There is perhaps nothing that sounds classier than inviting friends over for Martinis. So, what makes a good martini? Well, with National Martini Day coming up on June 19th, 2018 we figured now was a good time to figure that out.
Google defines a martini as “a cocktail made from gin (or vodka) and dry vermouth. A typical martini is garnished with either a twist of lemon, or an olive.” Ok, so that is the basic premise, but they get a lot more complicated than that, and are easily personalized for each of your guests.
Gin or vodka?
First, you need to decide…gin or vodka? People vary wildly on this topic so if you are inviting your friends over for martinis, it is smart to have both on hand. Vodka has a weaker flavor than gin, so even though a martini is traditionally made with gin, people who dislike the taste can choose vodka.
Dry or wet?
How dry a martini is, depends on how much dry vermouth you use. If you want a dry martini, you use less dry vermouth. Extra dry? You leave it out? Wet? You use quite a bit. Perfect means you have half vermouth and half gin or vodka.
Straight, or on the rocks?
On the rocks refers to whether or not use ice, if you order on the rocks you get ice cubes and if you order straight up, well you get it straight up.
Shaken or stirred?
Then you need to channel Bond, James, Bond and ask the classic question: shaken or stirred? The names are pretty self-explanatory. If you order it shaken, they mix it by shaking, and if you order it stirred, they merely stir the ingredients to create the martini. Bond, as you may recall, always ordered his “shaken…not stirred.”
Olive, or twist?
If you want a lemon peel added to the side of your martini glass, ask for it with a twist. You can also request an olive garnish instead.
But what about a dirty martini? You often see characters in movies asking for a dirty martini. Yes, it sounds intriguing, but in reality, it simply means the drink has a splash of olive juice in it.
Vesper and Gibson
There are two other well-known martinis that bartenders often see: The Gibson, which trades its olive or lemon peel for a little pearl onion; and the Vesper, taken from the Bond book, Casino Royale. This kind adds aperitif wine to the martini so proceed with caution!
If you are looking for a great martini recipe to try at home or out on your guests, try one of these recipes from the folks who know what a great martini is all about.
Martini recipes from the experts
1. The Perfect Martini from Three Olives® Vodka. Visit them at www.threeolives.com.They suggest taking your martini and adding to an ice-filled shaker and then shake well. Strain the alcohol into a martini glass, chilled is best, and add your garnish. Their recipe calls for, you guessed it, three olives.
2. Try the Diddy Martini from Cîroc™ Vodka. Visit them at www.ciroc.com. Combine 1.5 oz of both lemonade and Cîroc™ vodka. Combine the liquid in a tall glass filled with ice cubes. Stir well. Garnish with a super cute lemon wheel.
3. Try the Martini from Smirnoff®. Visit them at www.smirnoff.com. They suggest taking 1.5 oz. of their No. 21 Vodka and adding it to .25 oz of dry vermouth. Shake or stir, your choice, into a perfectly chilled martini glass and garnish with a beautiful lemon peel.
4. Looking for a traditional gin martini. Try the Tanqueray N° Ten Gin Martini. Visit them at www.tanqueray.com. Carefully stir together 50 ml (1.7 oz) of their N° Ten gin with 10 ml (.34 oz.) of dry vermouth. Again, strain into a chilled martini glass, they suggest a silver one. Garnish with a snazzy twist of grapefruit.
Okay, now you know how to make martinis, so it is definitely time to try one. First, you need to pick up some martini glasses. Is a martini really a martini if you pour it in a paper cup? You can buy a set of martini glasses but also pick up plastic martini glasses, which is an excellent choice when you are throwing a party.
Just remember as you dip your martini. Besides Bond, James Bond, in all of his films, there have been other iconic movies featuring the martini. In Blue Jasmine, Cate Blanchett’s character enjoys a Stoli Vodka Martini with a twist. Jennifer Aniston loves her apple martini in the movie The Break-up. In the film Practical Magic, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman enjoy their own twist in the drink, Midnight Margaritas.
So, this National Martini Day, raise your glass, martini glass, and cheer this iconic drink.