A classic martini is a drink that’s tough to improve upon. If you’re a fan of dirty vodka martinis, have at them; to me, the union of gin and sweet vermouth, with a big twist of lemon, is all I need.
But some drinks take the crisp, clean template of a perfect martini and take it in another direction—like the “Sherry Fine” by Nick Bennett, of Porchlight in Manhattan. It’s closer to a 50/50 martini, which splits gin and vermouth in equal proportion.
Bennett dials back the gin, while employing yellow Chartreuse for additional herbal depth; Dolin Blanc vermouth is joined by light, dry fino sherry, which contributes a nutty character. The result is a superbly drinkable cocktail with the initial bite of cold, herbal spirit that I crave from a martini, but gaining a soft body through the Chartreuse, and a distinctive savory finish courtesy of the sherry.