Whether you’re drinking it with classic Gin, or the favored Vodka, dirty, extra dirty, with olives, with a twist, with orange bitters or completely unadulterated one thing is for sure, you feel more sophisticated while drinking this elegant drink. The Martini is a dirnk that has spawned an entire generation of cocktail drinkers. Whether its worth it might be questionable, though.
I really enjoy both olives and vermouth, which was quite a surprise to me. My favorite recipe of the week would probably not be called a Martini by purists (but I like it) is The Wunderlich Clan Martini that I discussed earlier in the week. I would suggest trying a bit of alteration and add some Orange Bitters (both Regan’s and Fee Brother’s are excellent, although quite different). Orange bitters would work especially well with a citrus forward Gin (such as Indigo or Burnett’s). As for the olives, I suggest that you go nuts. Try all kinds of flavors, jalapeno, citrus, nut stuffed, anything you like.
Aaron’s take on this drink is quite different. Being neither a fan of olives or Vermouth the Martini is really not his cocktail, so to speak. He prefers the ice wash method when adding Vermouth. Which is simply adding a touch of Vermouth, swirling with ice to coat and cool the glass and dumping out before adding your chilled cocktail. This will give you an extremely light hint of Vermouth but will still add a bit of flavor. As for garnish he opts for a lemon twist rather than olives.
As for Embury’s recipe I wasn’t impressed. It was a decent expression of whatever Gin you chose, in my case I used Plymouth Gin as my control, but I didn’t think it was that “De Luxe” of a cocktail. In this case Plymouth Gin is quite strongly flavored and overcomes the small amount of Vermouth that you added. The citrus twist over the prepared cocktail adds some nice flavors, but doesn’t rescue it for sure. Personally I’d recommend both twisting over the drink and rubbing the rim of your glass with the zest. This will increase the flavor even further as you enjoy the cocktail.
As for Vermouth, I tried both Noilly Pratt and Martini & Rossi. I found both to be good, but I’m not enough of a connoisseur to tell you which I think is the best. Aaron’s choice for Dry Vermouth is Vya, one I didn’t get the chance to sample this time around. Thankfully Vermouth is rather cheap in comparison to the other ingredients so you can try a few different brands and decide what you like best. One thing to keep in mind. Vermouth, unlike most spirits, is somewhat perishable, so keep it in your fridge once you’ve opened it to maintain the best flavor.
Well, I can’t say that the Martini is my favorite cocktail thus far, but it’s a tasty change of pace. My best suggestion to anyone wanting to try Martini’s is try a bunch of recipes. Find what you like. And most of all, enjoy it.