By Crystal Grobe
Every so often, a restaurant opens and closes in the blink of an eye. That was the case for Scena, a beautiful and slightly fancy restaurant in Uptown that couldn’t gain the steam it needed to stay open longer than six months. It was the sophisticated hotspot that Uptown needed; a place where we could sip martinis and celebrate birthdays, dine with friends, and enjoy a well-rounded happy hour on the patio without having to shout or get jostled on the way to the ladies room. In those short six months, I fully enjoyed its existence, and even discovered one of my favorite drinks: the reverse martini.
At Scena, it was called the 2:1 (2 parts vermouth and 1 part gin), also known as an upside-down or reverse martini. As a huge fan of vermouth cocktails, this fit my style and I ordered it every time I visited. After Scena closed and I was done pouting about it, I had my husband (the master bartender at our house) replicate the cocktail. After a few trials, including a successful run with Dolin Rouge, a pink dry vermouth, we settled on the final version. Turns out, I like a vodka martini more than a gin martini!
It’s a great cocktail for the colder weather ahead and a perfect time to experiment to find your own favorite version. Maybe you like the gin version better…or prefer less vermouth and more vodka? It’s up to you!
- 3 oz. dry vermouth (Dolin Dry)
- 1 1/2 oz. vodka (Ciroc offers a citrus essence)
- 1 large piece of lemon peel
In a shaker glass, add vermouth, vodka, and a handful of ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass. Rub the rim of the glass with the lemon peel, hold peel over glass and twist to release a spritz of lemon oil. Place peel into the glass as garnish and serve. FYI: If you’re more of an olive juice person, skip the lemon and add a splash of olive juice and an olive for garnish. Enjoy!