Swap The Vermouth With Sake For A Fresh Spin On The Martini

So long, trendy espresso martinis. These cocktails have long been one of those drinks that let you mix and match your favorite ingredients. But while coffee has most recently dominated the martini scene, there are countless variations on the classic libation — one of which draws inspiration from a signature Japanese drink. Often likened to rice wine despite their differences, sake makes for yet another martini iteration that will have you reaching for your glass multiple times. 

Also known as saketinis, this variation typically substitutes sake for dry vermouth. As a martini addition, sake makes your cocktails taste sweeter and rounder than standard vermouth. You can incorporate sake into an assortment of drinks, though it's wise to use it as a complement to another spirit rather than as your drink's primary alcohol. If you're planning to test the combination for yourself, making your own saketini is as easy as, well, drinking one.

Sake martinis call for a simple, one-to-one substitution

Sometimes substitutions can really be that simple. To make a sake martini, make your martini as you normally would, but hold the vermouth. We recommend a ratio of half an ounce of sake for every 2.5 ounces of gin or vodka. This ratio is consistent with vermouth martini recipes and guarantees a drink that is both well-balanced and well-proportioned. The reason this ratio works so well? 

Sake is on par with vermouth when it comes to ABV. That means the two drinks contain similar amounts of alcohol, so you won't throw off your cocktail's taste too much. Instead, you'll just take a different approach that will keep your martinis exciting and fresh. As for the finishing touches, add garnishes to your sake martini like a classic lemon peel or olive, or get creative with something like cypress leaves or a pickled scallion, as bartender Masahiro Urushido recommends in "The Japanese Art of the Cocktail." These flavors will compliment your spirit perfectly and leave you wanting another sip.