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  1. #21

    Re: Martini: Calling Gary Gillman, et al...

    I think the original recipe for a martini is 2:1 (Maybe 3:1, going off memory here) with a dash of orange bitters and a twist of lemon peel. I don't know when people started adding olives, or personally, why.

    Martinis used to be one of those drinks I always wanted to like but just couldn't quite warm up to. Found out it was due to bad vermouth primarily, and secondarily that olives shouldn't go in drinks. M&R Rosso is pretty good stuff, and what I prefer for manhattans if I can't find punt e mes, but M&R dry sucks balls. Noilly Prat is good stuff though. Adding a dash of orange bitters and lemon peel instead of going with an olive totally changes the drink as well. I find now that instead of going easy on the vermouth, I prefer a 3:1 ratio.

    One should keep in mind that the flavor profile of gin and vermouth has changed over the years. I think that might explain to some degree why people used to like more vermouth in their drink back before prohibition than people do today.

  2. #22
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    Re: Martini: Calling Gary Gillman, et al...

    Taste do change (evolve?) generationally. The drinks served at a cocktail party during my parent's time are different from what would be offered now.

    On the other hand we may be seeing a broader training and education among bartenders now than in the last decade or so.

  3. #23
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    Re: Martini: Calling Gary Gillman, et al...

    Here's a cool little essay about martinis that comes from a collection of essays from The New Yorker about food and drink:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=AOo...artini&f=false

  4. #24
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    Exclamation Re: Martini: Calling Gary Gillman, et al...

    Quote Originally Posted by Parkersback View Post
    Here's a cool little essay about martinis that comes from a collection of essays from The New Yorker about food and drink:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=AOo...artini&f=false
    Well, dern. I was thoroughly enjoying that when it ended somewhere in the middle.

    For those who may not be aware, Roger Angell was one of the premier writers of the mid-20th century.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  5. #25
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    Re: Martini: Calling Gary Gillman, et al...

    Quote Originally Posted by ratcheer View Post
    Well, dern. I was thoroughly enjoying that when it ended somewhere in the middle.

    For those who may not be aware, Roger Angell was one of the premier writers of the mid-20th century.

    Tim
    I was sorry it ended, too. I wanted to keep reading.

    One sentence bothered me a little, though: "They are thinking Myrna Loy, they are thinking Nora Charles and Eva Gardner..."

    It struck me as odd that he listed an actress, a role that actress played, and different actress. They don't really go together. Maybe "The are thinking Myrna Loy as Nora Charles; they are thinking Eva Gardner..." would have worked.

    That's a small thing, though.

  6. #26
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    Re: Martini: Calling Gary Gillman, et al...

    After reading the essay, I am using maximum self control in order to resist a Martini at 11:20 AM EST.
    Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.

    Bob Marley.

  7. #27
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    Re: Martini: Calling Gary Gillman, et al...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    We made one according to the Bond recipe of mixing mostly gin with some vodka and then some white vermouth. Actually, Bond/Fleming called for Lillet, which I couldn't find in Houston, so we used Martini white vermouth. For this one though, we agreed, or Mr. Hodder was so persuaded, that a minimal amount of vermouth won't work - you need more, something like 3:1 liquor to vermouth or even more vermouth than that.

    Gary
    Gary, I'm a big fan of the Bond martini. Bond requests it with Kina Lillet, which is no longer made. I substitute Lillet Blanc (which I always keep on hand for this drink) and it can be easily found in Atlanta. Kina Lillet had some bitterness to it and the Lillet Blanc has more sweetness.

    I think I might be done with bourbon for the night as I just grabbed my cocktail shaker...

    Jack
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  8. #28
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    Re: Martini: Calling Gary Gillman, et al...

    Thanks for that, and doing a little online perambulating, came across this account of the drink:

    http://www.tjbd.co.uk/content/drink/kina-lillet.htm

    It suggests Fleming may have made an error and intended all along to use Lillet Dry but forgot that the name changed for the version used to mix with gin.

    I think I can get Lillet here and may try this tonight. Quinine can be found via tonic water, and perhaps adding some to a Martini might make it closer to the original drink if Ian Fleming did intend Kina Lillet to be the addition. I'd let it get flat first since one thing a Martini shouldn't have is bubbles.

    Gary

  9. #29
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    Re: Martini: Calling Gary Gillman, et al...

    I haven't tried the Vesper because I haven't come across any Lillet. I have tried drinks that match the rest of the description being very large, very strong and very cold.

  10. #30
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    Re: Martini: Calling Gary Gillman, et al...

    From Ted Haigh aka Dr. Cocktail's book Vintage spirits & Forgotten Cocktails.

    The Vesper p. 122-123

    "Felming's favorite bartender created the drink, and it was a work of genius. Just enough vodka to smooth out the sharpness of the gin, and in lieu of the gamey flavor of vermouth, he used a light quinquina (pronounced ken-kenna) - a quinine, spice, fruit and spirit-fortified wine - by the name of Kina (think Quina) Lillet. This aperitif was smoother, slightly sweeter and more flavorful than most dry vermouths and stands up admirably to the slightly tamed down gin. A lemon twist spraying its oil onto the surface of the drink made it complete. Fleming liked it so much he had James Bond recite the entire recipe to a bartender at the Casino Royale."

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