The martini is by far one of the most sophisticated cocktail. There is something about a chilled glass filled with a powerful, clear liquid and topped off with a savoury garnish that just shrieks glamour and sets its drinker apart from the light-beer-swilling crowd – not that I have anything against said beer-swillers. Many people believe the martini is a simple cocktail to make, however, it is deceptively hard to prepare a truly great one. So to help, here is the ultimate martini recipe, courtesy of AskMen, and a guide to ordering this classic cocktail.
The first thing to remember is that a true martini contains only four ingredients: gin (never vodka, which may make a great drink, but by definition isn’t a martini), vermouth, ice for dilution, and a garnish. If it does not have these essential building blocks, it will not be a martini.
How to order a Martini
Shaken or stirred? – “Shaken” means the gin will be placed in a cocktail shaker and shaken with ice before being strained into your glass. This produces a colder version. “Stirred” means the gin will be placed in a cocktail shaker with ice and stirred for about 30 seconds before being strained into the glass. This results in a smoother version, with less likelihood of ice shards in your cocktail.
Wet or dry? – This refers to the amount of vermouth you would like in your martini. Some people like theirs “dry,” with little vermouth, or even “naked,” with no vermouth at all. Others like theirs “wet,” with more vermouth. Try one at the 4-1 gin-vermouth ratio to begin with, and take it from there as you develop your own tastes.
Twist or Olive? – This refers to the final ingredient that should add an extra profile to the flavour of your martini. A twist is usually a strip of lemon peel twisted over the drink to release its essential oils. These oils collect on the surface of the drink and give a citrus taste to each sip. An olive gives a more savoury note, particularly if you add a little of the olive brine to make the drink “dirty.”
The Ultimate Martini Recipe
30 ml Noilly Prat vermouth
120 ml gin
1 lemon (or olive)
Chill all the ingredients (including the glass and the lemon) for at least 30 minutes before making the drink. I actually keep my gin permanently in the freezer.
Place six ice cubes in a cocktail shaker and pour the liquids over them. Stir in one direction for 30 seconds.
Strain into the chilled glass. I use a tea strainer to remove all shards of ice, making a very clear drink.
You stay classy.