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The Perfect Martini


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#31 Simon Majumdar

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Posted 24 October 2002 - 03:26 AM

I will add a little story by way of discussion of the perfect Martini ( and my life is a shallow search for said same )

The best I have ever had ( not counting those made by my estimable brother ) was at The American Bar at The Savoy. It was faultless, cold and dry as a bone. When I asked the elderly barman how much vermouth he recommended for the drink he looked at me and said

"Sir, it is enough that the man delivering the Gin, had a mother who once drank Vermouth"

'nuff said

The night was also memorable as during the meal a loud booming voice cried out " I have fallen off the wagon, Krug for everyone" I turned around and their in nothing but an ill fitting hotel bathrobe was Richard Harris, ciggie in one hand and bottle of Champagne in the other. Bottles of far better stuff than I could ever afford appeared in front of every one and he walked of into the distance leaving a bewildered crowd behind.

S

#32 yvonne johnson

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Posted 25 October 2002 - 10:18 AM

LOL! What do you guys think a martini is?? It is a kosher way to order straight gin without looking like a boozer. It's not commonly a cocktail and 90% of real martini drinkers drink them with so little vermouth that it is bascially straight gin (or vodka) with olives. The people that drink chocolate martinis and martinis with 4:1 gin to vermouth ratios don't like martinis, they like to be seen drinking martinis, but can't handle the liquor.

You have a point. Many a martini drinker will say just show the bottle of vermouth to the gin.

I add one to two drips of vermouth, any more and the vermouth overpowers the gin.

As mentioned above Tanqueray, Booths, Gordons (sentimental reasons), Bombay all make good martinis.

#33 GordonCooks

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 11:00 AM

Will there be a food pairing ? One of my favorite combos is Dirty Vodka Martinis and Oysters on the half and/or spicy shrimp cocktail

My rule of thumb for vermouth - pour some in the chilled glass - give it a swirl and dump it out.

#34 Marlene

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 02:30 PM

While I use Vodka instead of gin (gin gives me a headache), I tend to swirl the dry vermouth (usually Martini & Rossi) around the glass like Gordon, then dump it out. Favorite vodka is Sky with Belvedere a very close second.
Marlene
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#35 GordonCooks

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 02:41 PM

While I use Vodka instead of gin (gin gives me a headache), I tend to swirl the dry vermouth (usually Martini & Rossi) around the glass like Gordon, then dump it out.  Favorite vodka is Sky with Belvedere a very close second.

If you like SKYY - try Grey Goose - you'll love it.

#36 Marlene

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 05:20 PM

If you like SKYY - try Grey Goose - you'll love it.


Actually, I have a bottle of Grey Goose here. From which I've had one martini made from it. I didn't like it. Probably just me, but it tasted musty to me. Hmmmm, perhaps it's time to try it again!
Marlene
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Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#37 GordonCooks

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Posted 31 October 2002 - 06:17 AM


If you like SKYY - try Grey Goose - you'll love it.


Actually, I have a bottle of Grey Goose here. From which I've had one martini made from it. I didn't like it. Probably just me, but it tasted musty to me. Hmmmm, perhaps it's time to try it again!

Really - I'm a Ketel One guy, but I'm changing to the Goose.

#38 Marlene

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Posted 01 November 2002 - 08:07 PM


If you like SKYY - try Grey Goose - you'll love it.


Actually, I have a bottle of Grey Goose here. From which I've had one martini made from it. I didn't like it. Probably just me, but it tasted musty to me. Hmmmm, perhaps it's time to try it again!

Really - I'm a Ketel One guy, but I'm changing to the Goose.

I'm going to try it again this weekend. I'll let you know!
Marlene
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Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#39 LARRY WIENER

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Posted 19 November 2002 - 03:22 PM

...And another observation. In the film The Thin Man, Nick Charles (William Powell) tells the bartender that the martini cocktail is to be shaken to waltz time.

#40 Kikujiro

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 03:19 AM

This thread needed bumping.

My 'martini' glasses are really oversize margarita glasses. They're simply too big to serve martinis in unless you want the chance to rifle through your guests' wallets. I need proper 'tini glasses. What size should I be going for?

