The Fifty Fifty is simply a really old school Martini that has more influence from vermouth, which creates a light and flavorful drink. When the Martini was first created it was a 1:1 ratio of gin and dry vermouth with a lemon peel, not the chilled vodka with olive brine that it has become.
Whenever making a gin martini (or one of its’ variations) it is good practice to refuse Mr. Bond’s advice and stir it. Gin is created by adding a balanced selection of botanicals to a neutral spirit and some of its’ aromatic glory is lost in the turbulence of shaking. Martini type drinks are best when they are cold so I usually make smaller versions that can be finished before they hit room temperature.
If you want to stick with a more typical dry martini flavor you can use any dry white vermouth you like. However, I tend to enjoy using a sweet white vermouth in the Fifty Fifty, such as Dolin Blanc, because I think it is a refreshing contrast to the standard extremely dry martini.
There are tons of vermouths to choose from, and hopefully one day I will go through a bunch of them, but a great place to start is with Dolin Blanc or Dolin Dry depending on what style cocktail you are shooting for. Other solid offerings include: Noilly Prat, Vya, Manuel Acha, or Carpano Dry.
VERMOUTH DOES GO BAD!
Any type of vermouth, once opened, should be stored in your refrigerator and used within about 1 1/2 months. Vermouth is a fortified wine and although it will not go bad overnight like a normal wine, it does slowly oxidize and if left too long will lose all of its aroma and take on bitter or vinegary flavors.
- 1 1/2 Oz Gin of your choice
- 1 1/2 Oz Dry or Blanc Vermouth - (Sweet or Dry white vermouth)
- 2 Dashes Orange Bitters
- 1 Lemon Peel
- Add the bitters, Gin and Vermouth to a mixing glass or shaker tin.
- Add ice and stir until desired chill and dilution is reached.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Express the lemon oils over the drink and drop the peel in for garnish.
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Lion’s Tail, How to Make This Unique Bourbon Cocktail