Bobby’s Martini is a signature cocktail of Bobby Heugel, bartender and owner of numerous renowned establishments in Houston, including Anvil Bar & Refuge and the newly-opened Refuge. Batching and freezing the cocktail ahead of time allows staff to serve the drink quickly. It’s a technique you can easily employ at home if you’re hosting a crowd or just want to have ice-cold cocktails on-hand.
This drink originally appeared on the menu of Tongue-Cut Sparrow, Heugel’s now-closed speakeasy that briefly occupied the same space that now hosts Refuge. Although Heugel relies on a mostly classic formula, he uses a unique blend of juniper-forward Tanqueray London Dry and citrus-forward Tanqueray 10 gins. He also opts for the traditional Noilly Prat vermouth and omits orange bitters.
“It almost became a requirement that your Martini have orange bitters in the early 2000s,” says Heugel. “We got away from more classic forms of Martinis, and when we would travel and, especially go to older cocktail institutions, we liked the simplicity of gin, vermouth, and no bitters.”
Because this batched drink isn’t shaken or stirred to order, you’ll want to add filtered water to the mixture to ensure proper dilution. Combine the ingredients in a one-liter bottle and freeze for at least a few hours to have ice-cold, ready-to-serve Martinis at your disposal.
Garnish as you like, perhaps taking some inspiration from Refuge, where Bobby’s Martini includes a Castelveltrano olive and a lemon twist, along with a side dish of green olives, black olives, caperberries, pickled onions, and cornichons.
12 1/2 ounces Tanqueray London Dry gin
7 1/2 ounces Noilly Prat Extra Dry Vermouth
4 1/2 ounces Tanqueray No. 10 gin
9 1/2 ounces filtered water
Combine ingredients in a 1-liter bottle.
Store bottle in the freezer for at least a few hours, until chilled to freezer temperature.
Pour individual portions into chilled cocktail glasses to serve.
Can a Martini Be Frozen?
Freezing Martinis means you can prepare them in advance, and will also ensure an ice-cold temperature and consistency across drinks. Generally, you only want to place spirit-heavy cocktails like a Martini or Manhattan in the freezer, since lower-ABV ingredients will become frozen solid, which can lead to shattered bottles.
Why Use Filtered Water?
Martinis prepared à la carte are typically stirred or shaken, which dilutes them and prevents an overly-strong cocktail while allowing flavors to open up. Because dilution is introduced through water instead of ice when making a freezer Martini, the water quality is particularly important.
What Makes This Martini Special?
Bobby’s Martini is characterized by its blend of two gins, which produces a unique botanical profile. Heugel combines Tanqueray’s London Dry, a classic juniper-forward expression, and Tanqueray 10, which adds fresh whole grapefruits, oranges, limes, and chamomile flowers to the original formula.