Let’s be clear, Portland gin is not the London dry gin you’re used to. Don’t be surprised by the floral notes and the relaxed juniper that often characterize the Portland style, and don’t look for the sharp, focused taste you might think of when considering gin. A true London dry gin is a strong bite of juniper that announces itself in any drink, but a Portland gin, like the now classic and well known Aviation gin, is much more of a compliment to the cocktail, mixing and accentuating the other ingredients, and letting those ingredients add to the complexity of the spirit for a more balanced drink all around. This couldn’t be more evident than in a martini. An Aviation martini is a different experience because the juniper is toned down, the botanicals find an even playing field, and the citrus makes itself know just enough. Match it with a dry vermouth, such as Ransom Dry Vermouth, a product made with Pacific Northwest grapes and infused with an array of organic ingredients, and you get a martini that’s nothing like the martini you know. It’s still a martini, but it’s got dancing shoes on.
We like our martini dry, mixed 4:1, gin to vermouth, and without the dash of bitters some prefer.
Stir with ice and serve up. Garnish with a lemon twist, or 2 olives.
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