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Why Capers Should Be The New Olives In Your Martini

caper martini

When capers are used in place of olives in a Martini, the traditional cocktail takes on a distinctive flavour that is briny and slightly tangy. A martini's garnish of choice is a matter of taste, and experimenting with ingredients can be a fun way to make your drink unique. 

What Are Capers?

Small, round flower buds known as capers are usually pickled or salted for culinary purposes. They are derived from the perennial caper bush, Capparis spinosa, which is indigenous to the Mediterranean region. The characteristic greenish-grey, pea-sized buds that the caper bush produces are harvested before they open into flowers.

The distinct, tangy flavour of capers gives food a briny, slightly peppery taste. Pickling or salting intensifies their flavour and keeps them fresh for longer. The size of the capers can affect the flavour intensity, with smaller capers typically having a stronger flavour.

Italian and Mediterranean cuisines frequently use capers as a garnish or flavour enhancer in a variety of dishes. Salads, pasta sauces, seafood dishes, and meat recipes frequently contain them. Additionally, capers play a major role in the traditional Italian condiment known as "caper berries."

It's customary to rinse capers before adding them to dishes when using them in recipes in order to get rid of extra brine or salt. There are various sizes of capers; smaller ones (like non-pareil capers) are more highly valued because of their delicate flavour.


Reasons To Replace Your Olives With Capers

Selecting capers instead of olives in martinis can give the traditional cocktail a distinctive and distinct flavour profile. Although olives are the typical martini garnish, capers can give the drink more depth and complexity with their briny, tangy, and slightly peppery flavour. For the following reasons, some people might think capers taste better in a martini than olives:

1. Unique Flavour: The savoury, salty flavour of olives is not the same as the distinct flavour of capers. The martini's flavour profile can become more complex and distinctive by incorporating the tangy and briny notes of capers.

2. Variety and Creativity: Using capers gives you the opportunity to stray from the standard martini garnish and add an original and surprising touch. For people who like to experiment with different ingredients and flavour combinations, it might be a tempting choice.

3. Fresher and Lighter: Compared to olives, which are denser and more savoury, capers can add a fresher and lighter flavour to a martini. This can be especially refreshing when making martinis that have a brighter, more citrusy flavour profile.

4. Gin Botanicals as Complement: Herbal, citrusy, and floral notes are frequently found in gin botanicals. Capers can enhance these botanicals, contributing a further level of nuance that harmonises well with the natural flavours of the gin.


How To Use Capers In Martinis

In classic martinis, capers are not a traditional ingredient. A twist of lemon peel or olives are usually used as a garnish for classic martinis, which are primarily made with gin and dry vermouth. Capers, on the other hand, can add a distinctive twist to some contemporary martini variations and inventive interpretations.

Capers are usually used in martinis either as an ingredient in a speciality martini recipe or as a garnish. Here's an illustration of a caper-infused martini variation:

Caper Martini

60 ml of gin
15 ml dry vermouth
15 ml of caper brine
Ice with a caper garnish

Mix the gin, caper brine, and dry vermouth together in a mixing glass.
To chill the mixture, add ice to the mixing glass and thoroughly stir the ingredients.
Pour through a strainer into a chilled martini glass.
Add some capers or a lemon twist as a garnish.

Remember that this is only an example, and that different people will like different things when it comes to how they use capers in their martinis. If you enjoy capers, you may enjoy some interesting and tasty results when experimenting with their use in cocktails. It's important to note that this differs from the classic martini recipe.