The Inward Turn

The Inward Turn Marta Ess Most Imaginative Bartender

Inspired by bartender Marta Ess’ passion for dance, this drink “is about reminding yourself to take time for self-reflection and self-care,” she says. A variation on the classic gin Martini, it’s meant to be sipped slowly and conscientiously. Tomato water, reflecting the need for nourishment, adds vegetal complexity; fortified wines lend a silky texture, while a touch of saline solution recalls the healing properties of saltwater. The garnish is meant to evoke the leg of a dancer standing en pointe.


Serving: 1

  • 1 3/4 parts Bombay Sapphire gin
  • 1 3/4 parts Bombay Sapphire gin
  • 3/4 parts tomato water (see Editor’s Note)
  • 3/4 parts tomato water (see Editor’s Note)
  • 1/2 parts juniper- and basil-infused bianco vermouth (see Editor’s Note)
  • 1/2 parts juniper- and basil-infused bianco vermouth (see Editor’s Note)
  • 1 barspoon floc de Gascogne
  • 1 barspoon floc de Gascogne
  • 1 barspoon fino sherry
  • 1 barspoon fino sherry
  • 12 drops saline solution (see Editor’s Note)
  • 12 drops saline solution (see Editor’s Note)
  • Lemon peel
  • Lemon peel

Garnish: sprig of lemon thyme, cherry tomato, lace of dehydrated lemon peel cut into a very thin strip

  1. Build all ingredients in mixing glass.
  2. Add ice and stir until very well-chilled (about 40 turns).
  3. Fine-strain into chilled Nick & Nora glass.
  4. Express and discard lemon peel.
  5. Garnish with lemon thyme sprig inserted into cherry tomato, wrapped in lace of dehydrated lemon. 
Editor's Note

Tomato water
1. After washing and removing stems, blend 4 pints of heirloom tomatoes (or equivalent amount of regular red “on the vine” tomatoes), skins and all, in food processor until purée is smooth and uniform.
2. Transfer purée into small pot, and bring to simmer on medium-low heat.
3. Simmer until tomato solids separate from liquid, approximately 5 minutes.
4. Cover a large bowl with a linen napkin. Pour hot tomato mixture over linen, being careful to keep edges of linen taut.
5. Wearing protective gloves and holding extra linen if necessary (as mixture will be very hot), lift edges of linen up and secure together above, allowing liquid to stream through linen into bowl. Very gently, squeeze tomato pulp to coax out as much liquid as possible.
6. Allow liquid to chill fully before use. Discard tomato pulp (or use as base for pasta sauce!).

Juniper- and basil-infused bianco vermouth
Sous-vide method:
1. Lightly crush 1 heaping teaspoon of dried juniper berries and top with 8 ounces bianco vermouth in watertight bag.
2. Immerse bag just to the top (not fully) inside a pot or Cambro filled with water, forcing out all air.
3. Fold top of bag over three times (being very careful not to allow any water in) and secure to side of pot with a clip.
4. Ensure vermouth and berries in bag are fully immersed in water.
5. Set circulator to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, and let sit in sous vide for 2 hours.
6. Remove bag and allow to cool. Fine-strain vermouth into clean glass jar.
7. Chiffonade 15 large basil leaves and add to juniper-infused vermouth. Seal jar, give jar a good shake, and allow to infuse with basil for 3 hours.
8. Fine-strain infused vermouth into clean glass bottle.

Alternate method:
1. Muddle 1 teaspoon juniper berries lightly in clean glass jar.
2. Top with 8 ounces bianco vermouth.
3. Seal jar and shake vigorously.
4. Leave to rest for approximately 24 hours, intermittently shaking gently.
5. Add 15 basil leaves, cut chiffonade.
6. Seal and shake, and leave to rest for 3 hours.
7. Fine-strain mixture into clean glass bottle.

Saline solution
Mix 4 teaspoons salt with 1/3 cup water, shaking until clear. Transfer into dropper vial.