Sam Kiley describes her Madhatter as a “Southern-style sweet Martini,” created as an homage to North Carolina, where she went to college. Central to the drink’s makeup is vermouth made with distinctive Southeastern botanicals, including dried kudzu vine, an invasive species that runs rampant throughout the South but was kept under control at her Winston-Salem campus by packs of goats brought in twice a year for this particular task. “Although everyone told me housemade vermouth is usually not yummy, I wanted to give it a go,” she says. When mixed with Mississippi gin, the result is a slightly earthy Martini that toes the line between sweet and savory.
- 1 1/2 ounces gin, preferably Wonderbird
- 1 1/2 ounces Madhatter vermouth (see Editor's Note)
Garnish: lemon twist
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled.
- Double strain into a coupe glass.
- Garnish with a lemon twist.
Madhatter Forified Wine
1 bottle Guillaman, Les Pierres Blanches Cotes de Gascogne, 2017
1/2 ounce dried maitake mushrooms
1 ounce dried kudzu vine
1/2 ounce dried chamomile flowers
5 bay leaves
4 ounces fresh ginger
2 ounces whole black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook at 90 degrees for 1 hour. Rest for 24 hours then strain. Fortify with PX sherry with two parts wine to one part sherry.