A couple days ago, I gave it a whirl. Starting with the extra-dry (8-to-1) martini recipe from Mr. Boston Platinum, I simply replaced the 1/4 oz of vermouth with an equal quantity of kirsch, and then added a dash of orange bitters, per the classic original martini recipe described in the guide's introduction. In this first try, the cherry flavor of the kirsch was virtually undetectable, so I tried again, doubling the amount of kirsch and leaving everything else the same.
Honestly, this drink still tastes mostly like gin (I used Hendricks), but that's the way of all martinis, isn't it (and hardly a bad thing, I might add)? It does have a somewhat brighter flavor than a martini made with vermouth; while I wouldn't encourage anyone to run out and buy kirsch for this purpose, it might make an amusing variation if you have some at hand:
- 2 oz gin
- 1/2 oz kirschwasser
- dash orange bitters
- garnish w/twist of lime
BTW, if you don't already have orange bitters in your liquor cabinet, it can be hard to find in stores, but you can buy it online.