The Classic Gin Martini

Even though gin is British, when combined with a bit of vermouth and a few olives  it becomes the quintessential American cocktail, The Martini. Dry and very cold, that’s the secret to a great martini. Use the best gin and vermouth that you can afford, it will make a difference.  In the early days of the cocktail the classic martini recipe proportions were 2:1. Today there is much debate about the proportions and most modern recipes seem to be 2:1/2, which is a good balance. Peoples taste buds change and dry and extra-dry seem to be the trend. French and Italian vermouth tend to be drier than others and the preferred brands in bars are Noilly Prat, and Extra-Dry Martini. Serve martinis in a stemmed glass, and most importantly, the glass should be chilled. Quick ways to chill a glass are to put ice in it or put it in the freezer for 20 seconds. Remember to keep your hands away from the bowl of the glass when you serve and drink a martini. Hold the glass by stem. Sometimes the term ‘martini’ is used to refer to other mostly-hard-liquor cocktails such as Manhattans.

Many different names, and slight variations exist on the classic martini as described below:

VODKA MARTINI also known as a vodkatini, is made the same but with vodka.

DICKENS is without a garnish.

IN-AND-OUT MARTINI also known as a burnt martini, is a very dry gin martini prepared by pouring a dash of vermouth into a shaker to coat the ice, and then pouring out the extra vermouth. Many bartenders coat the glass instead and disposing of the extra vermouth.

CHURCHILL is stirred with a bottle of vermouth waved above the shaker.

DIRTY MARTINI has a bar spoon of the brine from the olive jar added.

GIBSON is a standard martini garnished with pearl onions.

WET MARTINI is a martini with extra vermouth.

BLACK EYE MARTINI is garnished with black olives.

NAKED MARTINI is made without ice and poured into a chilled glass.

SALAD MARTINI  is garnished with 3 olives and 2 pearl onions.