Twas a woman who drove me to drink, and I never had the courtesy to thank her for it. ~ W.C. Fields
It’s an argument that has plagued modern man since the dawn of time. Well, since the early fifties, at least. Just how does one make the “perfect martini?” If you ask ten different martini drinkers, my bet is you’ll get ten different answers. Most will be crap. Gentle readers, I intend to put this query to bed, once and for all. The following is the only way to make the perfect martini. Read it. Memorize it. Become one with it. For this, indeed, is the ultimate guide to the good life.
First off, you’ll need a few items:
- Ice. Lot’s of it.
- Properly chilled, stemmed martini glasses (Properly chilled means your glasses should be in the freezer for a minimum of one hour prior to making the martini. To avoid confusion, or disaster, I suggest putting said glasses in the freezer and leaving them there permanently.)
- A glass pitcher or metal shaker
- Garnish, be it olives, or lemon peel. These are the only things, garnish-wise, that are permitted. Sure, you can use things like cocktail onions, but then it isn’t a martini, now is it? The answer is no. It’s a Gibson.
- And last, but obviously not least, gin. Pay attention, dear readers. I said GIN. I did not mention raspberries, chocolate, or anything involving butterscotch. Those drinks may be “martini-like”, by virtue of the type glass in which they rest, but the similarity ends right there, buster. And don’t give me any of this James Bond crap about vodka. No! That is not a martini, either. Case closed.
Shocking, I know.
12 Steps to the Perfect Martini
1. First, grab the vermouth out of the fridge. It needs to be in the fridge, because it’s a perishable item. Take off the cap. Pour the vermouth into the cap. That’s all the vermouth you need.
2. Now, take the glass pitcher, or metal vessel, out of the freezer, where it, too, should remain.
3. Put the ice in the container (a healthy handful of cubes, at least seven to eight, in my opinion), and then pour in the vermouth. You want not only to coat the bottom of the shaker/pitcher, but the ice as well. Give it a swirl, and then out it goes, right down the drain. Now, it’s not necessary to shake it to death. A drop or two of vermouth is in proper proportion.
4. On to the gin, which should be kept in the freezer. Let’s be tasteful here, folks. The contemporary man has been trained by various restaurants and bars that a martini should be somewhere between the size of your noggin and a bowling ball. Nope, nope, nope. Two shots. That’s three ounces. No more. Could be a half oz. less, actually.
5. At this point, it depends what type of container is in use. If it’s a glass pitcher, you stir. If it’s a metal one, you swirl, in a semi-vigorous manner, but not violently. You want the ice friction to cause a chain reaction of cold, but you don’t want to bruise the gin. Gin needs to be gently introduced to the vermouth, and there MUST be some ice melt dilution. So, swirl, or stir, depending.