Juniper? Of course, but that’s not what drives Principe de los Apostoles Mate Gin. It’s the peppermint, the eucalyptus, and yerba mate, used in traditional Argentine tea, that makes this go. The peppermint and eucalyptus take the lead, but a silky chocolate lingers on the finish. Turning this into a martini should be a fun challenge.
There is already plenty of sweet in this gin, so dry and extra dry vermouths will be used to add balance and depth. The candidates are:
Vaya Extra Dry;
Noilly Pratt Extra Dry; and
Tribuno Extra Dry.
Both the Carpano Dry and the Tribuno Dry magnify the peppermint and give it a tremendous pop. The Tribuno adds a bit more depth, though, so with this gin, our favorite recipe is:
1.5 oz. Principe de los Apostoles Mate Gin
0.5 oz. Tribuno Extra Dry Vermouth
Twist of grapefruit peel
Pour the gin over ice, add vermouth, and stir to chill. Strain and pour into a cocktail glass. Very gently twist peel over the glass to allow just a small spritz of oil to float atop the cocktail, and discard.
Today we have a second cocktail to add to the list. We’ll call it the Apostoles Steak Martini. The Vaya Extra Dry Vermouth has a unique flavor profile, reminiscent of herbs and tomatoes. Added to the Principe de los Apostoles Mate Gin, it’s steak sauce in a glass, and will be a marvelous accompaniment for the porterhouse of your dreams. This is a big cocktail for a big steak:
Apostoles Steak Martini
2.5 oz. Principe de los Apostoles Mate Gin
1 oz. Vaya Extra Dry Vermouth
Twist of lemon
Pour gin and vermouth over ice. Stir vigorously, get it really cold and a little wet. Rub the twist around the rim of the cocktail glass. Strain and pour in the gin and vermouth, twist the peel over the drink and add to the glass.