The Martini seems a simple concoction, traditionally being two to four ounces of gin or vodka, vermouth, with some olives thrown in, but there is a skill and science to the perfect Martini. So let's examine the way to go about making a perfect traditional Martini and then look at some variations of the form.
First one needs to start off with quality alcohol. Tanqueray makes a nice gin, regular or Malacca. We prefer Bombay Sapphire. It has a crisp clean finish to it that compliments the Martini. There are several higher end Vodkas that work well. Stolichnaya makes a good vodka, but avoid the flavored ones. Absolute and Skyy also work well. As for vermouth, there are a few choices that are better than the standard fare. Remember, if you want to enjoy a fine glass of wine it will probably cost you a bit more, but hopefully, you'll be rewarded with a pleasant experience. The same goes for beer or liquor. One need not have a refined palette to appreciate it.
Next, make sure you have the proper tools. A stainless steel cocktail shaker is preferable, and 16 ounce martini glasses are a must. Chill your glasses for at least an hour before you prepare the drinks. Make sure you chill all your liquor, including the vermouth. The Vodka or Gin can be kept in the freezer. The vermouth can stay in the refrigerator, along with the olives. Finally avoid using weepy fresh ice. Use "aged" ice. It should be frozen for 48 hours prior to use, and can be used in the shaker or for a Rocks Martini.
When you are ready to prepare, fill your shaker with aged ice and pour in around one to one and 1/2 ounce of vermouth depending on how dry you like your Martini. Shake and dump the vermouth. It should adhere to the ice and flavor the Martini nicely. Next, add two to four ounces of the vodka or gin of your choice. Shake vigorously about ten times and pour into your chilled glass.
Although many people like olives in the drink, they should be placed next to the glass on a cocktail napkin, as the brine on the olive will impart the flavor of the beverage. If you do prefer it in the glass be sure to use a plastic or ivory toothpick. Never use a wooden toothpick as this will seriously impart the flavor. The Martini is designed to be drank within a short period of time. As it warms it becomes "stronger."
- ♦ For a Dirty Martini, coat your chilled glass with about 1/2 ounce of chilled olive juice, and also add about another 1/2 ounce to the ice with the vermouth.
- ♦ For a sweeter Martini that retains the clean, crisp demeanor of the drink, try a Sunkist. Shake 3 ounces of Bombay Sapphire Gin, and one ounce Cointreau together and pour in a chilled glass, coated with a little fresh lime juice.
- ♦ Want something a little more flavorful? Try a Kamikaze Martini. Shake 2 ounces Absolute Citron Vodka, 1 ounce Cointreau, and 1 ounce lime juice. Garnish with a lemon, lime, or orange slice.
At Glass With a Twist we offer three different types of personalized martini glasses. Our unique martini glasses are full size and made of high quality glass. We offer an 8 oz. capacity Classic Martini glass, an 8 oz. Stemless Martini glass, and a unique 9 oz. Z-Stem Martini glass.