Thanks to a recent shift change at work, I'm now off on Sundays. This means I can once more be on the receiving end of that wonderful Sunday morning drinking tradition, brunch. Some of my favorite cocktails are tailor-made for brunch.
I can get picky with my brunch drinks. The Bloody Mary is the standard bearer, of course. But often, I don't want lunch in a glass. On the other end of the spectrum, a properly made Ramos Gin Fizz is ethereal. But, sometimes they're a little too light. Further, they're such a pain in the ass to make that I almost never make them at home.
Recently for brunch, I was in the mood for some middle ground. I wanted a light, refreshing drink, but one that still had a little firepower. I went through my archives and found one to perfectly fit the bill: The Breakfast Martini.
The Breakfast Martini is a creation of London barmeister Salvatore Calabrese. It follows the long-standing formula of adding citrus and orange liqueur to a base spirit. In this sense, it's similar to a number of classics including margaritas, cosmopolitans, and mai tais.
Truth be told, the Breakfast Martini is a terrific drink any time of day or night. It's called the Breakfast Martini due to an ingredient that's very common at the London breakfast table: orange marmalade. The bits of orange peel in the marmalade give the drink just a hint of a bitter edge, just enough to wake up your taste buds.
The drink (possibly) draws some inspiration from a classic bar book, The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock. In the book's pages, there's a Marmalade Cocktail that bears more than a slight resemblance to the Breakfast Martini. There's a chance Calabrese started with the Marmalade Cocktail, but I'll chalk this one up to coincidence. One look through an old bar book will reveal all manner of esoteric bar ingredients. It was only a matter of time before someone besides Harry Craddock would think to put gin and marmalade in the same glass.
Breakfast Martini Generous 1 ½ ounces London dry gin ½ ounce Cointreau (or other triple sec) ½ ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice 1 teaspoon orange marmalade
Shake well with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange zest, and toast points if desired.