Tag Archive for 'cocktails'

The Martini Chronicles P.13

It’s been awfully quiet round here lately, which fortunately is not due to me losing my limbs in a horrible freak-accident, but mainly due to my preoccupation with things not more important, but certainly more pressing.

Nevertheless, here’s another installment of my ‘tini Chronicles (‘tini, as compared to Martini, is the way actual cocktail-insiders talk. Or it’s the way idiots talk, I haven’t quite figured that out yet).

The Martini Chronicles Pt.13

I saw the above mixer-set advertised in the Sunday papers. It was really cheap, and since I don’t adhere to the saying that those who buy cheap, buy twice, I went and bought the set. I’m now in the fortunate position to be able to stir my Martini with a professional stirring spoon, which you may think is not much different from any other long-stemmed spoon, but you’re wrong. It’s actually got the pictogram of a Martini-glass stenciled right into it. What better way to stir your Martini than with a spoon that’s totally in the spirit of the whole venture?

And, if you compare images of earlier Chronicles, you’ll notice that the new shaker is of elegantly crafted metal, which lies in stark contrast to my first shaker, a stylish but yuppie-ish white plastic thing. Not that I didn’t like it! I’ll hold it dearly in my heart for the rest of my life for being the tool that helped me lose my cocktail-virginity, and maybe, in the years to come, I will dig it out again and use it just for old times’ sake.

In the end, what I prepared was a strict 2:1, dry Vermouth, three Olive-Martini. I think I noticed a slight metallic taste during the first sip, but that could have been mere imagination.

The Martini Chronicles Pt.5 – Venturing into the forbidden territory

Let’s start off with a quote, shall we?

“It has come to my attention that some people believe a martini can be made with vodka instead of gin. While it is true that you can follow the above recipe, substituting vodka for gin, and produce a liquid that some people will drink, believe me, it is not a martini, not no way, not no how. It is a concoction suitable only for those who have no soul and less guts.” #

Well, there’s a time to have a soul and guts and there’s a time to just have leave those behind. Especially when you’re bound to the rules of scientific experimentation and general awesomeness. So here’s the latest Martini:

The Martini Chronicles Pt.5

Yes, that is a Vodka bottle, and a cheap one too.

I prepared the Martini as I had done with the first one, but instead of Gin, I used 4 parts of Vodka. Instead of an olive, a lemon was cut up and a wedge put into the chilled glass before pouring.

The bitter flavour Gin adds to a Martini is of course not present in a Vodka Martini. Instead, it just tastes a lot like Alcohol with a tad of lemon.

Not my favourite Martini, but the girlfriend liked it. Reason enough to consider making it again, even though, by any standards, it’s not a real Martini.

The Martini Chronicles Pt.4

The Martini Chronicles Pt.4
I have to admit it, I am a man of extremes. While the last chronicle featured a very sweet Martini, this here chronicle will detail a rather dry affair.

The recipe used, as mentioned last time, I got from here. The thing that sets it apart from most other recipes, is its very scant use of Vermouth. Which is actually not exactly true. There is quite a bit of Vermouth used, only it’s not there to drink. You see, this recipe had me not mix the Vermouth with the Gin, but instead only coat the chilled glass by swirling the Vermouth in it. Surplus Vermouth I had to discard.

Being the clever fox I am, I already knew that my girlfriend wouldn’t want to be part of this very special experiment, so I shook the gin, poured it into my Vermouth-coated glass, then added an ample amount of sweet Vermouth to the remaining Gin in the shaker. This mixture was then poured into my girlfriend’s glass. She was content (well, almost; I still had to add a bit more water to the mix).

The actual Martini Dry I made for myself was, well, very dry. But the thing is, the drier your Martini, the smaller your sips are. So I started sipping gently, and suddenly the Gin’s flavour, coupled with the tiny amount of Vermouth, kicked in. It’s a delicate kind of Martini, and I recommend it to those not in a hurry.

This batch also saw the introduction of olive-impalement, as opposed to free floating ones:
Martini Cooking

Having learned in above recipe that ideally the olive(s) should be eaten before having your first sip, I had to discard the method of the free-floating olive, as it only facilitated the ingestion of the olive after downing the whole drink.

And as a special bonus, here’s what it looks like when you’re cooking with a Martini:

Martini Cooking

The Martini Chronicles Pt.3

Martini Chronicles Pt.3

And as promised, here’s the recount of sweet Vermouth Martini preparation.

I used the Martini&Rossi Bianco, which I think is the sweetest one you can get. The ratio was 4 parts Gin to 2 parts Vermouth, which is the ratio recommended on the Noilly Prat bottle, only that they of course talk about dry and not sweet Vermouth.

My co-conspirator/girlfriend was much happier with this mixture. I, unfortunately, wasn’t. I think I just like the bitterness that comes with the rather dry version we had the first time. Or maybe it’s just that I don’t feel like a real Martini creator, considering that any Vermouth less dry than Sahara desert is deemed ill-suited for a real Martini. I know, this sounds snobbish, but frankly, once you’ve gone out and bought Martini glasses, you’re well beyond caring about being called a snob.

The next part will see a special way of preparation as detailed in this little article on the perfect Martini, and let me tell you, it’s not for the faint of heart. But more next time.

The Martini Chronicles Pt.2

So here we are, it’s part two of the Martini Chronicles.

I yesterday produced my first Martini Dry, and let me tell you, it’s so much different from what I’d expected. First of all, in the name of full disclosure, I’ll have to admit something. It proves that I’m a total novice in the art of The Martini, but alas, I’m self-confident enough to reveal that shocking secret:

For years I had been under the impression that I’d had plenty of Martinis already. How come? Well, I used to buy that bottle of “Martini” they sell in stores, thinking it’s a ready-made mixture. Well, turns out that what was labelled as “Martini” was in fact just part of the brand name “Martini & Rossi”, which in fact is simply…..Vermouth. Yes, here it is, I’d been drinking pure Vermouth and thought I was drinking Martini.

So you might be able to understand my surprise when I had my first sip of a real Martini yesterday. First I thought I had done something extremely wrong, but then it dawned on me, that yes, that’s simply what a real Martini Dry tastes like. But in the end, it really tasted quite good.

Here’s how I made it:

    Prepared the glasses by putting them in the freezer, for about five minutes. I think they could have been in a tad longer.
    Put five ice-cubes into the shaker (we only have elephant-shaped icecubes, but I think that doesn’t really make a difference. Or so I hope).
    I then poured five parts Gin and one part Dry French Vermouth (Noilly Prat) into the shaker.
    Shook the shaker, for about 20 seconds.

    Removed glasses from the freezer, put olive into one glass, then poured the Martini.

And here they are:

The Martini Chronicles Pt.2

Upon having the first sip, above mentioned total ignorance of what a real Martini Dry tastes like kicked in and I quickly had to add another two parts of Vermouth to the mixture. Yeah, yeah, I know, putting it in afterwards totally destroys the whole procedure and will be punished by cutting out your taste-buds, but hey, I live to learn.

So that was the first real Martini we ever had. After the first few sips, my girlfriend and I decided that even though it’s quite an acquired taste, we do like it.

Next time will see the adding of sweet Vermouth instead of the dry, French one.




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