Those of you who read Gastronomista on a regular basis know how much I love a Martini, and even more so, a creative twist on a Martini. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the Martini is a perfect cocktail to showcase subtle and complex flavors, especially if the base spirit is vodka. The vodka acts like a prism, and pulls apart all of the different layers of flavor found in vermouths, bitters, and other modifying spirits.
Bergamot has been on my mind as of late, the flowery citrus fruit grown in Calabria, Italy that is used to make Earl Grey Tea. It has such a lovely and unique flavor: a combination of the familiar citrus flavors of orange and grapefruit, aromas of fresh flowers, with a bittersweet finish. I was inspired to make a Bergamot Tincture - a simple infusion of Bergamot peel and neutral grain spirits left to rest for a few weeks.
The result was everything I hoped it would be, a sweet and aromatic tincture that is saturated with flavors of citrus, flowers, and a touch of bitterness. I used this tincture in a vermouth heavy Martini with a few drops of Black Cloud Prairie Rose bitters to give the Bergamot more flavors to play with, resulting in a gorgeous and refreshing floral cocktail.
Without further ado, the Bergamot and Rose-Water Martini:
Bergamot and Rose-Water Martini
Created by Gastronomista
2 oz Vodka
1 oz Bianco Vermouth
1/4 Dropper of Bergamot Tincture (see below)
2-3 Dashes Black Cloud Prairie Rose Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with a Lemon Twist.
For the Bergamot Tincture:
6 oz Everclear or high-proof vodka
1/4 cup Dried Bergamot Peels
Let sit for 2-3 weeks, let steep until preferred flavor is reached.