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Valencia in ice bath

September 27/28,  2010 (part of Cocktail Chronicle)

Got a bottle of Bodegas Hidalgo Amontillado Napoleon. Time to try a spanish martini.

Also got a bottle of Sutton Cellers Brown Label Vermouth.

Love both. The butterscotch/caramel in the sherry is unlike any of my martini experience.

The brown label vermouth adds a particular orangeness to the drink that is borderline poetic. Interestingly, I don’t think much of it straight. Yes, it tastes fresh compared to Noilly Prat. But more like a mediocre white wine lightly infused. But in a martini … it is glorious.

Valencia from The Essential Cocktail (Makes 1):

  • 1 part Bodegas Hidalgo Amontillado Napoleon, or Sutton Cellars Brown Label Vermouth
  • 5 parts Tangueray gin
  • Flamed orange peel (essential)


  1. Shake with ice until ice-cold. Strain into a martini glass.
  2. Cut a square-ish orange peel. Cut it thick with some white pith. Have a lighter ready and going. Fold the orange peel in half over the drink right next to the flame so the essential oil squirts out and ignites. Drop the peel into the drink. Serve immediately.

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