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The "Best" Dry Martini


weinoo
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1 hour ago, paulraphael said:

 

I like Plymouth too. Haven't tried the Navy Strength recommended in the article. Which version do you prefer?

 

While I have both, I generally reach for the non-Navy for Martinis.

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6 hours ago, weinoo said:

 

While I have both, I generally reach for the non-Navy for Martinis.

 

It stretches the definition of "martini" a tiny bit, but we liked a cocktail served at Holeman & Finch: Royal Dock (a Navy-strength gin mentioned in the article that started off this discussion) mixed 2:1 with Lillet blanc, a dash of orange bitters and an orange-twist garnish. Since Royal Dock is exceptionally hard to come by here, we've been substituting the high-proof Plymouth. The Royal Dock is a more strictly London gin, so it's a bit sharper than Plymouth, but the latter works just fine. 

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4 minutes ago, Dave the Cook said:

 

It stretches the definition of "martini" a tiny bit, but we liked a cocktail served at Holeman & Finch: Royal Dock (a Navy-strength gin mentioned in the article that started off this discussion) mixed 2:1 with Lillet blanc, a dash of orange bitters and an orange-twist garnish. Since Royal Dock is exceptionally hard to come by here, we've been substituting the high-proof Plymouth. The Royal Dock is a more strictly London gin, so it's a bit sharper than Plymouth, but the latter works just fine. 


I was just wondering (as they have Lillet blanc on offer this week at my supermarket): does a “Martini” with Lillet qualify as a Martini (skip the bitters for this question) ?

 

I prefer a straight dirty gin-only Martini, but I have to admit that the sake-infused variety I made recently worked very, very well. It can’t be called a Martini, though …

 

Where is the borderline on what vermouth-like liquid you may add to still earn the “Martini” designation ?

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I suppose it depends on what qualifies as (dry) vermouth, doesn't it? Lillet (blanc) doesn't qualify; at best it's vermouth-adjacent, which makes it no more qualified than Dubonnet as a Martini ingredient. In our house, we get around this by adding a qualifying adjective; the Lillet-Plymouth cocktail is called a Fancy Martini. 🙂

 

(I can argue the other side of this question,  if you like.)

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13 hours ago, Duvel said:

I was just wondering (as they have Lillet blanc on offer this week at my supermarket): does a “Martini” with Lillet qualify as a Martini (skip the bitters for this question) ?

 

I think you should pick it (the Lillet) up; next thing you know, you'll be making Vespers!  Or maybe even a Corpse Reviver #2.

 

13 hours ago, Duvel said:

Where is the borderline on what vermouth-like liquid you may add to still earn the “Martini” designation

 

I don't believe there is a borderline; once you're not adding vermouth, is the drink still a Martini at all?

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On 2/11/2022 at 2:22 PM, Dave the Cook said:

Royal Dock (a Navy-strength gin mentioned in the article that started off this discussion) mixed 2:1 with Lillet blanc, a dash of orange bitters

They've been doing a similar Martini at Father's Office here in LA for quite a while. It really is quite good. If you scroll way way down past the beers you'll see it listed. 

 

Menu - Father's Office Culver City - See Current Menu (fathersoffice.com)

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We went to a local cocktail bar/restaurant for a couple of drinks for a bit of a celebration with partial success. We started with gin cocktails of their menu and then I started going through other classic cocktails I wanted to have someone make for me. No success. They had quite a few gins on the shelf so I thought maybe a martini. They didn't have any dry vermouth. Sigh, didn't even get to the specifying ratios part.

 

I wish them success, and I suppose I understand given the cost of Noilly Prat here if no one orders it, but really? 

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5 hours ago, haresfur said:

We went to a local cocktail bar/restaurant for a couple of drinks for a bit of a celebration with partial success. We started with gin cocktails of their menu and then I started going through other classic cocktails I wanted to have someone make for me. No success. They had quite a few gins on the shelf so I thought maybe a martini. They didn't have any dry vermouth. Sigh, didn't even get to the specifying ratios part.

 

I wish them success, and I suppose I understand given the cost of Noilly Prat here if no one orders it, but really? 

 

Like how much does Noilly Prat cost there? I don't understand how a cocktail bar doesn't have dry vermouth in their well or on a shelf.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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2 hours ago, weinoo said:

 

Like how much does Noilly Prat cost there? I don't understand how a cocktail bar doesn't have dry vermouth in their well or on a shelf.

 

$35/750 mL retail. I've never seen small bottles, which is one reason I don't generally keep it around - don't drink it fast enough.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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14 minutes ago, haresfur said:

 

$35/750 mL retail. I've never seen small bottles, which is one reason I don't generally keep it around - don't drink it fast enough.

 

Yikes!  Noilly Prat is under $10 for 750 ml at Total Wine.  I usually get Dolin which is $15.99 for 750 ml and $12.99 for 375.

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41 minutes ago, haresfur said:

 

$35/750 mL retail. I've never seen small bottles, which is one reason I don't generally keep it around - don't drink it fast enough.

 

I'm surprised bars don't keep some local stuff on their shelves...https://www.nicks.com.au/products/maidenii-dry-vermouth-750ml-34211

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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  • 2 months later...
On 2/3/2022 at 11:25 AM, Katie Meadow said:

When I was young we went out to my mother's brother's house in NJ for once a year seder. My uncle prided himself on making a great martini, and everyone but the kids was sozzled by dinner time. But what would you expect from a man who called his wife "battle axe?" Us cousins had to make do with Manischewitz wine. That yearly celebration was the only time I heard my mother really belt out some tunes!

Applause for the word "sozzled." 🙂

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  • 1 month later...
On 2/15/2022 at 3:04 AM, weinoo said:

 

I'm surprised bars don't keep some local stuff on their shelves...https://www.nicks.com.au/products/maidenii-dry-vermouth-750ml-34211

 

I discovered a bottle of the Maidenii I bought at the farmer's market during lockdown and then stashed away to be forgotten. It was better than their amaro but a bit citrusy. My second attempt at matching it worked pretty well. Used Four Pillars Gin and Castelvetrano olives. Four Pillars is the best Australian gin I've found so far.

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