Thursday, September 17, 2009

How to Make a Great Martini

There are a few different approaches to Martini making, from the simple to the very complex, but there is only one classic.  Although many variations are made with Vodka, the classic Martini is made with Gin.  When someone asks for a "dry" Martini, they are simply asking for less Vermouth.  A "dry" Martini has about 1/10 oz of Vermouth, a "very dry" Martini has a tiny drop of Vermouth and an "extremely dry" Martini simply leaves off the  Vermouth and doubles up on the Gin.

A classic Martini is made with a single shot of Gin and a dash of Vermouth.  It is garnished with an olive.  Old time Martini drinkers will not drink them made with fruit, flavorings or Vodka.  They are always made with Dry Vermouth and never with the sweet stuff.  Here are the basics for a classic, high quality dry Martini:

1 1/2 oz Gin
dash of dry Vermouth

Obtain a classic Martini glass, the more widely flared the better.  There are many kinds of Martini glasses but my favorite is a beveled one with convex sides.  Chill it in the freezer until it is frosted.  Fill a mixing glass with ice and let it frost up.  Add the Gin and dash of Vermouth.  Stir, do not shake.  Stir gently, actually, more like a swirl.  Strain it into the chilled Martini glass and garnish with an olive.

The kind of olive you choose is open to individual tastes.  Many classic drinkers like an olive stuffed with a pimento but others like the olives stuffed with garlic or onions.  It is entirely up to you.  The kind of olive you use does not detract from the classic style of the traditional Martini.

Here are the do nots:

Never garnish with anything other than an olive
Never serve a Martini in anything but a Martini glass
Never add ice to a Martini
Never use Sweet Vermouth or use more than a dash of the Dry
Never add flavorings, sugar, salt or other condiments to a Martini; those types of Martinis are made for people who do not like the taste of a traditional Martini and what we are making here is the classic.

So make yourself a classic Martini, sit back and enjoy!

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