Sunday, December 16, 2012

My Favorite Martini

I do love martinis.  Crisp, clean, refreshing.  Straight up with a twist. 

You can keep your ‘dirty martinis’, with their nasty olive juice.  And all those frou frou chocolate martinis and appletinis and such. A ‘real’ martini is pretty simple and classic - all you need is some good gin or vodka, some good dry vermouth, a dash of bitters and the proper garnish.  Here is one of my “go to” favorite, refreshing martinis.  

Stoli Ohranj vodka
Noilly Prat dry vermouth
Stirring Blood Orange Bitters
Frozen wedge of orange

Start with a 5 to 1 ratio of vodka to vermouth.  Adjust according to taste.  Add a few dashes of bitters.  
Stir over ice for at least 30 seconds.  If you using a shaker do not shake vigorously.  Gently rotate the shaker by turning your wrist.  James Bond had it all wrong.  Martinis should be stirred, not shaken.  There are two things to keep in mind as you mix this cocktail.  One, all the ingredients need to be completely mixed.  Hence  the suggestion to stir for at least 30 seconds.  Two, you always need a little ice melt to to bring out the flavors and characteristics of any alcohol.  If you’ve stirred you’re martini for at least 30 seconds don’t be afraid to let it sit for a minute or two to let some of the melted ice infuse the cocktail.  

While you’re stirring, take a rinsed martini glass and put it in the freezer.  Cold cocktail + cold cocktail glass = just right.  If you know ahead of time you’ll be imbibing throw your glasses in the freezer well before the mixing phase.  If you have the space, keep some glasses in there all the time ‘just in case’.   

After you pour your ice cold cocktail into an ice cold martini glass, throw in a frozen wedge of orange.  Buy a regular orange.  Cut into quarters then cut into smaller pieces.  Put them all in a Ziploc and throw them in the freezer.  Use these pieces as a garnish.  It will act as an ice cube to help keep your drink cold as you swill it.  Depending on how fast you swill, it will thaw by the time you get to the bottom of your glass and be a tasty little healthy snack!

One side note - if you are making a martini please use a martini glass.  I’m a big believer that a proper cocktail is always served in the proper glass.   It’s all part of the experience, don’t shortchange yourself.  


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