This recipe is sponsored by BarrelCharWood.com. All opinions are my own.
From ultra dry to dirty, the iconic martini can take many forms. James Bond had his Vesper, and then there’s the extra savory Gibson, garnished with a cocktail onion. But today I’m diving into some uncharted territory with this Birch Martini!
Using the Barrel Char in Jar System, I spent six months infusing my preferred martini gin (a nice London dry) with birch wood. Over time, the flavors developed and transformed my bright and zesty, juniper-forward gin into an incredibly smooth and sippable, golden-hued liquid.
More barrel char jar infused cocktail recipes:
Birch wood infused gin
The juniper notes are still present, but subdued, and they mingle with hints of sweet vanilla and nuts, making me think of the holidays (think balsam fir and warm sugar cookies).
The sweet and earthy flavors dissolve into a finish that is slightly citrusy and then bursts with fresh wintergreen. Each sip leaves you wanting to taste just a little more!
I am so glad I chose birch wood for this gin infusion, it’s been so interesting to see how the flavors have developed and changed over the past 6+ months.
Of my four Barrel Char Jar infusions, this birch gin was the one that most surprised both myself and my husband. As an avid whisky drinker, and a fan of gin (only in cocktails), he was astonished that the birch-infused gin was so enjoyable sipped neat.
He actually asked a few times if I was positive that this was the gin infusion – that’s how much things had changed after six months! He thought for sure it was some kind of whiskey and perhaps I’d mislabeled my jars.
How to make a birch-infused martini
For the birch infusion, I prepped my birch from BarrelCharWood.com by boiling it for about ten minutes. Next, I let the wood dry out for a bit and then added it to my medium sized mason jar.
Lastly, I filled the jar about three quarters with Tanqueray gin. After sealing the jar, the only thing that’s left to do is wait for the flavors to develop. In just 2-3 weeks, some noticeable flavors began to emerge.
At three months, the infusion could be considered done, or you can leave it to continue infusing for six months or even a year or longer. I think six months was the perfect amount of time for this birch infusion and I’m in love with the results!
I removed the birch from the jar in April 2022 and began experimenting with simple cocktails. After trying a few different spring-themed highballs, I settled on the Birch Martini as my favorite way to showcase the unique flavor of this spirit.
To make a Birch Martini, you’ll need three ingredients:
- Birch wood-infused gin
- Dry vermouth
- Orange bitters (or another flavor of bitters, if you prefer)
I like to use a fairly classic 5:1 ratio for my martinis, so that’s what I’ve used here. If you have a different preference, feel free to adjust accordingly.
I think this birch gin would work well in a reverse martini, a perfect martini, and definitely with sweet vermouth instead of dry in a Gin & It cocktail!
You may also enjoy these other cocktails:
- 2½ oz birch wood infused gin I used Tanqueray
- ½ oz dry vermouth
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and fill it 3/4 with ice.
- Stir until thoroughly chilled, then strain into a cocktail glass.
- Garnish with an expressed orange or lemon peel.