The Martini Process
Despite the natural inclination to order otherwise, your martini should be stirred not shaken. The shaken martini is a gimmick that compromises the content and nobility of your drink. It is exciting and seemingly traditional to witness the theatric that is the shaken martini. But it has no value besides the ceremony, and will merely add water. Be comfortable being correct and stir the martini.
Gimmick Catalog Entry
Title: The Shaken Cocktail
Popularized By: James Bond and Beginner Bartenders
Justification: Shaking your cocktail has a novelty that excites the inexperienced. Broken ice is appropriate for cocktails that need dilution and will create a frothy, cloudy and watered down cocktail. Stir your martini enough to chill it; don’t beat the hell out of it.
The Inebriate Nerd says; vigorous shaking of cocktails can ‘bruise’ the primary liquor of the drink. Bruising is a phenomenon referring to a bitter flavor that will result if too much water addition and temperature change occur simultaneously in the cocktail.
Vermouth has a strong taste, so even a 1/8 oz more or less can change the flavor of the martini. Ordering a martini dry will give you a martini with less vermouth.
The Inebriate Economist says; Understand that you are paying for the gin. No one orders a martini for the 1/6th part vermouth. Develop a taste for the dry Martini because vermouth will dilute your wallet. And in the simple utterance “dry” at a bar, you present yourself as a man that understands Martinis, understands his own tastes and is a steadfast cocktail enthusiast plagued with too much testosterone to basterdize his gin with that crutch the weak call vermouth.
A dirty martini is defined by an olive brine splash addition, creating a pleasant salty taste. It is not my personal preference but I do have an over extended respect for straight gin. But there are few sexier or more classic cocktails than the dirty martini.
The Inebriate Health Nut says; adding olive brine, olives or the absurdly delicious bleu cheese stuffed olives (garlic stuffed olives are also wonderful) can turn the martini from a health conscious cocktail to one with relatively significant amounts of sodium, carbohydrates and calories. One stuffed green olive may add only about 50 calories to your drink, but it is nearly 100% calories from fat. We are not demonizing the dirty martini, but it is important to understand that it is less a healthy alternative when served with olives or dirty.
Olives or a lemon twist are the typical garnishes. A ‘twist’ is the rind of a lemon or lime wheel peeled off and placed on the rim of the glass.
Make sure you sip the damn thing. It should take you at least 20 minutes to enjoy a martini. We are not binging, we are enjoying, and you waste your money otherwise.
The Legendary Collegian says; garnish your martini with a pickled onion (sometimes called a cocktail onion). This elevates the already classic martini into a traditional Gibson, the godfather of martinis.
I want the last word on the dry martini; the paramount technique for a dry martini is to put ¾ oz of dry vermouth in a chilled glass, swirl it around and then throw it out with authority. It looks sexy and it leaves the perfect amount of vermouth in the glass. Noel Coward, a more than famous English playwright advocated the elimination of vermouth altogether. His own personal recipe called for “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy.” I suggest doing the same to snub those who disagree with you.
Here’s to you,
Articles to come: The Myth of Vodka Variety, The Manhattan, and Why You Should Never Order Rum.