Although not very fashionable these days, we’re going to cop to being fans of the mid-century martini. Critics of mid-century cocktails will complain the drinks of this era seemed to have grown out of a déclassé game, namely, trying to get as much booze as possible into a glass. But that’s also exactly what we like about them.
The mid-century martini, then, is dry, since we don’t want to water down any high-proof gin with any of that low alcohol–content vermouth. As such, we’re always on the lookout for high-quality gin that tastes nice chilled and served, essentially, straight up. Contenders in the Gin Smackdown have been Junipero, Hendrick’s and, now, Gin Mare, a new offering from Spain which is exceptionally smooth, with a hint of savoury and light oil, perhaps from the arbequina olives and basil that go into its genetic make-up.
It just got off the boat and recently made it up onto the LCBO’s shelves and, although it’s kinda pricey at $54.95, it’s definitely worth a try for any other like-minded mid-century martini stalwarts. If the LCBO knows what it’s doing, it’s banking on a gaggle of us assembling around its new store at Maple Leaf Gardens, which has stocked 96 of the province’s roughly 250 bottles.