#41 Simon Majumdar

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 03:31 AM

I like to use 8oz glasses

Anymore and

a) It goes warm before you can finish it
b) you are too pissed to enjoy the second one

S

#42 stellabella

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 06:56 AM

LOL! What do you guys think a martini is?? It is a kosher way to order straight gin without looking like a boozer.

amen.

my neighbors' 81-yr-old mother, having reached the age where she can happily tell everyone to sod off, drinks her gin on the rocks, as much as she likes. and we're all happy to have her pass out in our laz-e-boys.

and she calls it a "crystal chandelier." and just you dare try telling her it's not a cocktail. :smile:

#43 Jaymes

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 09:03 AM

LOL! What do you guys think a martini is?? It is a kosher way to order straight gin without looking like a boozer. It's not commonly a cocktail and 90% of real martini drinkers drink them with so little vermouth that it is bascially straight gin (or vodka) with olives. The people that drink chocolate martinis and martinis with 4:1 gin to vermouth ratios don't like martinis, they like to be seen drinking martinis, but can't handle the liquor.

You have a point. Many a martini drinker will say just show the bottle of vermouth to the gin.

I face Italy and salute.
"And you, you're just a stinker."

#44 jaybee

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 09:17 AM


If you like SKYY - try Grey Goose - you'll love it.


Actually, I have a bottle of Grey Goose here. From which I've had one martini made from it. I didn't like it. Probably just me, but it tasted musty to me. Hmmmm, perhaps it's time to try it again!

Really - I'm a Ketel One guy, but I'm changing to the Goose.

There is no such thing as a martini made from vodka. That's like calling tomato juice and gin a Bloody Mary. Or pineapple juice, coconut creme and tequila a Piña Colada.

#45 La Niña

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 10:16 AM

Once again, I made some very good martinis this weekend. I used a 3 to 1 ratio - Tanqueray (not "10"). Yum.

Edited by La Niña, 03 February 2003 - 10:16 AM.


#46 JAZ

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Posted 03 February 2003 - 11:37 AM

This thread needed bumping.

My 'martini' glasses are really oversize margarita glasses. They're simply too big to serve martinis in unless you want the chance to rifle through your guests' wallets. I need proper 'tini glasses. What size should I be going for?

I have two sizes: 6 oz. and 8 oz.

Keep in mind that these sizes are the amount of liquid the glass holds when filled to the rim, NOT the amount of the average drink I pour into them. I just poured water back and forth from a measuring cup to the glasses, and found that a 4 oz. drink fits very snugly into the 6 oz. glass (comes up to within an eighth-inch of the top). The same 4-oz. drink leaves about a half inch at the top of the eight-oz. glass.

I find that a 4-oz. martini is about the upper limit if you don't want your drink to get warm. I tend to use the 6 oz glasses for martinis and the 8 oz glasses for cocktails with more ingredients (which tend to be larger than 4 oz).

As for the design of your glasses, look for a glass without a seam at the base of the bowl. That creates a weak spot, thus making it really easy to snap the glass at that point.

#47 green_side_out

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Posted 20 May 2003 - 11:29 PM

Ernest Hemmingway, an expert in these things, preferred a ratio of 15 to 1 Gin to Vermouth, and called it a Monty, after the British General Montgommery, because he would not attack unless he outnumbered the enemy by this ratio.

I like to fill a shaker with ice, pour in a small amount of vermouth, shake to coat the ice, pour off any free vermouth, add the gin, stir briefly and pour into chilled glasses. A lemon twist is all that is needed, perhaps some home made salted crisps. :wacko:

This is just about the funniest and best description of how to make a great martini that I have ever heard. By-the-way folks, if you want some great buys on martini accessories, tune in to Ebay.

Best wishes to all
Barry

#48 green_side_out

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Posted 20 May 2003 - 11:58 PM

Ernest Hemmingway, an expert in these things, preferred a ratio of 15 to 1 Gin to Vermouth, and called it a Monty, after the British General Montgommery, because he would not attack unless he outnumbered the enemy by this ratio.

I like to fill a shaker with ice, pour in a small amount of vermouth, shake to coat the ice, pour off any free vermouth, add the gin, stir briefly and pour into chilled glasses. A lemon twist is all that is needed, perhaps some home made salted crisps. :wacko:

Hmm, 3 OZs of gin makes two martinis -- well, you won't even need a designated driver at that rate!

