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The 2021 Emmy Awards are this Sunday! And if you plan on watching from home, you’re going to need some red-carpet worthy libations to kick off the viewing party. We asked Diageo Reserve World Class award-winning mixologist Charles Joly all about this year’s official Ketel One cocktails, which are different takes on classic Martini cocktails. Additional drinks in the night’s lineup will also include a refreshing perspective on the Cosmopolitan and the Espresso Martini.
Keep reading for how to make the perfect martini and for the the 2021 Emmy Awards cocktail recipes!
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The Martini is an iconic cocktail, but it’s not as hard as people think. You want to start with the best ingredients: a perfectly executed vodka like Ketel One Family Vodka, a quality vermouth, well-made orange bitters, lemon and of course, ice. Once you have all your ingredients, combine your Ketel One Vodka, vermouth and bitters into a stirring glass over ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist, expressing the oils overtop the cocktail. And enjoy!
The Martini has the honor of being one of only a handful of cocktails to have been consistently enjoyed since the first golden age of the cocktail in the late 1800s. It had many similar “sister” cocktails around its inception, but the Martini alone rose to the top and has stood the rest of time.
If imitation is the best form of flattery then look no further than the Martini. There’s more variations and twists on this iconic cocktail than nearly any other drink: the Gibson, the 50/50, 2:1, dirty, it goes on and on. Additionally, you have an entire category of “Martinis” that took on a life of their own in the ’80s and ’90s, such as the Cosmopolitan, Espresso Martini and countless others. Only something truly iconic can withstand the test of time like that. It’s elegant, opinionated, demure and most importantly delicious.
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We’re seeing a resurgence in the Cosmopolitan and the Espresso Martini and love it! The Cosmo got beat up a bit the first time around, to be honest. It got kind of a bad wrap, but made properly it is a delicious and refreshing cocktail. You have to use fresh citrus when making this cocktail and go easy on the cranberry. I’m really excited about the Reboot Royale that I designed for this year’s Emmys. It is directly inspired by the Cosmopolitan and the reboot of Sex & the City with a decidedly 2021 update.
One of my favorite celebrity encounters was several years ago at a cocktail bar I ran in Chicago. Patrick Swayze was filming a television series in the city and staying near our place. He popped down to our bar on a couple occasions and do you know what he drank? Cosmopolitans. I was determined to make him the best damn Cosmo he ever had. I like to hope I obliged. Either way, we enjoyed some lovely conversation and company—no Road House re-enactments took place.
I also love an Espresso Martini. A little vodka, a bit of coffee all rounded out with a little body; what’s not to enjoy here?! I’ve had a lot of fun spinning off on this drink as well, playing with cold brew, complimentary flavors and even working Guinness into a drink.
We don’t “kiss and tell” as it were, but I can share one personal oblivious moment. A group of us were working the specialty bars at a backlot studio after party. Everyone was having a great time, I had a small throng of “regulars’ ‘ that had developed at my station and began chatting with one individual for quite a while. As things slowed down, my bartender friends popped over, they excitedly asked “oh, how was that crew?! Were you nervous?” etc… I had no idea what they were talking about. It turned out to be Kit Harrington and a bunch of the Game of Thrones cast, at the height of the show. Admittedly, I’d not seen a single episode at that point and had no clue (yes, I live under a rock, inside a cave at the top of a mountain). Honestly, we treat all of our guests the exact same way. Sincerity, relative anonymity and hospitality is what makes people feel comfortable and keeps them coming back. I enjoy having our bar be an oasis where everyone can just be themselves. (Side note, my pup and I watched the entire GOT the following winter…)
Next: Here’s Who We Think Will Win Big at the 2021 Primetime Emmys
For the herb-infused blanc vermouth, pour 750 ml of blanc vermouth over 8 sprigs of fresh thyme and an equal-sized bunch of tarragon. Muddle gently and allow to macerate for 30 minutes. Be careful not to over-infuse, as these herbs can become overpowering.
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir. Once combined, pour into a chilled Nick and Nora glass. Top cocktail with one drop of truffle oil.
Shake ingredients gently with ice. Pour into a small bowled white wine glass. Top with rosé champagne and enjoy the cranberry pearls on the side or in the glass for more flavor.
For the black cherry Kenyan cold brew, chill 60 grams coarse ground coffee steeped in 500 ml black cherry juice in the fridge for 24 hours.
For the salted-vanilla oat milk, combine 2 cups oat milk, ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract and ¼ teaspoon salt.
Then combine the rest of the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well.
Strain contents of shaker into a chilled coupe glass.
Carefully layer salted-vanilla oat milk on top.
Express oils from lemon twist and place decoratively on the rim.
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© 2021 AMG/Parade. All rights reserved.