What could be better than a cool, crisp, refreshing Martini? A tiny ’Tini served in a miniature coupe, of course! As bartenders and spirits brands increasingly turn their hand towards the charming cocktail serve, we take a closer look…
It’s a well-known fact that miniature things are adorable, and a scaled-down Martini is no exception. First and foremost, the tiny ’Tini trend reflects “a desire to get back to reasonable-sized cocktails that you can enjoy in a reasonable amount of time before it goes tepid and warm,” agrees Ryan Gavin, bar manager at Gran Tivoli and Peppi’s Cellar in Lower Manhattan, who also cites “the sheer adorableness of all things ‘mini’” as a catalyst. “This, of course, makes these things highly Instagrammable,” he says. Couple this with the natural creative flair of the modern bartender, and you’ve got yourself a trend with legs.”
So compelling is the emerging trend, the Absolut Elyx Boutique has created miniature copper coupes that hold just three ounces [85ml] of the sophisticated serve. Instagram aside, there’s a logic to the launch. “The first three sips are simply the most enjoyable,” explains Miranda Dickson, global brand director for Absolut Elyx. And with a small vessel, the last sip will be as cool as the first.“The temperature of a Martini is more important than that of any other cocktail – as soon as the Martini is poured, even into a chilled glass, the temperature is going to go up,” she continues.
Plus, there’s no denying that the Martini is a strong, spirit-forward drink. By shrinking the serve, you can actually enjoy more than one or two without having to hail a taxi. “Serving them in miniature enables our guests to not only enjoy the Martini at the most optimal temperature but also to try a couple – allowing them to experiment with different levels of dryness, different vermouths, olives, citrus twists, bitters, etcetera,” Dickson adds. You can explore the serve a little more responsibly, in essence.
While it’s gaining traction now, the mini Martini is by no means a new invention “Martinis have been enjoyed in tiny serves since the beginning of the 20th century; the tiny size of the cocktail glasses from that period are testament to this,” Dickson says. “The nineties saw a trend for huge oversized Martinis – the most popular bars in their heyday served 14oz [400ml] ones,” Dickson continues. “Considering it’s predominantly liquor with some dilution, that’s a pretty hefty serve! By the end, it was room temperature and really not a great experience.”
The burgeoning ‘no and low’ sector is testament that today’s drinkers want to socialise more responsibly. More and more people are going out to enjoy themselves without constantly over-indulging, explains Marshall Minaya, beverage director at New York bar Valerie. “As someone on the working side of the bar, serving mini Martinis is a grand idea,” Minaya continues. “Every night we are out to throw a party, and we want everyone and anyone to attend our party. Our goal is not to get people drunk, but to have people imbibe on personally crafted cocktails that they truly enjoy.”
Presenting the Martini in a miniature vessel also democratises the drink, says Dickson. “Although the Martini is a well known, storied drink, steeped in glamour, celebration and sophistication, I think people are a little challenged by a 7oz [200ml] spirit-forward strong cocktail – which is, by anyone’s measure, a serious drink,” she says. “Enjoying the drink in smaller, bite-size serves makes it less serious, more fun, and ultimately more accessible for people to try.”
Ready to take on the tiny ’Tini? Keep reading for three miniature variations on the classic serve to try out at home…
Italian Minis by Peppi’s Cellar at Gran Tivoli
Make in advance and keep chilled in the freezer until ready to serve. Garnish with a pickled grape tomato.
Mini Gibson by Valerie
37.5ml Le Gin
7.5ml Dry vermouth
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass, fill with ice. Stir. Strain into 3oz Martini glass and garnish with a pickled pearl onion.
Mini Elyx Martini by Absolut Elyx
25ml Absolut Elyx
5ml Lillet Blanc
Combine both ingredients in a mixing glass and stir over plenty of cubed ice. Strain into a Chilled Copper Tiny Tini Coupe and garnish with lemon zest or an olive.