I stumbled upon this savory Caprese Martini online and loved the idea. There are several recipes out there for a Caprese Martini, but the recipe I like the most calls for infusing vodka with tomato and basil, straining out the veggies and then fat washing the vodka with a really good olive oil. This Caprese Martini recipe is slightly modified from Trevor Langer's recipe
, published in Food and Wine.
I've made this Caprese Martini for about 25 people and hands down it was a hit. Typically when I serve it to someone, they take a sip, pause and then say "Wow, that is GOOD!"
Plan 2 Days Ahead
This is not a difficult martini to make, but it takes 36-48 hours for the 2-step vodka preparation. Once the vodka is prepared, it is easy to whip out a bunch of martinis. Simply shake the infused vodka with vermouth and a few drops of good balsamic vinegar. This recipe preps enough vodka for 8 martinis.
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You can prep in advance and then just keep the infused vodka in your freezer to use whenever the Caprese Martini urge strikes you.
Muddle Your Veggies
The original recipe calls for a whole tomato and just two leaves of fresh basil. I hit it harder, lightly muddling the tomato with a handful of basil before adding it to the vodka. Get the best tasting tomatoes you can find. In the winter I use cherry tomatoes because I think they are the most flavorful.
Use a Great Olive Oil
I use a very good EVOO to fat wash the vodka. Remember, you are imparting the flavor of the olive oil to the Caprese Martini, so you want one with a bright flavor. I use Stonehouse Olio Nuovo Leccino
, a bright green, grassy, fresh-off-the-press olive oil. The good news is when you freeze the olive oil infused vodka, the olive oil will separate and rise to the top. You remove the frozen olive oil and can save it for another batch of Caprese Martinis.
Note: I do not receive a commision from Stonehouse Olive Oil. I just love their products and want to share them with you.
Use Your Best Balsamic Vinegar
It only takes a couple drops of balsamic vinegar for each Caprese Martini, so use a good aged balsamic. I use La Resdora 6-Year Aged Balsamic
also from Stonehouse Olive oil.
The original recipe calls for Lustau Blanco Spanish vermouth made with sherry. I was not able to find this product, even at Hi-Times, the iconic Costa Mesa, California liquor store famed for having everything. I substituted Dolin dry French vermouth instead and it was divine. I would love to try the Lustau Blanco vermouth if I can ever find a bottle.
Tip on storing vermouth:
once opened, vermouth should be stored in the fridge and preferably used within a month. You can stretch it to 2 months, but that's about it. I like buying the small half bottles, because it would be a rare month that we will drink a whole bottle of vermouth worth of martinis.
Caprese Martini Garnish
The garnish makes this martini. I skewer a marinated miniature ciliegine mozzarella ball, a basil leaf, a cherry tomato and a good martini olive on a long bamboo toothpick. Trader Joes
and BelGioioso both make great marinated ciliegine balls. I buy these extra-long bamboo toothpicks
More Martini Recipes from SNFD: