Marco Zappia can astound you with a very detailed -- borderline obsessive -- discussion about deconstructing the elements of a cocktail. As part of Eat Street Social and local bitters company Bittercube, he's deep into the process of creating oleo-citrates, which arose because of the great lime crisis of 2014. Now they are on the latest Eat Street cocktail menu that came out this week (check out the Maleficent). Suffice it to say they are a really complex way to replace the citrus in your tiki bar selections.
If you'd like to discuss the vagaries of extracting flavor profiles from classic libations or how to reverse engineer lime juice, he's your man. But despite all the seemingly highbrow talk, he's a rather egalitarian guy. He likes a simple drink made from his favorite spirit.
As a lead-in to revealing his drink of choice, Zappia explains what a large investment is needed to create a distillery and then, in the case of whiskey, wait patiently as your product ages. Not so with his dearest, our old friend gin. Once it's made, it's ready, and that means you can quickly start selling it. Gin: It's a drink that is for, and can be made by, the people. Or in Zappia's parlance, it's the "blue-collar spirit."
What's in your glass? Marco Zappia: A gin martini
Gin Martini 2 1/4 ounces Citadelle Gin (for stronger gins he recommends a 2 to 1 ratio) 3/4 ounce Dolin Dry Vermouth 1 eyedropper Bittercube Orange Bitters Lemon peel or twist
Pour the gin and vermouth into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir the mixture for somewhere between 20 and 40 seconds depending on your tastes. Strain into a cocktail glass. Add the bitters to the drink. Express the lemon oil from the peel or twist over the drink and drop into the glass.
The perfect amount of dilution is what makes the gin martini sing. According to Zappia, the right amount of melted ice stirred in helps give it a smooth and almost creamy mouthfeel and taste. After drinking one made by him, we have to agree.
Stop by Eat Street and order one, or have a less swanky High Life. Zappia is likely to join you in either one, all the while rhapsodizing about single, double, and triple fold gins.
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