Alton Brown’s Favorite Lockdown Cocktail Is a Good Gin Martini (His Recipe Is 007-Worthy)

published Jul 6, 2020
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Alton Brown
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If you’ve been keeping up with Good Eats star and food television luminary Alton Brown’s various social media and streaming content during the pandemic, you may have noticed that he’s a man with opinions about nearly everything, with particularly strong ones about cocktails. In a recent Salon Talks episode, along with spilling the dirt on what it’s like to rewatch the original Good Eats with many years of distance, Alton talks about what his quarantine drink of choice will always be: “A well-made martini.”

Though he had previously said, back when he was on a strict diet, he sticks to one drink a week and makes it count, he now has a few more than that, and often the drinks are an old favorite. “Martinis are my drinks,” he says. “I make excellent ones. I feel very civilized when I drink them. And if I was only going to have one drink a week, it would absolutely be a good gin martini.”

Alton Brown’s martini recipe on Good Eats seems straightforward at first, but there’s a lot to unpack. His first tip is that the glass you use for your martini needs to be cold (and this is the case for any drink that is served straight up). Keep the glass stashed in your freezer, or you can add a little ice to your glass before pouring your drink. Alton also believes gin is the best spirit for a martini (but you do you).

Then things get interesting. Alton says you should add half an ounce of dry vermouth to your shaker filled with ice, and then strain it out for a couple seconds. Whatever amount of vermouth sticks to the ice is enough for your drink. Alton then adds his gin, and stirs his drink instead of shaking it, because “gin is an aromatic and it really starts to lose some of its aromatic qualities once it drops below 30 [degrees Fahrenheit].” His last tip is that once you dump the ice in your martini glass, you should add the olive to the glass first so that the alcohol has time to mix with the brine. Brilliant!

A gin martini might not be as summery as, say, an Aperol spritz or a margarita, but as long as lockdown and social distancing continues, we’ll take our lead from Alton. (And we promise not to tell on you if you prefer vodka instead).