Craft An Epic Martini with Tips & Recipe from Epicurean Hotel
In honor of National Martini Day, I’m sharing portions of this article which first appeared in Agent Magazine, July 2017.
Celebrate “National Martini Day” on June 19th or any day you feel like a classic cocktail! Get ready to prepare your own with the recipe and tips below. Or plan a trip to the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa, Florida. Either way, I hope you’ll be inspired to go #MakeSomedayHappen
The Classic Martini. Elevated.
No other cocktail evokes images of sophistication and class like the martini. Premium ingredients and expert craftsmanship de rigueur. The recipe’s simplicity demands it. Yet, the three-ingredient cocktail is not as simple as it seems.
Shaken or stirred. Gin or vodka. Dry or extra dry. A whisper of vermouth or wet. Perfect or dirty. Olive or twist. Ordering a martini is as complex as the secret menu at Starbucks. No other cocktail elicits such fervor for details.
Although origins are as cloudy as a dirty martini, there’s no denying its elite status as the classic American cocktail. Some believe it evolved from the “Martinez” cocktail in San Francisco’s The Occidental Hotel in 1860s. The Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City claims the first dry martini in early 1900s. The Epicurean Hotel in Tampa, Florida took this classic and elevated it with the Elit® Martini.
The Epicurean Hotel Was Made For Foodies.
The Epicurean is a foodie’s paradise where every element, from decor to menus, inspires indulgence. The front desk consists of wine racks. Everywhere you look, there’s some reference to the art of dining well. Gourmand cred is solidified by the partnership with legendary Bern’s Steak House. The boutique hotel, located in the trendy Hyde Park historic district, is the epicenter of the city’s social buzz.
The bar at Élevage, the signature restaurant, is a bustling hot spot for locals and visitors where business and pleasure converge every day of the week. A martini in hand looks good amidst the sleek design. Rustic touches, natural light mixed with hemp chandeliers, add comfortable contrast. Dark lit corners encourage intimate conversation, the striking zinc bar calls for spirited banter.
It’s always great to have some fun bites along with your cocktails. And, Élevage does not disappoint. They offer an ever-changing menu during Happy Hour, daily from 4-7pm. I enjoyed Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs and conch fritters during my visit.
The Elit® Martini was designed for the sophisticated palate. The long elegant finish encourages lingering. Sip. Relax. Unwind.
Tips To Make An Epic Martini
“For the purist, Stoli® Elit® is a super premium spirit perfect for a martini. It is clean, clear, crisp with a slight citrus finish” says bar supervisor and mixologist Roger McQueen. “If you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out. The finish is second to none.” Stolichnaya uses a modernized freezing method of distillation to achieve the highest level of purity.
This martini drinks as smooth as 007’s moves.
The secret to making a proper martini is in the shaker, advises McQueen. It must be full of ice. “Shake hard and fast to get that perfect chill, without watering down your drink”. Too little ice or too soft a shake results in a watered down cocktail. Made properly, it demands attention.
The garnish is no afterthought. Large green olives, stuffed in-house with Statesboro® blue cheese from Georgia add a delightful zing. The creamy, 75-day old cave-aged blue cheese offers a pleasantly balanced flavor profile.
If you prefer, ask for your martini “dirty” and get a delightful zip with a splash of olive brine. It’s time to raise your glass and say “cheers” to enjoying the finer things in life.
Elit Martini Recipe
The classic Martini cocktail elevated with Stoli Elit Vodka and blue cheese stuffed olives recipe by Epicurean Hotel in Tampa, FL.
- 2.5 ounces Stoli® Elit® vodka
- 1 ounce Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambery
- 3 blue cheese stuffed large green olives
Freeze martini glasses to chill.
Fill cocktail shaker with ice.
Add vodka and vermouth (and splash of olive brine if “dirty”).
Shake vigorously for at least 10 seconds.
Strain into chilled glass.
Serve straight up.
Garnish with olives.
I hope you’re inspired to celebrate Martini Day or any day with a classic martini. Or, better yet, plan an Epic Foodie Weekend to Tampa and enjoy the Elit Martini at Élevage. Located in the Epicurean Hotel, 1207 South Howard Avenue, Tampa, FL 33606. ElevageRestaurant.com
Go #MakeSomedayHappen one delicious bite, sip and trip a time! And when you do, please share your experiences by tagging @GoEpicurista so I can celebrate with you!
Cheers to the good life.