The Perfect Martini?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Johnny Angell, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Never been a martini drinker, but lately I've tried a couple at a bar and liked them. So now I'm thinking I've got to learn how to make one. The first step is the ingredients the vodka/gin and the vermouth.

    Would anyone care to share their favorite martini recipes, including your favorite booze? In an older thread discussing vodkas, I saw mentioned Grey Goose, Titos, Ketel One, Chopin and the Russion Smirnoff. All with glowing praises. I haven't researched the gins yet.

    I prefer vodka to gin, but of course the wife prefers gin. Oh, I did see Plymouth gin praised highly.
     
  2. Alex-C

    Alex-C Screenwriter

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    Grey Goose vodka. crushed ice. shaken. pour into a martini glass. add a twist of lime. take a bottle of vermouth, put your thumb over the opening, completely covering it. circulate it over the glass for 2 circles. You're done.

    Of course, they always taste better at bars.

    this is my preference. many variations. I dislike olives. somewhat of a Martini staple. your mileage may vary, oh, and dont drink and drive.
     
  3. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    The key is quality ingredients, plus pull back on the mixer. While Vermouth is the staple for the traditional martini, the new trends are pretty wacky. Whatever you mix, make it a 9-to-1 ratio max. Don't overpour the Vermouth, Apple stuff, espresso beans, etc.... Alex's advice is "spot on".

    As I told my wife when she started drinking Bombay martinis, a martini is just a shooter sipped from a sophisticated glass.

    Have fun and be safe !
     
  4. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I once read a variation of this. Take the cap off the vermouth bottle, waive it over the martini mix and say vermouth.

    Speaking of a sophisticated glass, does the classic martinia glass shape really add anything to the drink? Couldn't one just use an old fashioned glass (at least in the privacy of your home with the lights dimmed[​IMG] ) for the martini without any loss of flavor?
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Some bartenders put vermouth in a shaker and shake with some ice cubes—and then pour out the vermouth, this leaves just some residual vermouth in the shaker and on the ice cubes. Next they add the gin (or vodka) and shake again.

    Aside from that my preference is to keep my gin, vodka and vermouth in the refrigerator, put the martini glasses in the freezer for 15 minutes or so before mixing the martinis and stir in a pitcher rather than shake in a cocktail shaker—you get less dilution from the ice this way.

    Either way, there are two garnish options: green olives or a twist. Olives are self-explanatory. For the twist, take a narrow slice of lemon peel, rub it around the edge of the martini glass, pour in the martini and twist the lemon peel above the surface of the martini, releasing the oil and then drop the twist into the glass. As a combination, I recently found some olives stuffed with lemon. Using cocktail onions in your drink turns the martini into a Gibson.

    I disagree with Alex as to the use of crushed ice and only use cubes (less dilution this way). I also strain my martinis into the glass, though if my friends want their drinks on the rocks, I certainly accommodate them.

    As for ingredients, I like Bombay Sapphire, but I admit that it is quite floral. A very nice and reasonably priced gin that is less floral is Gorden’s. At the top end, I reently tried No. Ten and found it quite good. Vodkas have been mentioned and to the list I’d add Hanger One. For vermouth, my favorite is Noilly Prat, followed by Martini & Rossi.

    We recently had a throwback, 50s cocktail party as a charity event and it was a big success. I pre-made pitchers of both gin and vodka martinis, keeping them in the refrigerator so that they were nice and cold and I did not have to do anything but pour into martini glasses and add the garnishes. A great time was had by all.
     
  6. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    And RE your thread title, a Perfect Martini is the name of a drink that contains both dry and sweet vermouth as well as gin.
     
  7. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I never new that. Thanks for all the info. We'll probably start out with a boston shaker (I think that's the name) since a pitcher would be way too much.
     
  8. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    You can use a jelly glass without changing the taste, especially if you are serving your martinis ‘on the rocks’ (shudder). But cocktails that are not served over ice (and actually by definition (at least mine [​IMG]) they are not) should be served in a glass with a stem. This because you can now hold the glass by the stem, keeping your body heat via your hand away from the drink (and thereby heating up the martini that you went to so much trouble to cool),

    Can you imagine Cary Grant drinking a martini in anything but a proper glass, or in anything but a tux, for that matter? [​IMG] Most especially in your home with dim lights. [​IMG]
     
  9. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Well I can't imagine myself as Cary Grant, so that's not an issue. I'm sure we'll feel compelled to get the real glasses soon.
     
  10. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    A martini is not made with vodka.

    I make martinis for my wife (well, I did until she got pregnant), and my method is as follows ( I use pourers):

    Add ice to the shaker, pour in 1 count of dry vermouth. Stir/Shake (preference). Strain out the vermouth. Pour in 9 count of gin. Stir/Shake (again, drinker's preference, as some like the ice crystals). Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with two olives.

    This is just about a double.

    Occassionally, I'll use jalapeno stuffed olives, or shake the olives with the gin to bruise them up a little just to mix things up.

    Another method for the vermouth is to pour some in the glass, swirl and dump. This coats the glass rather than the ice in the shaker. Alternatively, you can use a spray mister filled with vermouth to coat the glass.

    I have a friend who only likes a "whisper" of vermouth in his martinis. Just pour a glass of gin and whisper the word "vermouth" over the glass.
     
