Contrary to what many vodka Martini drinkers will tell you, vermouth is not an inherently evil thing. In fact, it’s great - even on its own. And this cocktail goes out to everyone who recognizes that fact.
An Astoria is the opposite of a dry Martini. In other words, it’s heavy on vermouth - making it a very wet Martini. It also has a few dashes of orange bitters to provide another dimension of flavor, and it’s exactly the kind of Martini you can chug. We’ll let you figure out whether that’s a good or potentially hazardous thing.
- Coupe, Martini, or Nick & Nora glass
- 1.5 ounces gin
- 1.5 ounces dry vermouth
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- Lemon twist
Step One: Chill Your Glass
It’s always wise to chill your cocktail glass ahead of time, and that advice goes double for any kind of Martini (or Martini variation). You don’t want your Astoria getting warm 10 seconds after you made it.
Step Two: Dry Vermouth
Since we’re going to be using a good amount of dry vermouth in this cocktail, it’s important that you find a brand you like. We typically use Dolin, so that’s our first choice, but there isn’t really any vermouth we hate. Just be sure to store whatever you buy in the fridge once you open it. (That’s Rule No. 6.) Add 1.5 ounces dry vermouth to your mixing glass.
Step Three: Gin
You might be wondering, “Can I substitute vodka for the gin?” And that’s a good question. The answer is: No, you may not sub in vodka. You see, gin and dry vermouth compliment each other nicely, whereas vodka and dry vermouth have about as much chemistry as Steve Urkel and Laura Winslow from Family Matters. So find your favorite kind of gin, and pour 1.5 ounces into your mixing glass.
Step Four: Bitters
Finally, add two dashes of orange bitters. Aside from Angostura bitters, these are the most common ones you’ll see - maybe even in your local grocery store or bodega.
Step Five: Stir
Now all you need to do is add five or six ice cubes to your mixing glass and stir your cocktail for about 20 seconds. After that, strain the Astoria into your chilled glass, and garnish with a lemon twist. Take a sip, and you’ll probably notice that this is the single least aggressive, most flavorful Martini you’ve ever encountered. Just don’t be fooled: it’s still pretty strong. Avoid operating any heavy machinery.