Nonetheless, there is no escaping the evolution of the... English language. It is clear that just as the term " cocktail " usurped and overwhelmed other categories - soon to be SUBcategories, so has the wildly popular word Martini. Yes, it once referred exclusively to a gin, vermouth and bitters (yes, bitters) concoction, and in its latter years gin OR vodka hinted with vermouth, it has come to supercede the term " cocktail ". Walk into any responsible bar and ask for a Martini - and you'll still be asked, "gin or vodka". Probably won't be enough vermouth put in, but it IS the basic drink you envision. Add any descriptor to the beginning of the term, and the gates swing wide open. That is because in popular parlance the word "martini" has become synonymous with the term " cocktail ".
Don't fret! " Cocktail " consumed juleps, crustas, fizzes, fixes, shrubs, slings, swizzles, sangarees, corpse revivers, and MANY others. This is just the evolution of the language. Cocktails became the overall category embracing all of the above, many of which actually preceded it. So it remains today.
If you aren't just posturing -- if you really appreciate Martinis -- after all, they were just one of MANY cocktails of the golden age of cocktails, and certainly other cocktails of equal value from that same period are still enjoyed, pristine, while others of value have been unduly forgotten, if you know all this and still appreciate and embrace the balance it presumes, then we agree and have recipes to share. These formulae will never go away, no matter what the new crop of drinkers call them. We can just hope they WILL call them! When you speak of "traditional Martinis", you open yourself up to queries about their brothers and sisters. It's hard to be HALF of a traditionalist.
Whatever the terminology, and as Beans said, the umbrage is nothing new, you can still have your drink - just don't assume the slippery slope is, itself, anything BUT traditional!
(edited, as always, for typos.)
Edited by drcocktail, 29 March 2004 - 09:22 PM.