A grape Martinez is a lovely sweet-and-sour cocktail that's perfect in summer and fall, when grapes are in season.
Grapes are a nice transitional fruit during this time in between seasons. They start getting really good around the end of July, and they last into early fall. Since this is my last cocktail recipe before fall officially starts, this grape gin Martinez recipe just felt appropriate.
We always have grapes in the house these days. Darrol Henry loves them. "Graaaape" is one of the food words that he knows, and he asks for grapes by name at snack time. I hope that he forgives me for stealing some of his grapes to make this twist on a Martinez recipe!
If you're not familiar with a Martinez, think of it as a martini with sweet vermouth instead of dry. It's a lovely combination, and grapes fit perfectly into the mix.
This recipe combines gin and sweet vermouth with sweet red grapes. Most gins are vegan, but I wasn't sure about sweet vermouth. A search on Barnivore showed that Martini & Rossi vermouths aren't vegan friendly, but there are a couple of vegan sweet vermouths out there: Quady, Tribuno, and Yzaguirre are all free of animal by-products.
The gin that I used for this Martinez recipe came from a new-to-me company called G'Vine. G'Vine is a fancy French gin company, and they sent me some sample bottles of their two gin varieties: Floraison and Nouaison. You could really use either one for this Martinez recipe, but I liked it best with the Floraison, because it's a little bit more flowery. That's the green bottle pictured here:
The company assured me that G'Vine gins are not processed using any animal products. What they are made with is grapes - and grape leaves! - instead of grains. The grapes and leaves make these gins a little bit more botanical tasting than most of the gins I've tried. They're nice in this drink or with soda water and a squeeze of lemon or lime.
Disclosure: G'Vine sent me a handful of cute little sample bottles to try. They did not compensate me in any other way for this Martinez recipe or this review.
A Martinez recipe usually includes orange bitters and maraschino cherry liqueur. My version below is a little bit different, starring fresh grape puree and just a little bit of lemon juice.
Grape Martinez Recipe
Yield: 1 cocktail
- 1/3 cup red grapes
- 1 1/2 ounces good gin
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- In your blender, combine the grapes, water, gin, lemon juice, sugar, and vermouth, and puree until things are seeming nice and smooth. Fill the blender with ice, but don't turn it on! We are going to use the blender pitcher as a makeshift cocktail shaker. If you have a cocktail shaker, you can certainly use it, but why dirty another dish? Shake for about a minute.
- Strain your mixture into a small glass, and garnish with a couple of grapes on a toothpick. Or on a corn holder, if you're super classy like I am!