Sunday, August 24, 2014

Blue Sapphire Martini

The End Of Martini Week: Some Thoughts
For some, every week is Martini Week. That seems to be the case here in the Jolly Bartender world where I am often asked by my guests to make something they have never had before and that often means a variation on a Martini. I have said before that I am liberal in my definition of “Martini,” but that some drinks are not really a Martini simply because they are in a cocktail glass. The Blue Lady I posted on Friday doesn’t fit my definition of Martini because it contains no gin or vodka and is made of a majority of liqueurs. Still, I featured it because it was expertly made by another bartender who attended Thursday’s class.

I will however end Martini Week with a true Martini, and one that in my opinion is visually most appealing to have with a bottle of Bombay Sapphire on hand.

Blue Sapphire Martini
  • 3 oz. Bombay Sapphire gin
  • 1/4 oz. blue curacao
Shake on ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist and rim glass with lemon juice.

The Jolly Bartender On The Purpose Of The Blog
Just to be clear to my followers, I want to lay out a few things that are important to me as a bartender and lay aside things that I could care less about when making this blog. The most important thing to me is enjoying myself in whatever I chose to do. If this was a labor that I didn’t enjoy, I wouldn’t do it. As it turns out, making drinks well is a great way to make friends. I’ve found that garnering a reputation as a cocktail chef has helped me bridge social gaps and find common ground between myself and people I normally wouldn’t interact with. We are brought together by a similar love of sharing stories and learning how to make drinks. Now my guests and students, most of whom have always wanted a home bar, say that they feel that they are much closer to finally starting a liquor collection and mixing at home.

That is the other purpose of this blog. I want to help people try drinks they wouldn’t usually order when they are at a bar and to learn to make drinks they like, but I am also offering a guide to starting a home bar and shortcuts to making a versatile bar—one that can make the most number of drinks with as few bottles as possible to keep it affordable and portable. One of the things I will do is recommend inexpensive liquors that get you the most for your dollars. That doesn’t mean I am a cheapskate, I just don’t subscribe to branding and would prefer that my readers use whatever liquor they enjoy most. I just don’t believe that top shelf is always the best choice for hosting parties.

There are some things I care about, quality of ingredients, glassware, affordability, even the attractiveness of packaging or color of liquor. All these things add to the experience. Things I don’t care about include brand loyalty, marketing, ubiquity of liquor, and strictly adhering to tradition. I am not a snob and if it appears that I am providing marketing to top shelf liquors, it is merely by accident. I do find that Martinis are better with the best gin and vodka available, and I don’t always make mixed drinks, preferring a single malt scotch, bourbon, or whiskey neat. Look at my virtual bar— — it is mostly whiskey. That is my choice as a whiskey drinker and I have tailored my bar to fit the needs of my friends who also drink whiskey or mix with it, and yet it has enough variety to make just about any other drink called for.

One thing I am not about is “The Best______.” I mean I won’t say that there is a best way to make a Martini, or a best ingredient. There are just ways and the difference in these ways reflect the tastes of every individual. While I say I am not brand loyal, I can look at my bar and see that I have repeatedly replaced products by Smirnoff, Sauza, Bombay Sapphire, Black Velvet, Evan Williams very consciously while deliberately buying off-brands at other times. This is just part of my method of adjusting the bar to my needs. I agree that Crown Royal is better Canadian whiskey than other brands, but I hesitate to say anything is “the best” due to my sensitivity to what works with what drink. Even then, it is impossible to claim that one way to do anything is “the best” way.

Readers, when you post recipes or comments, keep this in mind: is the post encouraging creativity and fun and not trying to top what others are doing? This is not a competition—you don’t win a free T-shirt for the most outrageous drink. You’ll notice I chose to repost drinks that others make when I see that the drink is doable for most home bars and uses existing glassware that someone would have at home. My tips for home bartending won’t include using things that are only available at a bar like soda guns and beer taps. I won’t discuss high-volume bartending tricks, keeping my posts limited to small gatherings and home bar maintenance.

Thank you to all who follow the Jolly Bartender or attend classes at my home bar. Spread the word, experiment, and enjoy mixing as a way to enhance life and find friendship.


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Thanks for your interest in my Jolly Bartender project. I will do my best to respond as quickly as possible to your request or comment. If you would like to contact me about bartending for your event or setting up a home bar, write to me at