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Good Martini Needed


djzouke
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My understanding pain-plagued spouse wants to enjoy a good martini in NYC this coming weekend. I would be thankful for suggestions. We're looking for not only a good martini, but interesting crowd as well.

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My understanding pain-plagued spouse wants to enjoy a good martini in NYC this coming weekend. I would be thankful for suggestions. We're looking for not only a good martini, but interesting crowd as well.

I'm in the suburbs in Chatham. I love being a good host. I also have a pretty good stock of Gins. By Martini I certainly hope you were referring to Gin. Stop by anytime!

Steve

Edited by foodcyclist (log)
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Several thoughts.....I think the best may be at Pegu Club on W. Houston. Trendy, chic, upscale. Very (and I do mean VERY) traditional and upper crust is Bemelman's Bar at the Carlyle Hotel; the best for a classic martini and classic ambiance.

If you want a vibe and a good martini (but not quite in the league of the two above), I'd try Milk & Honey or one or two of the other 'speakeasy's' in town.

Hope that helps! Bottom line: go to Pegu Club.

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Welcome to NYC! As you are in the midst of the cocktail renaissance, your options in NYC are many and varied. I might separate them as follows:

The Gold Standard: Pegu Club. You WILL receive a fabulous martini. The atmospherezxe will be swank. All will be well with the world. The crowd will be... well, utterly random. Anything from industry people to "What can I get that's like a Cosmo" tourists. But the selection, the staff training, and the overall experience rocks.

The Underground Hideaway: PDT. Milk and Honey is a great bar; please don't get me wrong (and I apologize to the kind and skilled M&H staff), but wow is PDT the place to be at the moment. Plus their fall house cocktail menu is insanely good. Try to go when eGulleteers Johnder or donbert are there (usually Monday).

The Bar of Bars Bar None: Death & Company. Okay; I'm biased; this is my local, and I spend an inordinate amount of time here. But man is it good! There are three bartenders (Phil, Bryan, and Joaquin) driving the place, each with highly distinctive styles, and man are they all good! IMHO, the issue of being able to order a slightly obscure classic with little fuss is redundant here (ask the guys at D&Co or PDT for a Horse's Neck and you get the question of default vs. scotch, followed by a brief explanation of why the Horse's Neck is rather a useless drink and something else might serve better), and the quality of invention is superb (Joaquin's tequila negroni, special Manhattan, and Macallan "sazerac" may be the best cocktails I've had *ever*.)

All that said, if you're in NYC on Monday, you *must* hit PDT for John and don's concoctions, which are the bomb.

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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One other minor thing that seems to get skipped in discussion of where to go drinking: If you want the full experience, IMHO it is best to sit at the bar rather than at a table. This goes double for Pegu, which has a spectacularly beautiful bar and is big enough that you may not really see it in action depending on the table you get.

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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Thanks for the suggestions and since K. has her mind set on Pegu ...

Order a very dry Plymouth martini--great gin--the original London dry and a little lighter on the alcohol--Churchills gin, but he used too much vermouth. I doubt they will have one but I like a caperberry instead of the olive.

Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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Churchills gin, but he used too much vermouth.

If you believe Churchill's martini's were too heavy on vermouth, it would seem you're not proposing a martini, but rather, gin, up, with a garnish of caperberry. And while I'm sure the fine folks at Pegu would serve such if asked, they'd probably try to get you to understand that a proper martini includes vermouth. Such as the renowned Fitty-Fitty martini they serve, which is about as wet a martini as you'll find at equal parts gin to vermouth. No less elegant for actually containing more than one ingredient.

Christopher

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Churchills gin, but he used too much vermouth.

If you believe Churchill's martini's were too heavy on vermouth, it would seem you're not proposing a martini, but rather, gin, up, with a garnish of caperberry. And while I'm sure the fine folks at Pegu would serve such if asked, they'd probably try to get you to understand that a proper martini includes vermouth. Such as the renowned Fitty-Fitty martini they serve, which is about as wet a martini as you'll find at equal parts gin to vermouth. No less elegant for actually containing more than one ingredient.

Christopher

Eight to one I think is proper--gin and vermouth--each to his own, but do be civil in your response--Churchill would have, I think. Actually he simply bowed toward France when no vermouth was available during the great war.

Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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We always sit at the bar to imbibe. I'm not a cocktail drinker myself. I love red wine. My spouse is a vodka martini person and red wine lover. I know, I know. It's the gin, it's the gin. Churchill would have cringed. Thank you all again for the suggestions and tips.

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Churchills gin, but he used too much vermouth.

If you believe Churchill's martini's were too heavy on vermouth, it would seem you're not proposing a martini, but rather, gin, up, with a garnish of caperberry. And while I'm sure the fine folks at Pegu would serve such if asked, they'd probably try to get you to understand that a proper martini includes vermouth. Such as the renowned Fitty-Fitty martini they serve, which is about as wet a martini as you'll find at equal parts gin to vermouth. No less elegant for actually containing more than one ingredient.

Christopher

Eight to one I think is proper--gin and vermouth--each to his own, but do be civil in your response--Churchill would have, I think. Actually he simply bowed toward France when no vermouth was available during the great war.

I thought my response was civil. Each to his own, indeed.

That said, given Churchill's rather well-known penchant for disavowing the use of vermouth, your original note could very easily be construed to mean that you'd rather not even consider vermouth touch gin. I hardly think I'm alone in this forum in suggesting that a martini without vermouth is not a martini just by nature of it's being served in a cocktail glass.

But all in all, it's just drink. It's all in the enjoyment. So let's drink to that.

Christopher

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I'm actually wondering why anyone should care what Churchill thought about how to make a Martini. :smile: He may have been a boozer of some repute (indeed, Robert Hess has suggested that most of the people who famously eschewed vermouth were alcoholics more interested in boosting the alcohol content of their drink than crafting a properly balanced cocktail) but that doesn't make him an cocktail expert.

It's actually interesting if you do some of the math about Martini-making.

Let's say you're making a 3 ounce Martini with Tanqueray gin and Noilly Prat vermouth. Proper stirring with ice will give you around 20% dilution, so you're ending up with a 3.6 ounce pour.

Let's look at two different Martini formulations.

The first one is a 2:1 Martini: Two ounces of Tanqueray ay 47.3% abv and one ounce of Noilly Pratt at 18% abv plus 20% dilution from the ice results in a drink that is 31.3% abv.

The second one is an 11:1 Martini: 2 3/4 ounces ot Tanqueray and 1/4 ounce of Noilly Prat plus 20% dilution from the ice results in a drink that is 37.5% abv.

The 11:1 Martini is only 6.2 percentage points higher in alcohol by volume.

--

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Mayur really nailed it, excellent summary of the great cocktail bars in the city and what they offer.

And how good is Joaquin? He's friendly as hell and those cocktails of his are tremendous. Bitter French? Genius.

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I'm actually wondering why anyone should care what Churchill thought about how to make a Martini. :smile:  He may have been a boozer of some repute (indeed, Robert Hess has suggested that most of the people who famously eschewed vermouth were alcoholics more interested in boosting the alcohol content of their drink than crafting a properly balanced cocktail) but that doesn't make him an cocktail expert.

It's actually interesting if you do some of the math about Martini-making.

Let's say you're making a 3 ounce Martini with Tanqueray gin and Noilly Prat vermouth.  Proper stirring with ice will give you around 20% dilution, so you're ending up with a 3.6 ounce pour.

Let's look at two different Martini formulations.

The first one is a 2:1 Martini:  Two ounces of Tanqueray ay 47.3% abv and one ounce of Noilly Pratt at 18% abv plus 20% dilution from the ice results in a drink that is 31.3% abv.

The second one is an 11:1 Martini: 2 3/4 ounces ot Tanqueray and 1/4 ounce of Noilly Prat plus 20% dilution from the ice results in a drink that is 37.5% abv.

The 11:1 Martini is only 6.2 percentage points higher in alcohol by volume.

Good illustration of the alcohol content of the properly stirred martini--I would like to add that Plymouth is lower in alcohol than Tanqueray and smoother in a martini. But my point is --is vermouth a main ingredient or a condiment to the gin in making a martini? I prefer the herbs in the gin with a little vermouth to enhance. The alcohol is not the main ingredient--more than two is too many anyway. Thanks for the response.

Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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