Adventures in Booze: Making an Effervescent Martini

Not too long ago my husband and I attended a special dinner at KitchenCru, a community kitchen in Portland. One of our six courses came paired with a cocktail that has been on my mind ever since. The bartender made a martini using sake instead of vermouth. It blew me away.

I have never really been a martini drinker, but the floral notes of the sake made this one intriguingly unique. Last weekend, we decided to recreate the cocktail at home, even buying the same brand of sake, but thought we’d give it our own spin using a twist of Meyer lemon. Oh yeah, and by making it bubbly!

You might be asking, isn’t adding club soda to a martini diluting its integrity? The answer to that is the Perlini, the most recent secret weapon in our kitchen arsenal. There’s way more to this thing than I have time to write, but it makes for an interesting read if you’re curious.

As a fun side note, I actually met the man, Evan Wallace, who invented the Perlini while drinking cocktails in a Seattle bar called the Zig Zag. We had an excellent conversation about the time he once ate lion. That hilarious interaction plus the fabulous cocktails I drank a different time at his bar, the now-defunct Vessel where they actually used a commercial-grade Perlini machine, made me seriously consider the possibilities of owning one myself. And since I had a lack of better ideas this last December, I decided to buy the home version for my husband for his Christmas gift — and what a gift it’s been!

First off, it looks badass. Just look at the case it comes in! Every time we open it, I feel like James Bond. It’s got a row of CO2 cartridges (all labeled with the Perlini name), plus a shaker and a whole slew of other instruments, including a flash drive instruction manual. The curved gadget is a hand-held pressurizer — you screw in the cartridges and use it to filter the CO2 into the shaker.

So how exactly does this sucker work?

Continue reading