Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!
I just had a classic martini made with a new bar utensil I got for Christmas. It is a bar strainer with a long, stainless steel handle. Very nice, not your run-of-the-mill bar tool.
Anyway, I used 2 oz Bombay Sapphire, a splash of M&R dry vermouth (probably about 2 teaspoons), and about seven ice cubes. I stirred it for about 40 seconds. I had had my glass in the freezer for about 10 minutes, then added three pimiento stuffed olives. The strainer definitely made it a snap to pour my drink.
It was superb, maybe the best martini I've ever had.
Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur
We made martinis with blue cheese-stuffed olives last night and they were fantastic. 3oz Bombay Sapphire, tiny splash of vermouth, a drop of Worcestershire, and a jumbo olive; shaken to form tiny ice crystals on the surface. The olives were packed in oil instead of brine, so a little extra WS made up for the lack of saltiness.
Great advice and recipes from everyone.
I prefer vodka over gin.
For some time I have run blind taste testings with martini drinking friends, comparing 2 or 3 vodkas at a time, and using vodkas from one family (wheat vodkas, rye vodkas, etc.). Our votes go to:
wheat vodka: Stoli Elit very expensive, but the best tasting wheat vodka
rye vodka: Pravda good value
potato vodka: Monopolowa great value
grape vodka: Ciroc expensive
corn vodka: Rain good value; the most sweet taste of the set
multi-grain vodka: Ultimat very expensive
When in Costa Rica, I also had the opportunity to try what is billed as the Costa Rican national liquor, something called guaro. I would call it a sugar cane vodka. Brought some back with me, but have not found it for sale anywhere in the US.
I guess you can make vodka from just about anything fermentable, if you distill it at high proof (190 or so).
For olives, I like the garlic-stuffed ones. The crunch of the garlic is a great textural sensation.
with or without vermouth. or olives. or onion...
i guess the vodka martini would then be a NEOclassical martini???
anyways, my first 'martini' offered to me was with vodka, a touch of vermouth and two olives.
i then made my own with some straight-from-the-freezer-Finlandia and either two olives or three cocktail onions. eventually the vermouth simply stood in the background as decor...
A martini is a drink made with gin and vermouth, hence the term vodka martini to describe the same drink made with vodka instead.
Then came the "dry" martini, which evolved into a comedy routine in which a glass of straight gin becomes a martini by being in the same county as a bottle of vermouth.
In the modern era, a martini is anything served in that iconic triangular glass, which has itself mutated into a creature several times its original size.
Yet what most would consider the "classic" martini formulation of three or four parts London dry gin to one part dry vermouth, stirred with ice in a cocktail pitcher, strained into a chilled, stemmed cocktail glass, and garnished with an olive or three, is itself a product of evolution.
The martini came into its own in the 1950s as the official libation of the New York City business establishment. It is a great example of both profligacy and hubris that such a seemingly simple drink could have so many variations, each of which is claimed as "the best" by its proponents.
My personal take on the martini issue is that the martini culture of the 50s and 60s was the opening round in the drugification (my word) of drinking, the culmination of which is the vodka hysteria of the present day. The meaning of drugification is that the drinking of straight, chilled vodka makes alcohol consumption as much like shooting heroin or snorting cocaine as possible, all debates about which brand of tasteless, odorless grain neutral spirit is best notwithstanding.
Last edited by cowdery; 12-31-2007 at 15:33.
Also, nothing significant in common between abusers of alcohol and those who can discriminate significant and enjoyable differences in odor and flavor between various vodkas.
Vodka is defined by federal rule as being without distinctive taste, odor or color. I acknowledge that it is possible to distinguish among the different brands, but only to a very limited extent. Vodka is, by definition, a distilled spirit stripped to the furthest extent possible of all sensory stimuli. It is very hard to argue convincingly that vodka is consumed for any purpose other than the alcoholic effect so, in that respect, its consumption is similar to drug use. The martini, especially one made with vermouth and a flavorful gin, does have flavor, but that is mitigated somewhat by serving it as cold as possible. Likewise the practice of chilling and shooting vodka. The object is to get the drug into the system as quickly as possible, without tasting or smelling it. I'm sorry if vodka drinkers find this insulting and I've actually moderated my position on the subject a little, but I just can't kick the feeling that vodka fanciers are simply delusional. As for biochemistry, the fact that different types of drugs affect the body in different ways doesn't make alcohol any less a drug than heroin or cocaine.
Hi Chuck -- Thanks for the clarifications. I acknowledge that there are plenty of folks who drink vodka exactly as you describe, and for the purposes you describe. They also prefer the tasteless and odorless vodkas since they can hide their drinking that way -- "leaves you breathless" in more ways than one -- an inspired marketing line. There are others, and I agree they probably are on the scarce side of rare, who can discriminate flavor and odor differences in various vodkas, and enjoy drinking vodka from time to time for that reason. To me, for example, a potato-based vodka is very different in aroma and taste from a rye-based vodka. However, I do have what others have politely described as unusually sensitive senses of smell and taste.
One difference between drugs such as caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine, versus drugs such as heroin or cocaine, is concentration. Users of caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine use these drugs in "cut" form (coffee, bourbon, cigars, etc.), far from the pure form users of heroin or cocaine employ. I sometimes wonder if law has something to do with it -- if legalizing heroin and cocaine would lead to more dilute forms being used (as in the dilute cocaine-containing beverages of old). We love to accessorize.
The biochemisty differences I mentioned have to do with the fact that alcohol is generally not truly addictive, unlike nicotine, heroin, or cocaine which are all generally highly addictive. Alcohol is only truly addictive for those unfortunates for whom alcohol induces what I have heard some of them refer to as "the buzz" -- pulses of pleasurable but transient chemical changes in the brain that strongly reinforce additional drinking. This is a genetically inherited trait, overwhelmingly a sex-linked trait passed from father to son, and leads to a very different relationship with alcohol than the rest of us experience.
I'm fine with your definition of a martini as gin plus vermouth. Indeed, if I am drinking a "martini" containing vodka, and someone asks me what I'm drinking, I do say "a vodka martini", but I never say "a gin martini" if I am drinking a martini containing gin.
Best regards and Happy New Year to all!