  11. Michael Warner

    Michael Warner Supporting Actor

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    I bought some jumbo olives soaked in vermouth at World Market so now I just stir some Bombay Sapphire with ice, pour into a Martini glass, and garnish with one olive. That provides just the right hint of vermouth.

    Oddly enough, I actually like to drink vermouth and soda on the rocks with a twist but I don't care for it mixed in a Martini.
     
  12. Alex-C

    Alex-C Screenwriter

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    Great stuff. Yes, Joe is right. I prefer Vodka Martinis over the traditional Martini which is made with Gin.
    You might try getting those really small bottles of different Gins to find one you like, but it aint like Scotch, I mean, Bombay Sapphire is the only Gin I would ever need to drink.
    Others swear by Tanqueray Ten.
    Again, find your sweet spot. haha !

    Lew...I like all of your contributions.
    The only reason I like crushed ice is I love the little ice slivers that make it through the strainer; usually you dont get those with cubes, but its a small, small difference in my book.
    If you're cool, get a non glass martini shaker and impress your friends/date/spouse/dog by "cracking the egg" and pouring the drink not through the top strainer but out the split between the bottom part and the top.
    The stainless steel shaker I have gets so cold during the shake it kind of freezes at the seal, sort of, then you crack it open at the connection point (jeez, I am not describing this well...) and (with one hand) pour your martinis.

    edit: I generally dont like olives, but the bleu cheese stuffed olives at the Zuri lounge at the MGM Grand in Vega$ nearly single handedly converted me.
     
  13. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    My wife likes Tanqueray Ten, but we used to buy the large Tanqueray bottle at Sam's Club before she became pregnant because we'd go through the stuff. Bombay Sapphire is also good.

    The best gin I've had was Hendrick's Gin.

    Now, I know this is a martini thread, and I make a damn good one, my drink of choice is a gin and tonic. And I won't drink one with anything lower on the shelf than Tanqueray.
     
  14. Alex-C

    Alex-C Screenwriter

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    Amen brother.
     
  15. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Anything that helps me select a vodka, gin, and vermouth is welcome. Not that I'm going to object if other drinks are discussed, anyway.
     
  16. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Grey Goose or Chopin for vodka for me. Martini & Rossi for the vermouth. Not a gin drinker, but the best I've had is Bombay Saphire. My recipe is: chill glasses, pour a micro amount of vermouth in glass, swirl and pour out. Shake vodka liberally with ice (like Lew, I keep a bottle of vodka in the freezer, so sometimes this step is only for the drama) and pour.

    Also, remember what Nick Charles says about shaking: "The important thing is the rhythm. Always have rhythm in your shaking. Now a Manhattan you shake to fox-trot time, a Bronx to two-step time, a dry martini you always shake to waltz time."

    Everbody now, "1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3". [​IMG]

    (for those who don't get the reference, you have missed a damn funny movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0025878/quotes)
     
  17. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    I don't bother with the ice and shaker (and agree that a martini is made with GIN). It's either stirred in a pitcher for guests, or if I'm making a solo flight for myself, I just keep the Tangueray/or Ten in the freezer....dip the olive(s) in vermouth and I'm set. Bombay Saphire is OK....just not my taste preference.

    Mort (who knows that James Bond drank vodka martinis but he was mistaken too)
     
  18. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Lots of good info here, I really appreciate it. To summarize the spirits mentioned here and in another thread:
    Vodka: Grey Goose, Chopin, Hanger One, Ketel One, Russian Smirnoff, and Titos (made in Texas).
    Gin: Bombay Saphire, Gordons, Tanqueray Ten, Hendricks, and Plymouth.

    Vermouth: Neilly Pratt, Matinni & Rossi.

    The mentions of olives from World Market makes me wince. We just moved out of Orange Park, FL which had one to LR which doesn't.

    I didn't list the spirits in order of quality. After reading all the info, I'm leaning towards Grey Goose or Chopin and Bombay Saphire. If I found Titos, I might give it a try.
     
  19. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    "The perfect martini should taste like it isn't even there, like an ice-cold cloud" - Herman Wouk, The Winds of War

    Recipe for a Dry Martini: Pour 2 jiggers of premium gin into a shaker of crushed ice. Shake. Glance at a bottle of dry vermouth. Pour gin into chilled martini glass.

    Because the essence of a martini is that it is cold, it has to be drunk quickly and has to be kept from anything apt to heat it. Hence the classic stemware martini glass:

    1) It prevents the warmth of your hand from being transferred to the liquid (an old-fashioned glass invites you to wrap your whole palm around it, which transfers heat to the glass and the liquid - on reason why it is used for drinks served on the rocks.)

    2) The wide mouth invites you to down the drink in a couple of perfect icy-cold gulps rather than sipping it slowly.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  20. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    I also use the Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth. If I were to rank the gins listed in post #18 according to my personal taste, it would be as follows:

    1. Hendrick's
    2. Tanqueray Ten
    3. Bombay Sapphire
    4. Tanqueray

    I've never had Plymouth's so i can't list it, and after trying the above gins, you won't even want to touch Beefeaters or Seagrams. I'm sure there are some quality gins that have not been mentioned that may even be better than those listed.

    And remember, gin is just herb-infused vodka (so are many absinthe labels for that matter0. But it is the subtlety of the herbs which makes it great for a martini and the olives make an excellent compliment. And the combination of herbs used and quality of distillation is what sets the various labels apart.
     

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