Rich Woods presents a stunning cocktail inspired by classic St Petersburg flavours. The oyster shells lend a sublime minerality to the vermouth for the martini, and samphire bitters add another seaside component to the cocktail. Serve with Russian caviar on homemade blinis.
To begin, make the oyster shell vermouth. Wash and clean 6 oyster shells and wrap in a tea towel. Smash with a meat mallet or rolling pin to break up the shells and place in a sealable, non-reactive container. Cover with the vermouth
Leave to infuse for 24 hours, pass through a sieve then strain the liquid through a coffee filter to remove any small pieces of shell
Wash and chop the samphire into small pieces. Place in a zip-lock bag, cover with the vodka and squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag. Seal and leave to infuse for 24 hours in a cool, dark place
Pass through a coffee filter and set aside until ready to make the cocktail
To assemble the martini, place the Beluga vodka, 15ml of oyster shell vermouth and 1 tsp of the samphire bitters in a cocktail shaker. Add ice cubes, stir until ice-cold and strain into a martini glass. Serve with the caviar on the side