#49 baruch

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 07:14 AM

supposedly the "best" (??) gins for martini's are those with less alcohol, since one IS essentially already drinking straight gin!!!!!!

ex's: gordon's 40%... plymouth 41%... citadelle (although somewhat botanic)...boodles 45% :biggrin:

vs

those better suited for G & T's, i.e. higher alc %: beefeater's, bombay sapphire, tang = 47%, #10 @ 47.3%; plus the bombay sapphire & tang #10 generaly thought to have too many botanicals for martini's, better off in G & T's, i.e., the botanicals work with the schweppes, not against. preferably want a purer gin when downing martini's, with emphasis on the " 's " :smile:

my preference is the gibson - 1 of life's little pleasures :cool:

very important info, especially with PRIME G&T season approaching :wink:

QUESTION: what is the correct terminology when one would like to order a martini that is NOT "dry" or "extra-dry", i.e., a martini with more vermouth?

Edited by baruch, 21 May 2003 - 08:45 AM.


#50 MatthewB

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 07:25 AM

Let's not forget what Dorothy Parker had to say about martinis . . .

I like to have a martini,
two at the very most.
Three I'm under the table,
four I'm under my host.


As far as recipes, I stick by Mr. Lucky's The Secrets of a Dry Martini.

#51 slkinsey

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 08:12 AM

There are two things I think are essential to a real martini that are often misunderstood.

1. It must have enough vermouth. We have all seen recipes that call for a 15:1 ratio of gin to vermouth or instructing one to coat the ice with vermouth and pour off the excess, providing an even larger ratio. But the reality is -- and blindfolded taste tests will show -- that this tiny amount of vermouth is well under the threshhold of taste. If you use such a miniscule amount of vermouth you might as well just drink a glass of chilled gin, which is what you are already doing in effect anyway. There is nothing wrong with drinking chilled gin, of course, but that doesn't mean it is a martini. I am very much against the practice of calling everything served in a cocktail glass a "martini". If you can't at least detect the presence of vermouth, then it is not a cocktail and is definitely not a martini. I read an article recently that referenced a well-known bartender who doesn't put any vermouth in his martinis and still has several returned each night for "too much vermouth" -- which just goes to show that you really can't tell anything at these small amounts.

How much vermouth one uses will depend very much on the flavor characteristics of the two spirits. More strongly flavored gins can, and should, take a little more vermouth. Delicate gins take a little less. There is not a huge difference in intensity of flavor between most brands of vermouth, but my vermouth of preference, Vya, has such an intense flavor that I find I can use less. If I'm using Vya and a delicate gin, I might go to 8:1, otherwise I usually go 7:1 or 6:1. As other people have observed, when you serve a real martini with these ratios to someone who is a "super extra dry zero vermouth martini guy" they will usually like your version much better.


2. There should be some dilution. Part of the reason cocktails are stirred or shaken over ice is to dilute the drink. This has the effect of marrying the flavors and opening everything up. You would be surprised how much water is added to a cocktail just from the act of mixing it with ice. Try measuring how many ounces of booze you put into the cocktail mixer, and how many ounces of cocktail you get back out. This is one reason why one should not keep gin in the freezer, because it will be too cold to melt any of the ice. Again, in my experience, most people will prefer a properly diluted martini if they don't know what they're getting.



To the few die-hards who absolutely cannot stomach a martini as described above... there is nothing wrong with pouring gin or vodka straight out of the freezer into a chilled cocktail class and plopping in an olive, twist or other garnish. Just don't call it a martini.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#52 cdh

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 08:38 AM

hmmm... I've been making a few martinis lately and have found that a 3:1 ratio of gin (or vodka) to vermouth is really quite tasty when a dash of orange bitters enters the mix as well. This is going very pre-war, I know, but I have found them to be quite delicious. And a use for the Fee's Orange Bitters I went so out of my way to acquire. And they are, at least arguably, still proper Martinis, rather than some other cocktail served in a martini glass.

