To martini or not to martini, now that is a question! Along with what spirits it should be made with and how it should be garnished--olives or onions or a simple lemon twist--is an age-old debate that leaves us to think that perhaps we need to try them all before we weigh in on preference. This version adapts a New York Times pickled onion recipe and insists on gin as the base of this savory, good for chilly nights next to a roaring fire. We put the extra pickled onions in a dish for noshing, they are addictive.
cuisine American
difficulty Easy
season Fall & Winter
serves 1

For the Cocktail Onions

  • 1/4 pound pearl onions
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 clove
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/8 th cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tablespoon kosher salt

For the Cocktail

  • 1/3 ounce Dry Vermouth
  • 2 ounces Gin

For the Cocktail Onions

  1. Add the vinegar, rice wine, sugar, and salt to a pot over medium heat. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add the onions and the spice blend.
  2. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat immediately. Pour onions and liquid into a jar.
  3. Cover and store at room temperature for two days before using.

For the Martini

  1. Add ice to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add the vermouth and the gin.
  3. Strain the drink into a chilled martini glass.
  4. Garnish with an onion or two, and serve.