Food Stuff

Illustration By Conrad Garcia

Grocer and importer Darrell Corti may be the only Sacramentan who has inspired the name of a cocktail—the Cortini. Developed by César, a tapas bar in Berkeley, the Cortini is a top-end martini. A Cortini can be made from any good gin, although César uses 110-proof Old Raj Gin, which Corti Brothers sells for $65.99 a bottle. Corti says Old Raj is the most expensive gin on the market (although he believes Plymouth Gin is actually the best available). Old Raj is not run-of-the-mill stuff; it is remarkably viscous and aromatic, with a yellow hue that comes from saffron. To make a Cortini, pour a shot of Old Raj into a shaker with ice and add a fresh lemon wedge. Shake gently and strain into a martini glass and then garnish with a lemon twist. Corti’s assessment? “Perfectly fine, [but] it is not for the faint of heart.”