Posted by: Matt Browner Hamlin | January 4, 2010

AGAINN’s Mayflower Martini

A relatively new entry to the DC restaurant and cocktail scene is Againn. It’s styled like a British pub, though the quality of food definitely puts it in the gastropub category in my book. There whiskey selection is large and they have some great beers on tap. They also have an impressive house cocktail selection that includes many originals. Their cocktails include a lot of unique ingredients and infused spirits. It was far more comprehensive and creative than I’d expected to come across.

While there was a lot on their cocktail menu that looked interesting and worth trying, one thing stood out to me: the Mayflower Martini. The ingredient list says it’s made with “osmanthus infused plymouth, dolin blanc, dolin dry, lemon bitters.” I wasn’t familiar with osmanthus, but did some research and was interested to see that the plant isn’t commonly used in food or cooking. The odors associated with it suggest that by itself it has a fruity, peachy scent. Also known as fragrant tea olive, osmanthus has a strong jasmine or rose smell.

In any event, the Mayflower Martini had a light, sweet, refreshing taste. It was heavy in its vermouth profile and given the inclusion of the Dolin Blanc and the osmanthus, there was a heavy  peach and citrus taste to the cocktail. Together it was sweeter and less crisp than a dry Martini, but it was still delightful.

I didn’t get the recipe, but if I had to guess at the recipe, here’s what I’d put forward:

Mayflower Martini (MBH interpretation)

2 oz Plymouth gin
1 oz Dolin Blanc
1 oz Dolin Dry
2 dashes lemon bitters

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

I’m guessing here that the gin to vermouth ratio was 2:1:1. It’s certainly possible that there was a bit more gin than vermouth and the strength was masked by the sweetness of the Dolin Blanc. I don’t know how the osmanthus was infused in the gin, so I’m not putting it forth here. Plus this is a recipe that should be replicable with relative ease at home as is. Hopefully it’s not too far off!


Josh Harris of The Bon Vivants has posted the correct recipe for the Mayflower Martini in the comments and it has even more vermouth than I’d initially thought.

Mayflower Martini

1 oz Osmanthus Infused Plymouth
.75 oz Dolin Blanc
.75 oz Dolin Dry
2 dashes Lemon Bitters

I had speculated that the ratio was gin to Dolin Dry to Dolin Blanc was 2:1:1 (or a total of equal parts gin and vermouth). In fact, it’s 4:3:3, for a total of two parts gin to three parts vermouth.

Also, I updated my take on this recipe to remove the obvious typo of citing Dolin Rouge when I meant Dolin Dry. D’oh!



  1. Mayflower Martini

    1 oz Osmanthus Infused Plymouth
    .75 oz Dolin Blanc
    .75 oz Dolin Dry
    2 dashes Lemon Bitters

    The key to the cocktail is the Dolin Vermouths. A lower quality vermouth will not show as well. Remember that between two types of vermouth, you have 1.5 oz and only 1 oz of infused gin so the vermouth is just as important if not more important than anything else in the cocktail. This is one of our modern homages to the traditional martini (the ones people drank before James Bond bastardized them with the vodka – shaken thing. Hopefully that fills in some of the holes. Cheers

    • Thanks for posting the exact recipe Josh. It’s a great cocktail and really refreshing for people like me who cherish the vermouth in a Martini.

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