A martini is one of Boozelandia’s greatest expressions of perfection, expertly balanced in its original and minimalistic formula of gin, vermouth and a dash of bitters. Vodka has increasingly crashed the scene since circa 1960, which is a good thing for those who don’t care for gin’s botanicals.
A close cousin of the martini is the French 75, named for the Gallic wartime rifle that packed an unexpected punch. Essentially it contains gin (or vodka if you must), a bubbly wine of some sort, plus a dash of simple syrup and a little lemon. The latter masks the deadly hit that lurks within, or so the legend goes.
At Fresco’s second outpost in Cranston they serve a hybrid between those two cocktails. It has the cleanness of a martini, mixed with a bit of the French 75’s bubbles and sweet-sour profile.
Called the Mainstreet Martini after the original Fresco’s address, on 301 Main Street in East Greenwich, it became a new classic and transferred to the new location. As Fresco’s bar manager Judi Church tells us, “It’s just refreshing, and always appropriate to order.” It’s the little black dress of cocktails regardless of the season.
Main Street Martini
This cocktail recipe uses a 2:1 ratio of liquor to liqueur (in this case, vodka to St. Germain). That has the potential to err on the sweet side – so, if you like your cocktails dry, just adjust the specified proportions. For instance, you can dial down the St. Germain if you like drinks dry as a bone. Or, you can up the amount of Prosecco, which lends levity with bubbles and a medium-level sweetness. The vodka specified is Bully Boy, which Fresco prefers because it’s small-batch and very smooth. Feel free to play around with your own preferred brand, or even to veer to the gin side of the liquor kingdom.
2 oz Bully Boy vodka
1 oz St. Germain liqueur
Juice from half a lemon
Prosecco to taste
Lemon twist for garnish
Combine the vodka, St. Germain and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass, then top with a Prosecco float and garnish with a lemon twist.
140 Comstock Parkway, Cranston