There are so many different classic cocktails out there today, but very few have the lure and sophistication of the martini. Known for being a clean, simple and classy drink, this elegant cocktail wasn’t just made famous by James Bond, it has become a fixture among fans of clear spirits.
Traditionally, martinis are made of gin and vermouth with the standard recipe being one part dry vermouth and four parts gin. However, there are also vodka martinis for those who prefer this spirit instead. Typically, martinis are garnished with lemon peels or green olives.
It may seem like a relatively simple cocktail, but there is so much more to know about ordering the perfect martini. There are a few different types of martinis so to order your perfect cocktail, you need to start by learning the lingo.
When someone orders a martini, they may order it “dry.” When someone orders a dry martini, it means that you want less vermouth in your drink. Dry means less than the normal amount of vermouth, very dry means little to hardly any vermouth. Experienced bartenders who are making a very dry martini may even just put some vermouth in the glass and swirl it around to create a thin film on the glass.
The standard gin to vermouth ratio is 5-to-1 gin to vermouth. If you order a wet martini, you want more vermouth than this in your drink. If you like more vermouth you may want to be specific with how much vermouth is enough vermouth.
A dirty martini is another common order for this classic cocktail, and it is fairly popular. Most martinis are served with olives as a garnish and if you like the slightly salty flavor these olives bring, then a dirty martini is probably for you. This uses olive juice or olive brine in the drink. The color from the brine makes the normally crystal clear drink look dirty, hence the name.
With a Twist
The traditional way to serve a martini is with olives. However, if you don’t like olives or want a more citrus taste, you can order your martini with a twist. This means you will get a lemon peel as a garnish.
Some bartenders may ask you if you want your martini “shaken” or “stirred.” What exactly does this mean? Well it’s all in how they mix together your drink. In the old James Bond movies, the main character always orders his martini “shaken, not stirred,” he also orders his martinis with both vodka and gin, which is becoming another popular order. When a martini is shaken, it’s mixed in a traditional cocktail shaker with ice. Some people like their martinis this way because they come out colder.
Traditionally, martinis are served shaken, but the original way to serve them was stirred. In fact, if you talk to most martini aficionados, they will tell you that stirred martinis are the traditional way to make sure you don’t “damage” the gin. Using a cocktail stirrer, your bartender will rapidly stir the two liquids together, instead of shaking it in a shaker.
Now that you are well-versed in martinis, it is time to put your knowledge to the test at Salute’s weekly Martini Monday events. Here you can enjoy $5 martinis all evening right here in our restaurant.