Good evening, folks — Michael here. I don’t often do the actual writing on this blog, but since I spearheaded this particular endeavor, it seemed only right.
Fox and I remember the exact moment when we came up with this achievement — on November 23, 2012, close to midnight. However, the exact location and circumstances are lost to history. I believe it had something to do with a misheard drink order — I ordered a cocktail which Fox mistakenly heard to be a “Buzzsaw Martini.” That wasn’t my order, not even close — in truth I was probably ordering something with a frilly name, like a That’s-So-Raven-tini or something. Whatever it was, Fox heard Buzzsaw, and immediately, we both agreed that that sounded like a great drink name. After a quick search, we realized that no one had yet invented the Buzzsaw Martini, and so I resolved to do just that this year.
Flash forward to this past Thursday night. The wonderful film In Bruges starring Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell was on cable, Fox was upstairs doing some writing, and I decided to hunker down in our mixology lab — aka, the dining room.
Above, you will note my ‘thoughtful’ face. In this picture, I am thinking about the character of the Buzzsaw Martini. What sort of drink would live up to that name? I knew it couldn’t be too fancy, and it couldn’t be exotic. There would be no powdered-cocoa rim, no green tea liqueur — this would be a drink that could be made in any bar that had the essentials. And, of course, it had to have a bit of a sharp, cutting quality.
First things first, I had to audition the liquor — would it be a vodka or gin martini?
These were the three finalists. After doing a little half-ounce taste of each, I opted for the New Amsterdam gin. While I like vodka as much as any fellow who married a Ukrainian, I felt like gin was more appropriately Buzzsaw. But the heavy juniper flavor of Tanqueray seemed like the wrong direction. The New Amsterdam had a more subtle flavor — a little citrusy — though you could probably use Beefeater or Gibley’s instead.
Proper gin chosen, it was time to move onto the other ingredients. I quickly decided that I would not use vermouth in the Buzzsaw martini. First, vermouth just seemed a little fancy-pants for my taste. And second, I didn’t have any vermouth on hand.
Note the distinct lack of vermouth on my shelves. However, after doing a little research, I learned that vermouth is actually just fortified wine, so I opted to use in place of vermouth…plain old dry white wine.
These are the two options I had available to me. Technically, only the Tangent Albariño is a dry white (the Tavel is a rosé), but I felt it wouldn’t be a proper experiment if I didn’t do any comparisons, so I tried a quick shot of gin mixed with rosé. The result?
To properly convey my reaction, I sought the help of Brendan Gleeson’s character from In Bruges. He felt exactly the way I did about the mix.
Luckily, the Albariño worked very well. In making your own Buzzsaw martini, I would recommend it, or any unoaked, dry white. Even more fitting than my choice might be a Chardonnay made in stainless steel — because it’s made in stainless steel. What could be more Buzzsaw than that?
Boozes chosen, it was time to add that cutting quality I wanted for the Buzzsaw. To my mind, there was only one way I could achieve it.
I mixed about six drops of each of these in its own half-ounce of gin/white wine blend, mainly judging for a) how evenly it dissipated and b) whether it overpowered the other ingredients. In the end, the Trappey’s Red Devil won out — which really was fitting, as it is my condiment-of-choice when eating at Primanti’s.
At this point, I felt like something was still missing, but that I was getting close. I also realized that I was getting close to being drunk from all my — ahem — scientific experiments. So I took a quick break for a healthy snack.
Much like Nicolas Cage…
It was gone in sixty seconds.
During my quick refuel, though, I had a flash of inspiration and realized what my cocktail was missing: it needed to get a little dirty. To achieve the necessary grit, I would require two final ingredients.
I needed olives, and their scrumptious, salty brine. And just like that, I had discovered the components necessary to make a Buzzsaw martini.
My olives still had pits in them, which I found to be quite annoying, but still, I was pretty darn proud. How proud? Help me out, Colin Farrell from In Bruges.
From this point on, it was all a matter of figuring out the proper proportions. So I mixed myself a handful of shooters with varying amounts of each ingredient, plus one olive.
The silver lining to my olive pit situation is that the pits became a great way to track how many variations I ended up trying.
Oof, that napkin hurts my stomach just looking at it. But what can I say? Like Archimedes and Sir Isaac Newton before me, I am a man dedicated to my studies.
By the end of the night, In Bruges had ended and the ridiculous schlock-fest, Congo, took its place.
And so I completed my final round of testing under the watchful gaze of Tim Curry. For this round it was time to graduate from shooters and have a full, three-olive Buzzsaw martini. I called Fox down to take a photo of the proceedings. Instead, she merely pretended to take a photo and took a video instead. Because I am shameless, here it is:
Anyhow, as you might have been able to tell, the process of trial and (mostly) error had left my judgment just a bit impaired. As such, I didn’t feel I could trust my opinion of the “final draft” of the Buzzsaw martini. Instead I wrote down the measurements I used and waited 60 hours, which was how long it took before I could even consider drinking any more gin. At that point I made a fresh cocktail per my own instructions, and I’ll tell you what — the thing turned out just right. So without further ado, here is the definitive way to make a Buzzsaw martini.
2 oz. dry gin
2/3 oz. dry white wine
1 tbsp olive brine
1 tsp cayenne pepper hot sauce
1) Add gin, wine, brine, and hot sauce to cocktail shaker filled with ice.
2) Shake vigorously and strain into martini glass. Serve straight up.
3) Garnish with olives (I prefer three).