White Crook Martini

The Martini has always been a favorite of mine. It maybe because I watched to many James Bond movies as a kid, or because it was the first drink I was taught how to make when I started bartending. It was a lesson I didn’t appreciate enough at the time, as it was by far the most influential training I have received in the past 20 years of slinging booze. Ironically, the training started out with an angry Bar Tender bitching at why anyone in their right mind would hire me. She was a great Bar Tender, and a wonderful teacher as it was hard to forget anything she said as it was incredibly demeaning, exceptionally vulgar, and reinforced with just enough arrogance to help me understand how much she didn’t like me. I cant remember her name for the life of me, but by god I can make a great martini! The White Crook Martini was inspired by a boring afternoon wondering if I had to serve a drink to Howe and Hummel the Misguided Mascots on our bottle what would it be and why. I imagined it would be a strong drink, but easy to have more than one of. It would be versatile, somewhat sophisticated, but a little bit corrupt. I started with a favorite of mine which is a traditional martini, that is a bit scuffed up, not dirty, but scuffed up. To give it a bit of edge I added fresh ground white pepper and left out the vermouth. The white pepper infuses the vodka surprisingly well, which compliments the light acidity of the brine and the stuffed olives. It turns out this is a pretty balanced drink, but with enough character to stand out. It would work great as a base for a 3 martini lunch, or in place of the salad coarse at your favorite steak house – which has always made me wonder. Why does anyone go to a steak house to order a salad? Maybe, just maybe, the White Crooke Martini will make it so people don’t have to.

Start by filling a traditional Martini glass with ice and water and set aside. Grind 3-4 turns of White Pepper into a cocktail shaker and add the White Crook Vodka along with the olive brine. Fill the shaker with broken ice and shake violently until your hand freezes to the metal shaker. Empty the Martini glass of the ice water and using a sieve filter the ice and pepper granules from the chilled martini as your pour it into the chilled glass. Add 3 olives (preferably stuffed with Blue Cheese) and serve immediately.

  • 1/4 teaspoon White Pepper (4 turns of a pepper mill)
  • 4 ounces White Crook Vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Olive Brine
  • 3 olives stuffed with Blue Cheese