled, golden rye and early winter wheat. The spiciness of rye blends with the creamy texture of winter wheat and the breaded flavor of spelled, each grain enhancing each other, for a pure-tasting vodka with a cracked black pepper finish.

Since its launch in 2011, Konik’s Tail has grown steadily, with an impressive average monthly growth of 40% since reopening the UK restaurant in 2021. In 2022, Konik’s Tail entered the US market, with Southern Glazer’s as distributor.

Konik’s Tail Martini Recipes by The Connaught’s Ago Perrone

Spell Martini

45ml Konik’s Tail vodka

45 ml dry and sweet vermouth milk punch with cocoa powder

10 ml aged cordial with cassia and lemon balm

Combine all ingredients over ice and strain into a martini glass.

Connaught Classic Martini

75ml Konik’s Tail vodka

15ml Connaught vermouth mix

3 drops of aromatic bitters (choose from tonka, cardamom, lavender, ginseng and bergamot, coriander)

Mix the vermouth mix and vodka over ice and strain into a martini glass topped with your bitter of choice. Garnish with lemon or olive zest.

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