With a Twist
by Paula Marcaux
Dogmatic martini-lovers like me, who cleave to the discipline of freezer-cold gin with a splash of vermouth and one restrained garnish, are rather dismissive of anything ersatz in the sacred glass. So this one was a bit of a surprise.
Cocktail hour with farmers has a different feel to it, to be sure; not many bank tellers haul out a forty-pound tote of garlic scapes and ask one’s opinion as to the best way to incorporate them into a stiff drink. But such was the challenge, and the Gibson tradition (martini with pickled baby onion in the place of the twist or olive) pointed the way. The result far exceeded the expectations of the die-hard martini-purist. Its most unusual characteristic was that of actually improving as the drink slowly warmed and the subtle garlic goodness crept into the gin. Once it had a name, a new cocktail tradition — if micro-regional and highly seasonal — was born. Thus:
With a small sharp knife, slit a fresh garlic scape lengthwise in two; set aside.
Use your cocktail glass to measure a desired amount of good gin from the freezer into a cocktail shaker with ample ice. Rinse your glass with a splash of dry vermouth, adding it to the shaker. (No shaker? Use a big measuring cup, lots of ice, and a spoon. Have the satisfaction of quoting James Bond…).
Manhandle your scape twist a bit to release the oils. Tie the curls into a square knot if it pleases you, rub the inside and rim of your glass with it and deposit it within. After shaking or stirring your cocktail to absolute coldness, pour and savor.