New York City bartender Jena Ellenwood created this drink for a virtual happy hour co-founded by writer and spirits entrepreneur Jackie Summers, digital marketing pro Daniella Veras and Cocktail & Sons CEO Lauren Myerscough. The happy hour series brought together members of the hospitality scene and guests and provided an opportunity for host bartenders to earn tips from attendees. It also resulted in many fine cocktails, like the 50/50 Birthday.
The traditional 50/50 Martini features gin and dry vermouth in equal proportions and is a much softer, lighter cocktail than the Dry Martini. Ellenwood’s riff on the classic keeps the one-to-one ratio of gin to vermouth, but it achieves that balance with split measures of dry vermouth and blanc vermouth. The latter adds just a hint of floral sweetness to the drink. “I think using both can achieve a really lovely balance, something we are always looking for in our cocktails,” says Ellenwood.
For the gin, she chose Amass, a dry gin based in California that features 29 botanicals. In addition to familiar examples like juniper, coriander and citrus peels, it also includes many unexpected picks like mushrooms, ashwagandha and locally grown bay leaf, which provide warm and earthy undertones.
Any Martini featuring all spirits, including this one, should be stirred rather than shaken. Stirring ensures that you can incorporate the ingredients together and reach the proper dilution point, while shaking may result in too much water invading your cocktail and pesky ice shards floating on the surface.
1 1/2 ounces Amass gin
3/4 ounce Dolin dry vermouth
3/4 ounce Quintinye Blanc Royal vermouth
Garnish: lemon twist
Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.
Strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist.