Sunday, May 21, 2006


Martinis. Martinis are made with gin or vodka and dry vermouth. In my opinion, a martini isn't a martini unless you use gin. Olives, onions or lemon twists are acceptable garnishes.

A Cosmopolitan is not a martini. An Appletini is not a martini. None of the cocktails currently being paraded as -tinis are martinis. If it has anything other than the ingredients in the above paragraph, it is NOT a martini. It is a cocktail.

If you put beer in a martini glass, it would not suddenly become a beertini. It would still be beer. Grape juice poured in a wine glass does not miraculously become wine. Tea poured in a coffee cup does not become coffee.

It's rather simple, my argument: The drink doesn't change because of the glass.

When I go to a bar and order a martini, the bartender should not begin rattling off all the whatever-tinis on the menu. He or she should ask, "Gin or vodka?" Or, perhaps, even better so as not to confuse those unfamiliar with a decent martini, "How would you like that prepared?" That's my favorite response. It's permission to be as picky as I like about my drink and I am picky (recipe to follow). I'm also a generous tipper. I may be a wordy bitch but I'm not a bitch. A half-way decent martini will gain my bartender 20% - more if it's perfect.

How I Like My Martini

Fill the martini glass with ice and a little water. While the glass is getting good and cold, pour the gin (Bombay Sapphire, is my favorite) over the ice in the shaker. Pour the ice and water out of the martini glass and pour in a tiny bit of dry vermouth. Swirl the vermouth around in the glass and then pour it all out. Swish the gin and ice around in the shaker just a bit then strain it into the glass over two olives. Blue cheese-stuffed olives are amazingly good in this. I’ve been able to sweet talk more than one bartender into making them for me. For this extra effort, the tip is substantial.

Despite my pickiness, I've only sent two martinis back. One because it was made with vodka and the other because it was "dirty." I can't drink a dirty martini. It reminds me of being knocked down by a wave at the beach and getting a mouthful of briny water. In fact, I'm feeling a bit queasy just thinking about it.

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