As today is 29 February, it seems fitting to include a wee potion that has been credited with (blamed for?) more proposals than any other, the Leap Year.
This sweet Martini alternative was born at the Savoy in 1928 and therefore celebrates its 84th (or 21st) birthday today. Harry Craddock, the barman created the drink for the Leap Year celebrations, and it seems fitting to raise one tonight, in honour of those poor leaplings (but only those over the age of err four and a half?)
The mixture of aromatic sweetness born of the Grand Marnier and vermouth clashes somewhat with the botanical bitterness of the gin and produces an interesting combination on the tongue. Despite this, there is a pleasing bittersweet hint to the drink, and it is well worth savouring once every four years.
You make the Leap Year classic as follows:
- Add a large measure of gin (Plymouth rather than London), half a measure of sweet vermouth, half a measure of Grand Marnier and the juice of half a lemon to a shaker of ice.
- Shake well and strain into a martini glass.
- Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.
Pass one to your man, take a deep gulp of your own, and get down on one knee…