How a High-Tech Bartender Makes a Gin Martini

© Frances Janisch
By Justine Sterling Posted April 09, 2015

After a long day of mad-scientist-level mixology at Cambridge’s Café ArtScience, bar manager and partner Todd Maul wants a gin Martini. It may not require any lab equipment (rotovaps and centrifuges get heavy use at this bar), but Maul's recipe for this classic is extremely precise. Here, his guide to stirring up (certainly not shaking) the perfect Martini.

After a long day of mad-scientist-level mixology at Cambridge’s Café ArtScience, bar manager and partner Todd Maul wants a gin Martini. It may not require any lab equipment (rotovaps and centrifuges get heavy use at this bar), but Maul's recipe for this classic is extremely precise. Here, his guide to stirring up (certainly not shaking) the perfect Martini.

The Gin: Beefeater
Maul likes his Martini on the sharp side, and this high-quality but not-too-refined standby produces the mouth-drying effect he's after.

The Vermouth: Dolin Dry
Maul says vermouth's job is to fill in gin's potholes. “Dolin is smooth with citrus notes,” Maul says. “It helps round off the gin.”

The Ratio: 16:1
Bar back training at Café ArtScience involves making Maul's post-shift Martini, and one key test is consistently nailing the gin-to-vermouth ratio. “Martini drinkers are as anal as Scotch drinkers,” he says. “And they have every right to be.”

The Extra Touch: Orange Bitters
Maul adds just one dash of Regan’s orange bitters to the cocktail. While the gin has a drying effect, the bitters do the opposite and make your mouth water.

The Mixing Glass: Japanese Crystal Mixing Glass
Maul doesn’t time his stir, as many bartenders do. Instead, he goes by feel. It should be very, very, very cold.

The Glass: Cocktail
It’s an old-school cocktail (or Martini) glass for Maul every time—though coupes are also acceptable. “The glass-chiller should be cranked up to ludicrous,” he says. “There’s nothing worse than getting a drink served up in a room-temperature glass.” Maul likes how the drink evolves over time as the heat from his hand warms up the cocktail. “You’re an active participant in your own beverage,” he says. “As the drink warms up, it opens like a bouquet.”

The Garnish: Lemon Twist
Maul eschews olives for a citrusy lemon twist, which plays off the flavors in the vermouth and the bitters. But don’t try to simply slice off a strip and express the zest over the drink. “Get a channel knife and a lemon,” he says. “Aim it at a 45-degree angle over the drink. Keep your thumb on the backside of the lemon and twist it toward you. It will spray, and you should be able to actually see the surface of the drink move. If it’s not done that way, you shouldn’t be paying for the drink.”

Related: 10 Martini Recipes
23 Classic Cocktails to Master
15 Cocktails for the Coupe

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