I've been quite pleased with Noilly Prat dry vermouth... so pleased in fact that I find it tasty when served alone on the rocks before dinner. I've been less pleased with Martini and Rossi... riding on reputation... (and don't get me started on their Rosso, which is downright vile...)

When it comes to gin, I love Beefeater, and I'm pleased to see that others here corroborate my affection for Seagrams... All the while I was thinking it was nostalgia for my series of "Cheap-Gin and Tonic" parties I threw shortly after I got out of college (which featured Seagrams as the starring ingredient, and left me with lots of it to play with in my evening mixology sessions.)
Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

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Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

#53 MatthewB

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 08:57 AM

Anyone tried either Vya or King Eider vermouth in a martini?

I usually prepare these martinis with a 5:1 gin/vermouth ratio. (Stirred, never shaken.)

If I use Noilly Prat, I keep the same ratio but add 2 or 3 drops of Fee's Orange Bitters along the lines of what cdh mentioned.

#54 swingers

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Posted 29 June 2003 - 06:59 AM

Here in Paris I made a “Picasso Martini“,

The concept of this martini is to use vermouth ice cubes and not liquid vermouth.

You just have to make a classic martini but without martini, when your martini is ready you just have to add one vermouth ice cube in, when you think you have enough vermouth in your martini you just have to remove it and enjoy it.

I'm sorry for the english.

Tell me what you think ?

#55 Katherine

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Posted 29 June 2003 - 01:15 PM

When I'm making a dry martini, I prefer 6:1 gin:vermouth. But when I'm making a sweet martini (with sweet vermouth, not a dry martini with extra dry vermouth) it's 3:1.

I garnish a sweet martini with griottines, and a mandarin orange section, if I feel like opening a can. Sometimes a drop of orange oil (gotta find orange bitters, but in this hinterland...)

The sweet martini is sophisticated, but unselfconsciously so. It's still not especially sweet.

#56 cdh

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Posted 29 June 2003 - 05:47 PM

Inavailablity of orange bitters is not a result of living in a distant hinterland.. as a matter of fact, they come from a distant hinterland...

Only source of orange bitters I'm aware of is Fee Bros. in Rochester, NY... almost exclusively available by mail order from them... They're very nice in that they'll send you (or whoever you desire to send a few bottle to) the goods, and then invoice you later. They'll also sell by the single bottle, which is, again, a really nice accomodation to buyers like us. A web search for Fee Brothers bitters should turn up their phone number... I'm feeling too lazy to do it myself now.
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#57 slkinsey

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Posted 29 June 2003 - 06:42 PM

Only source of orange bitters I'm aware of is Fee Bros. in Rochester, NY... almost exclusively available by mail order from them...  They're very nice in that they'll send you (or whoever you desire to send a few bottle to) the goods, and then invoice you later.  They'll also sell by the single bottle, which is, again, a really nice accomodation to buyers like us.  A web search for Fee Brothers bitters should turn up their phone number... I'm feeling too lazy to do it myself now.

When I'm in Houston, I get Fee Brothers Orange Bitters at Spec's. They also sell Peychaud Bitters.

If you want to contact Fee Brothers directly, see their web site. Fee Brothers also makes an "Old Fashioned Bitters" that is excellent and a great alternative to Angostura Bitters.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#58 trillium

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Posted 30 June 2003 - 10:52 AM

I've bought Fee Bros. orange and old fashioned bitters at Corti Brothers in Sacramento (5810 Folsom Blvd, (916) 736-3800) and at De Laurenti's in Seattle (1435 1st Ave, (206) 622-0141).

I love using the orange bitters in anything I use Seville orange juice in, including what my mum calls a Delores, which is basically a Delilah made with sour orange juice instead of lemon.

regards,
trillium

#59 JAZ

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Posted 30 June 2003 - 11:07 AM

Tower Market in San Francisco also carries Fee Bros. Orange Bitters.

(By the way, there is another brand out there -- Collins. It's not as good as Fee Bros. but it's better than nothing.)

#60 DrinkBoy

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Posted 01 July 2003 - 05:37 AM

Re: Orange Bitters :

And there will be another brand on the market soon, I don't think they've announced it yet, so I don't think I can say much more then that about it... But look for it around September.

-Robert
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