Make The Perfect Martini
Any time is martini time and there’s something soothing about preparing it. As far as the cocktail hour at home goes, or for that matter, cocktails anytime, the martini has been a long-established favorite. It’s a drink that screams style and sophistication. The martini’s appearance on the big screen only served to confirm it. If you want to find out how much shaken not stirred makes a difference, read this first and find out how to make the perfect martini.
A Bit About Martini
Some people argue the martini was the very first cocktail, others disagree. Whatever is right, the martini does have a valid claim to fame. Among legendary bartenders and cocktail makers, the martini is referred to as ‘the king of cocktails’.
The martini first popped onto the scene in the 19th century. It was a worthy descendant of the Fancy Gin Cocktail which included in its blend genever (or jenever, a Dutch juniper gin), curaçao made with laraha citrus fruit (only found on a Dutch island colony) and the famous Boker’s bitters founded in 1828, with ingredients that including the asain spices cassia and cardamom and very bitter orange peel. For a very long time, Bokers were the only bitters to use in a cocktail.
Today’s modern martini is a lot drier and altogether a more serious drink than it was in its earliest form and people still love it. The martini has a long list of famous fans that includes President Franklin Roosevelt, Raymond Chandler, Churchill, WC Fields and our very own cultural icon, Homer Simpson.
What’s In It?
In terms of ingredients, the perfect martini is the simplest of cocktails, but with few ingredients, the proportions become more important to create the unique martini flavor. The recipe is simple to follow and easy to remember.
The Recipe For Making The Perfect Martini
- 2 ounces of gin
- Half ounce of dry vermouth
- Half ounce of sweet vermouth
- Lemon or olives for garnish
Get a mixing glass with ice cubes in it and pour all the liquid ingredients in. Stir well and drain out into a chilled cocktail glass. Add a lemon peel twist or two green olives to garnish. Never both.
More About The Ingredients
When there are only two real ingredients, ice becomes critical. Ice does more than chill the martini. There’s a lot happening behind the scenes. You need to use the ice carefully to ensure it makes your drink cold without watering it down. Save the crushed and shaved ice for margaritas. You need the cubes whole to mix a perfect martini.
Gin Or Vodka?
Both vodka or gin are okay to use. It depends on your preference but it is a good idea to avoid cheap bottom shelf varieties when preparing the king of cocktails.
Instead, if gin is your drink opt for one with flavors, such as Bombay, Beefeater or Tanqueray. Any gin goes well, so feel free to experiment. The clean profile of the martini lets you experience each gin’s unique blend without the confusion of competing flavors.
Mostly professionals use classic London Dry Gin because it is more juniper-forward, but Oxley English Dry Gin with a softer juniper flavor balanced with a combination of meadowsweet and citrus is popular. For an impressive floral nose, there’s Bloom made with honeysuckle and chamomile.
Vermouth plays a vital supporting role in mixing the perfect martini. This is a fortified wine with coriander and nutmeg and other herbs and spices blended with other aromatic botanicals such as juniper and orange peel. Once opened, Vermouth stays good in the refrigerator for about three months but it’s still sensible to go for smaller bottles.
The Vermouth gives the martini its monikers, such as set, dry or extra wet. If you like your martini dry use the least amount of vermouth with a ratio to the gin of around 6:1. Wet has a ratio of 3:1 and extra wet is equal parts.
You can experiment with vermouth to find your ideal combination and it is a good idea to start with big brands such as Cinzano, Carpano, Vya or Noilly Prat. Once you have discovered your palette, there’s nothing wrong with exploring less well-known Vermouth blends. There are many small producers coming out with impressive options.
You can also experiment with the garnishes that top off your idea of the perfect martini. The classics are a twist of lemon peel or a green olive. Twist the peel directly over the surface of the cocktail to deliver its citrus oil. There are lots of green olives to try and martini connoisseurs say that adding a drop or two of olive brine lifts all the flavors.
In the end, perhaps it’s what you think makes the perfect martini that matters. You can certainly use the basic recipe to start finding out. Since the martini cocktail is a great party drink, perhaps discovering the perfect martini is the excuse you need to invite a few people around. If ever there was a drink that can cause a stir and create a sensation, it’s the martini. Its reign over various other concoctions has been solid and unshaken for years now. It’s cocktail hour somewhere on the planet right now. Join in and raise your glass for the toast, ‘Long live martini, the King of Cocktails’.