The Fukushima Martini is a drink I created for my good friend Li Yan in 2011 to suit her tastes. She loves Dirty Martinis and hot chilies. So I came up with this for her – the dirtiest, spiciest Martini you’d ever want to see. I used to let her select the chili she wanted from the ones I had available (“choose your weapon”). To her mind, the spicier the better.
The name is both topical and deliberately politically incorrect in accordance with my philosophy on the topic. It kinda looks like toxic, radioactive sludge from a Sci-Fi B-movie. Or the sort of stuff you might gain superpowers from exposure to in a comic book. At one time the name Chernobyl would have been associated with something like this. But since it was created not long after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, that made more sense.
Since it is both very dirty and very spicy it definitely falls under the category of being an acquired taste. Even though it is my creation I despise it. In fact I think that Li only managed to find a couple of other people in the whole of London who really liked it. But if you also like it dirty and spicy, then this little number could be for you…
The Fukushima Martini is a further evolution of my popular Very Dirty Martini. This consists of muddled queen olives, a dash of vermouth and gin. The same applies here. However, whereas I would ordinarily suggest using the highest grade of gin you can when making a Martini, here I do not. Instead you want a pretty low level gin. Entry level or lower intermediate level is fine. The reason is that the olives and chilies are such intense flavours that you really need a strong, even harsh gin to stand up to them. And you really need to shake this drink, so using a gin whose botanicals may be adversely effected by shaking is unwise. I always used Beefeater Gin to make them.
Next, choose your chili. I would use one whole red chili to make one Fukushima Martini. That included one of the ends to be used as a garnish. But it didn’t include the seeds themselves. Though very spicy, they tend to impart a bitterness to a cocktail which is often unpalatable. Experiments with birds eye chilies also proved unsuccessful. They simply didn’t work as well.
Finally, you’ll be needing some freshly ground black pepper.
Start off by slicing your chili lengthways. Strip off the flesh while leaving the seeds behind. And slice off the end for use as a garnish. Then put the chili flesh into a mixing glass with three queen olives and muddle hard. Really pound them up. Then add a couple twists of freshly ground black pepper; ~5ml dry vermouth; and two shots/50ml of your chosen gin.
Then shake it hard. Double strain into a Martini glass (or equivalent) and garnish with the chili end and another couple twists of freshly ground black pepper.
Once again, I would only suggest this to customers who like really spicy drinks and enjoy a good Dirty Martini. Or prospective superheroes. If that’s not you, don’t go any closer to the Fukushima Martini than you would to the Fukushima nuclear plant…