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Cocktails at Home: The Best Martini from Harris’ Restaurant, San Francisco

Cocktails at Home: The Best Martini from Harris’ Restaurant, San Francisco

Pursuitist - 5-Star Luxury

In our not-so-humble opinion, a great steakhouse is only so-so without a great martini. San Francisco’s elegant Harris’ Restaurant knows this and has built its 30-year reputation on its fine aged cuts of Midwestern beef – matched by its selection of fine wines and spirits. Diners return again and again for such temptations as the 6-ounce Wagyu Ribeye “appetizer,” 14-ounce ribeye Prime Rib, or the “Harris,” a 12-ounce bone-in dry aged USDA Prime New York steak.

With entrees costing up to $253, there’s no doubt that every meal at Harris’ Restaurant is a special occasion. And that means a very special martini is required from Scott Taylor, Beverage Director at Harris’ Restaurant, who went to work testing gins and vermouths to come up with a perfectly balanced recipe worthy of the title “The Best Martini.”

“One of the biggest errors people make is to not include enough vermouth in their martini,” says Taylor. “Without vermouth you are just drinking a cold glass of gin. Rather than shaking, I prefer to stir. This not only keeps it from clouding or bruising, but I can also control the level of water dilution.”

Knowing that no two gins are alike, Taylor chose his favorite after years of experimentation. “Loaded with the flavors of juniper, bay laurel and other earthy botanicals, I am a big fan of St. George Spirits’ Terroir Gin,” he says. “Each sip is like a welcomed kick in the mouth by a Christmas tree. It’s my go-to for an intensely aromatic martini, garnished with a lemon twist or peel to elevate the hint of citrus.” Perhaps best of all, the simple recipe is easy to replicate at home.


2 parts St. George Terroir Gin

1 part Dolin dry vermouth

Directions: Stir with ice, strain into chilled martini glass or coupe and garnish with lemon twist.