(note the frosty bottles & shaker!)
With word last week that James Bond was trading in his signature martini for a bottle of Heineken (really? Ian Flemming liked beer too, but…REALLY?) we felt obligated to redress our appreciation for martini’s with a post devoted to nothing but, and a few of our favorite recipes to prove it! We’ll even throw in a few extra posts this week with additional recipes, some even include and take advantage of our delicious rim·licks™!
The Classic Martini is made with gin and vermouth and is a celebration of botanicals! The traditional recipe is 1 part vermouth, 4 – 12 parts gin depending upon how dry you like your martini. Despite what
enthusiasts unbending martini fanatics may claim, the actual ratio depends solely on your personal preference. Read as many recipes, books even treatise on martini’s and martini making. It will ALWAYS come down to personal preference, which may even change day-to-day or week over week!
Shaken or stirred – you choose, ice-cold is the primary concern. Whether or not you have those beautiful ice crystals floating in your martini to gently dilute and soften it, is again, a matter of personal preference. (gin’s of choice – Bombay Sapphire, Anchor Distilling Genevieve & Hendricks; vermouth’s of choice – Cinzano or Martini & Rossi)
Typical garnish includes either ONE olive in the bottom of the glass (no toothpick required), one cocktail onion or a bit of lemon zest. We recommend the olive, but of course we would, we’re the salt people right?! The salt from the olive, in our opinion, seems to impart more of a lush mouthfeel to an already perfectly-viscous-when-cold martini. If you prefer the lemon zest, we recommend wiping it around the rim before pouring your martini to impart a bit of the essential oils of the lemon to the drink as you sip it!
Variations on the martini include the Dirty Martini, this is simply adding a splash of olive brine to the glass before pouring. You may also choose a Bitters Martini – in the early 1900’s a dash of orange bitters was commonly added to a classic martini. You might also find recipes that call for a dash of Angostura Bitters.
If you REALLY want to play with bitters to concoct our own delicious bitters enhanced version of the classic martini we recommend a jaunt over to @azbitterslab on Twitter for a quick chat with Mr. Buitenhuys about his recommendations. We guarantee a life changing conversation if you are well versed in traditional cocktail fare (i.e. Martini’s, Manhattan’s, Sazerac’s, etc.)!
While traditionalists will argue that the ONLY martini is a gin martini, we’ll stray from the pack and make allowance for the assertion that vodka can be blended or even substituted in a martini! More than 20 years ago we were introduced to the Ketelphire Martini (shown above – equal parts Bombay Sapphire & Ketel One) and never looked back when it came to considering the merits of vodka in martini-style cocktails.
The Vodka Martini by most counts need not even use vermouth or bitters. Our preference (as vodka purists who have hosted double-blind vodka tastings) is a Dirty Vodka Martini using only vodka – no vermouth, anchovy stuffed olives and a splash of the brine. (we recommend: Armstrong’s Anchovy Stuffed Olives from Total Wine)
Again, the extra saltiness (we know, saltiness isn’t really a word – but neither is selmelier – YET) adds the same lush mouthfeel you get from a Classic Dirty Martini, but with a slightly different flavor profile! We know, it sounds weird but we’ve converted more than a few Classic martini drinkers over to this wonderful cocktail! (Vodka of choice? Hands down – Russian Standard and chosen OVER Belvedere, Grey Goose and Chopin EVERY time in the double blind!) Give it a try for yourself, just don’t try it with gin…it’s just not the same!
We realize that some just can’t handle the “rocket fuel” impression that gin or vodka martini’s can impart. So, for that reason we will be sharing cocktail recipes our Saketini, Sapphidere Dream, Chocolate Martini and our version of the Orange Julius Martini that DOESN’T contain any dairy products because every martini drinker must have limits!