Friday’s Featured Cocktail -The Black Martini

Image altered from original: Digital Marketing, Online Free Recipes

One of the best cocktails for a Halloween Party is the Black Martini. Replacing vermouth with either blackberry brandy or black raspberry liqueur gives it both its black color and great flavor.  FYI – I have been told that brandy is the better choice.   When Mixing Martinis of any kind remember, cold is the key, so keep your vodka chilled and make sure to shake or stir well when mixing.

Black Martini – makes 2 cocktails


  • 3 1/2 oz gin or vodka
  • 1/2 oz blackberry brandy or black raspberry liqueur
  • lemon twist or black olive for garnish or gold flakes


  1. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake vigorously.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist or black olive or sprinkle in gold flakes, like the image above.

My Tips 4 You: If you are hosting a crowd for Halloween, think about these additional ways of serving up your Black Martinis. Remember you don’t want to play bartender all night!  To make sure you have enough on hand, use the general rule of: 3 Martini’s per person for a 4 hour period.

and a note from  Dave at twitter @PGHBarSchool says the Gin really doesn’t work as well as the vodka.

Shaken or Stirred or on the Rocks? Preparation of the martini is really a personal choice and many enjoy the ceremony surrounding it.  Whether you shake or stir, the execution is crucial in creating a great martini.  Whatever method you choose,the goal is to mix it very cold!

1. Shaken: Add ingredients to the cocktail shaker only when you are ready to serve it. Give it a shake over each shoulder and pour immediately.  Allowing it to sit even a few moments will result in the drink becoming “watered down”, the ice melts quicker than you think.  Overshaking the drink will cloud the martini, a no-no for real martini enthusiasts.  If someone asks for their martini shaken, they most likely are a “purist” and don’t want a watered down or cloudy martini!  There are some people however that will want a vigorously shaken Martini and enjoy the “skating the martini” or sipping through the small pieces of ice that coat the top of the cocktail.

2. Stirred: A convenient and easy method for preparing martinis for a crowd.  The “razzle dazzle” of shaking cocktails has overshadowed the traditional ceremony of preparing a pitcher of martinis for guests.  Introduce your guests to the sophisticated and stylish preparation of a pitcher of martinis.  While they chat around your bar area, pour the ingredients into a glass martini pitcher and stir with a stir rod until it is nice and cold (remember, don’t overdo it).  Using a strainer, pour martinis into martini glasses, garnish and serve.

3. On the Rocks:  some guest will need to drink their martini on the rocks and enjoy it watered-down.

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