Entertaining Tip #1: Offer a Signature Cocktail

With the holidays just around the corner I’m going to be giving you a series of tips on how to execute a truly impressive dinner. Over the next few weeks, I will be walking you through a dinner course by course. So, as the song says, “let’s start at the very beginning.”

If you’re anything like me you’re still prepping and cooking when your guests arrive. What you need here is an easy way to greet your guests and help them relax. At our house we greet our guest with what has become our signature cocktail, the Martinez. Its gin-based cocktail but what I love about it is that it appeals to everyone, people that love gin like it, people that hate gin like it, people that only drink bourbon like it and it’s so simple to make. I am putting the recipe below and you can make an entire batch in advance so it’s ready to go. The important part is to mix it in a pitcher with ice and once it is cold and properly diluted remove the ice with a strainer and put the batch in the refrigerator. I also set up a tray with glassware and garnish items so when they come in I just pour a glass, garnish and get back in the kitchen while they relax.

The Martinez
• 1 1/2 ounces Ransom Old Tom Gin
• 1 1/2 ounces Contrato Sweet Vermouth
• 1/4 ounce Lazzaroni Maraschino Liqueur
• 2 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters
• Garnish: orange twist

Combine all ingredients in a mixing jar with ice and stir vigorously. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a swath of orange rind. Also, if you don’t have a coupe glass you don’t need to stress. You can server it in a martini glass or a rocks glass or even a small wine glass.


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 Vine & Table #301