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The "Best" Dry Martini


weinoo
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6 minutes ago, Dave the Cook said:

One of the guys pointed out that the drift towards less and less vermouth, which actually started in the 30s, was also a drift towards a stronger cocktail, and that the preference for "dryness" was possibly just an acceptable cover for incipient -- or even full-blown -- alcoholism. 


Umm 🙄 … guilty as charged ?

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33 minutes ago, Duvel said:

How do you calculate the dilution imparted by shaking/stirring it with ice ?

 

I used the formula from the article: 

Quote

By the way: how do you calculate the alcohol-percentage of your Martini? The formula is simple: ((gu x gp) + (vu x vp)) ÷ (tu x 1.25) where gu = number of units of gin in the drink, gp = gin proof in percent ABV (they have to put that on the label), vu = number of units of vermouth in the drink, vp = vermouth proof in percent ABV and tu = total units in the drink. The final figure includes 25 percent dilution from stirring with ice. 

 

It's that "1.25" in the last part of the equation.

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1 minute ago, Dave the Cook said:

 

I used the formula from the article: 

 


Thanks. I do not see really where he gets the 25% dilution from … Seems a bit random, but I’ll calculate myself one of these days.

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On 1/29/2022 at 11:14 PM, weinoo said:

In private, you can do lots of things!

 

Have you been to Dry Martini bar in Barcelona?

 

Those guys make a fantastic Martini!

I went there about 15 years ago. I'd never been to a cocktail bar, and I was flummoxed when asked what I wanted, in the same way I was confused when first asked how I wanted my steak done. Even though I was a novice, I was already a snob and didn't want to go for the usual. "A Manhattan," I replied, never having even seen one before, my right eyebrow rising just a smidgen, channeling Roger Moore as best as I could. It cost 10 euros. Tasted great.

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15 hours ago, Dave the Cook said:

 

Using Dave's recipe proportions (3:1) and something like Tanqueray, you're still in jet-fuel territory: 34.9%. You have to back off to 1:1 to get a drinkable martini (this is 32.5%).

 

A few years ago, I was at a panel discussion led by Dave Wondrich and Robert Hess (DrinkBoy). IIRC, the topic was Martinis and Manhattans and how they related to each other. The discussion took a detour into the extremely dry ("pour the gin while facing France") Martinis of the 40s and 50s. One of the guys pointed out that the drift towards less and less vermouth, which actually started in the 30s, was also a drift towards a stronger cocktail, and that the preference for "dryness" was possibly just an acceptable cover for incipient -- or even full-blown -- alcoholism. 

 

Dave didn't touch on this in that article, but at one time the Martini was built like a Manhattan, at 2:1 (see below for what he has to say about the Martini in his classic book, Esquire Drinks!)

 

15 hours ago, Duvel said:


How do you calculate the dilution imparted by shaking/stirring it with ice ?

 

I think it has been suggested that dilution of a properly made cocktail comes in at between 25% - 30%.

 

15 hours ago, Duvel said:


Thanks. I do not see really where he gets the 25% dilution from … Seems a bit random, but I’ll calculate myself one of these days.

 

 

IMG_6081.thumb.jpeg.99e46f902e38cea27465fd836abd707b.jpeg

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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17 hours ago, Duvel said:


How do you calculate the dilution imparted by shaking/stirring it with ice ?

 

The way to figure out your actual dilution is to just measure the volume of your cocktail after you strain it. You'll see it's a lot bigger than what you measured into the tin.

 

The difference divided by the final volume = your percentage of added water.

 

If you think you're getting too much, there are ways to remedy this.

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Notes from the underbelly

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27 minutes ago, paulraphael said:

 

The way to figure out your actual dilution is to just measure the volume of your cocktail after you strain it. You'll see it's a lot bigger than what you measured into the tin.

 

The difference divided by the final volume = your percentage of added water.

 

If you think you're getting too much, there are ways to remedy this.


Thanks ! I would have probably just used a refraktometer, but your method certainly works as well  …

 

What I would like to know it how one can be certain about the 25% dilution. I thought to puzzle together a small Aspen simulation for that but …


temperature of the mixture pre chilling

temperature of the ice

environmental temperature 

amount of the mixture pre chilling

amount of ice (mass)

surface volume of the ice

heat capacity of the shaker/stirring vessel

time of contact between mixture and ice

 

And then you have the „melting“ part of the equation, but also the „dissolving“ part, which heavily depends on the surface volume of the ice, but also the surface structure.

 

I know I am overthinking this. But then again … 25% 🤔

 

 

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1 minute ago, Duvel said:

I know I am overthinking this. But then again … 25% 🤔

 

Who do you think you are, Dave Arnold?

 

Quote

Melting ice is an extremely efficient way to cool a drink, so much so that in his cocktail treatise Liquid Intelligence, Dave Arnold dubs it the Fundamental Law of Traditional Cocktails: “There is no chilling without dilution, and there is no dilution without chilling.” That property of ice is one of the tenets underlying the contemporary focus on high-quality bar ice.

 

 

Science of Ice

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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23 minutes ago, weinoo said:

Who do you think you are, Dave Arnold?


I am but a simple man living by simple principles …

 

E8500CAE-4271-45AD-88F0-C32CEEE4D911.gif.9336d8f2d8a0661b92556e45144bd0ce.gif

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26 minutes ago, weinoo said:


Nice article with quite some valid points.

