Art Deco is one of my favorite kinds of art, architecture, & design. Also called Style Moderne, Art Deco’s raison d’être was to be modern MODERN MODERN, but ironically, it borrowed from many different styles, including ancient Greek and Roman, Medieval manuscript illumination, and Art Nouveau. And in keeping with its wide-ranging influences, I will borrow from Wikipedia: “During its heyday, Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance, and faith in social and technological progress.” And perhaps this is why it has stuck with me since I first discovered it back in College Art History class. This ever-enthusiastic look towards the future, while being grounded in the past. Luxury, glamour, exuberance. (I’ve since given up on "faith in social and technological progress.")
With this in mind, I wanted to create a drink inspired by Art Deco’s halcyon days: the 1920s and 30s. A cocktail that hearkens to the past, while striving to be ever more modern. A variation on an old style martini, with ample vermouth and Gordon’s Gin, yet with the Modernist touch of Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur and Hella Bitters Ginger Lemon bitters. A clear, elegant silhouette in the iconic glass*, with a luxurious twist of lemon like one of Duchamp’s staircases. When you hold this in your hand, you'll want to be dressed to the nines, sophisticated and at ease in a swanky place, your thoughts on a future where everything will be better, more modern, more luxurious. In other words, a complete distraction from reality.
*The History of the Martini Glass (click on link)
2 parts Gordon’s London Dry Gin
1 part Noilly Prat Extra Dry Vermouth
½ part Domaine de Canton
¼ part fresh-squeezed Lemon juice
dash of Hella Bitters Ginger Lemon bitters
Shake over ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.