 

„The ice they made was in pieces that were smaller and had more surface area, says Schott, “either hollow cubes or little half-moons.” The greater ratio of surface area to volume meant the ice was quicker to make but also quicker to melt. And that makes a very significant difference to a drink.“

 

„When our Kold-Draft machine would crap out, we’d use half-moons, and every cocktail we made would taste completely different, because everything was watered down about 20 percent more.”

 

And that’s that part that I struggle with - with all these variables, how can one come up with a simple 25% formula.

 

To put it in an extreme example: Imagine someone* making a Duveltini comprised of 92 g gin and 8 g brine. He takes his ingredients from the fridge at 8 oC. He pours this mixture rapidly onto a large insulated stirring vessel filled with 1000 g of crushed ice, taken from the freezer at -20 oC. The ice will essentially not melt. There will be little to none dilution, except for some surface phenomena. The end result will be ~100-105 g of Duveltini at ~-16 oC …



—-

* like e.g. @weinoo

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9 minutes ago, weinoo said:

As long as you're taking the deep dive, and are really worried about this stuff while drinking straight gin, @Duvel...

 

 

 

That thread's an entertaining read. But In the time it takes to plow through it, you could read Liquid Intelligence, and get the right answers.

 

TL;DR: Much of of what serious imbibers say about ice defies the laws of physics!

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What I've learned about those 2-inch ice cubes (which I really like, especially the ones made to look like golf balls) is that you'd better start with very cold ingredients since they melt so slowly.  (I don't like to wait.)

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44 minutes ago, lindag said:

What I've learned about those 2-inch ice cubes (which I really like, especially the ones made to look like golf balls) is that you'd better start with very cold ingredients since they melt so slowly.  (I don't like to wait.)

 

Yeah, if your goal is a cold cocktail, you should be straining a chilled drink drink over those big rocks. 

 

I especially like the 2" cubes for whiskey drinks like an old fashioned. Things I just want chilled a little, and that I don't won't to dilute too quickly. 

 

For something I want super cold, like a negroni, I stir with ice and strain. The ice in the drinking glass can be anything (the big cubes do look nice). 

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

As long as you're taking the deep dive, and are really worried about this stuff while drinking straight gin, @Duvel...

 

 


There is a lot of observational (if not anecdotal) findings in this thread, probably most of it correct in one way or another. Maybe the starting point of Modernist Cocktail

 

I know I am a bit OCD about this. I do like the original article @weinoo cited, especially the description of the narrow sweet spot. And as much as I like the accuracy to close in on the spot, I’m feeling disappointed about the formula to get there, simply assuming 25% dilution. I know it is more complicated than that, with more variables, but given my tendency to overthink these type of issues, I will do my best to just let it go (and keep drinking straight gin martinis) …

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1 hour ago, Duvel said:

And as much as I like the accuracy to close in on the spot, I’m feeling disappointed about the formula to get there, simply assuming 25% dilution. I know it is more complicated than that, with more variables, but given my tendency to overthink these type of issues, I will do my best to just let it go (and keep drinking straight gin martinis) …

 

Right, that 25% percent figure is just an average someone came up with. 

 

What I like about the article is the idea that martini perfection starts with a sweet spot for strength. The author's sweet spot may not be yours or mine. But if you figure out what yours is, then you can tweak your ingredients and method to get there.

 

It would have been helpful if he'd mentioned the effect of method. Chilling a cocktail always leads to a certain minimum dilution. But there are a million things you can do (for better or worse, on purpose or not) that add even more dilution.

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". . . someone came up with" is a little dismissive. It's not a number without some basis in experience.

 

Anyway, it's pretty easy to check it yourself: just weigh the ingredients before and after making your cocktail. The difference is dilution. Since you're the one who made it, it's your dilution, and you can go from there with Wondrich's formula.

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15 minutes ago, Dave the Cook said:

". . . someone came up with" is a little dismissive. It's not a number without some basis in experience.

 

 

Especially when the observations are from some of the top cocktail minds in the biz.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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10 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

Especially when the observations are from some of the top cocktail minds in the biz.


I think these observations would be perceived as less random if he would specify his setup or method belonging to this specific dilution. But maybe that’s my OCD talking again …

 

Or maybe he is that good that he actually aims for coming out exactly at that dilution ? 

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One thing not (not yet, anyway) mentioned here in this thread, is that in the serious cocktail bars, a Martini or a Manhattan (unless they're served along with a sidecar and not the Sidecar cocktail) is generally made to fit quite nicely into a Nick & Nora glass, or a coupe, both of which, in my experience at said bars, had a 5 oz. capacity.

 

IMG_6085.thumb.JPG.47e033641edb079e28a2691f1d077789.JPG

 

These two glasses came respectively from Pegu Club and PDT, most likely. So a cocktail with with 3 - 3.5 oz. of liquid, once it's diluted to 25 - 30%, fits just right.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Also, let's not pretend that Don Lee, Dave Arnold, et al., didn't scientifically work on these experiments. What's whittled down in print may be just for ease of comprehension.

 

https://www.cookingissues.com/index.html%3Fp=4585.html

 

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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2 minutes ago, weinoo said:

Also, let's not pretend that Don Lee, Dave Arnold, et al., didn't scientifically work on these experiments. What's whittled down in print may be just for ease of comprehension.

 

https://www.cookingissues.com/index.html%3Fp=4585.html

 

 


Now we are talking. Still doesn‘t explain the 25%, but now I am getting to the point to believe that this is actually their desired target value they tailor their method to …

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