Robert Hess 17 Aug 2007
8:20 am

The “sweet” Martini is one of the drinks I serve to folks who say they don’t normally like gin. While for some, even the slightest hint of gin still is unacceptable to them, many find this drink absolutely delightful.

pedro 23 Aug 2007
9:55 am

In many bars in the UK when you ask for
the Dry Martini it will be made by coating
the ice with vermouth in a boston glass
and discarding excess
before stiring the ice with gin/vodka.

My customers ask for Dry Martini,Extra Dry Martini,
Martini Dry, Martini Extra Dry and there is no consistency in terminology. I was trying to figure out how it should be but
I still have no idea. :)

Maybe it should be like that;

> Dry Martini = ratio simillar to the one you used, gin/vodka + vermouth stirred together
> Extra Dry Martini = wet Martini, more vermouth,
gin/vodka + vermouth stirred together
> Martini Dry = verry small amount of vermouth,
different methods of making; for instance:
-vermouth poured out after coating the ice
-in/out
-using the atomizer
> Martini Extra Dry = no vermouth used

???

Robert Hess 27 Aug 2007
8:44 pm

Pedro,

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to address a “consistency” in Martini terminology. Something about when the insane are running the asylum, or some such reference :->

For the standard customer, the “most” vermouth that should be added to a gin Martini, is just a slight splash. If they ask for their gin Martini “extra dry”, then you do the “swirl & dump” (put a little vermouth in the empty glass, then dump it out). For a “vodka Martini”, you start out with the “swirl & dump”, and then if they ask for it “extra dry”, you don’t use any vermouth at all.

Myself, when I want a gin Martini with a healthy amount of vermouth in it, I have to ask for it “extra wet”.

-Robert

Boavida 30 Aug 2007
3:43 pm

I must that after a few tries I almost gave up on this cocktail. Either I didn’t like gin, or simply didn’t like Martini. After trying the Jasmine I gave it another try with Tanqueray. This made all the diference!! And always sweet martini.

Andre Glaeser 21 Sep 2007
1:55 pm

Thank you so much, Robert!
I never really understood the Martini until I found you site. I would have never thought that the orange bitters were that important.
Since I stumbled across your site three months ago, I haven’t bought a single case of beer. This is quite amazing because I live in Germany.
Thank you for inspiring my sense of taste every Monday!

Robert Hess 22 Sep 2007
1:37 pm

Andre, glad you’ve been enjoying the shows!

Thomas 4 Jan 2008
6:25 pm

THE MARTINI
There is something about a Martini,
A tingle remarkably pleasant;
A yellow, a mellow Martini;
I wish I had one at present.
There is something about a Martini,
Ere the dining and dancing begin,
And to tell you the truth,
It is not the vermouth—
I think that perhaps it’s the gin.

  - Ogden Nash

Thomas 11 Feb 2008
8:13 pm

It’s not cloudy, it’s opalescent!

Dinah (MetaGrrrl) 15 Feb 2008
4:46 pm

Thanks so much for the poem, Thomas!

Good ol’ Nash.

John 23 Apr 2008
8:49 am

Where did you find your Martini Stirrer that you used on this episode?  Thanks

Mike 30 May 2008
4:12 pm

Great job as always.  Intrestingly, while reading an old Robert Heinlein short story published around 1938-39, one of the characters orders a Martini and says to, “make it an italian”.  Obviously with sweet vermouth!

Charles Joly 7 Jul 2008
6:05 pm

I’m wondering about the glassware used in this episode. I absolutely love the glass used for the sweet martini. It seems a near impossible task to find a good array of properly sized, classic designed glassware. Are those vintage pieces? Thanks so much, Cheers!

Robert Hess 7 Jul 2008
6:23 pm

Charles,
The glass used for the dry martini is from my grandmothers estate, and the glass for the sweet martini is one I picked up at a local restaurant store… it was on “clearance” because they were having a hard time selling this “odd” looking glass. Sheesh. :->

Amazingly, as you can see, these two are actually the same pattern.

-Robert

Luc 8 Jul 2008
7:55 am

I’m really enjoying your shows, and it’s really nice to see how martinis are supposed to be made. On a side note, in the original James Bond books, he would ask for his martinis stirred not shaken. It was only changed in the movies to sound better. Keep up the good work.

Fred 4 Mar 2009
5:16 pm

This is not simply true. In the novel Diamonds are Forever he uses the phrase and I think also in Dr. No.  In Casino Royale this is how he orders the first Vesper he invents. Elsewhere—You Only Live Twice, I think—he orders it stirred.  Moody, perhaps?

Anyway, I take the colder “shaken,” but not as fiercly as you did it, and risk the cloudyness.

Robert Hess 5 Mar 2009
5:22 am

Mr. Bond’s drinks were all over the place in the books, I started trying to keep track of what he drank and how he drank it, and gave up halfway through Live & Let Die because it started to seem pointless :->

Fred… as a slight aside, you can get a drink just as cold stirring as you do shaking (it just takes a little longer). Technically it can be argued that stirring should get even colder because shaking is imparting more energy into the process, which would be converted to heat.

Fred 5 Mar 2009
5:45 am

Agreed about Bond. Bourbonand branch, bourbon straight, Gin and Tonics (extra fresh lime). I was just amazed how he (and Felix) could have 2 double vodka Martinis and then go to work, especially where I might have to use firearms. :-)

When I made a Martini last night (I intended to make it with sweet vermouth and found I was out. I will rectify that on the way home tonight._) I realized that I’ve fallen into using the shaker but gently stirring rather than shaking.

I appreciate finding your site, by the way, and re: the Old Fashioned show, I am now scrared to order it out, but do make it at home.

I’ve mentioned finding your site in my blog category “cocktails” at http://blog.avolio.com/search/label/cocktails

David 21 Mar 2009
10:10 am

999,999 out of 1,000,000 people do not expect this drink when they say “Martini.”  This should instead be called a “Gin-Hater’s Martini,” or some such thing, not that I understand why anybody would want a martini if they don’t like gin. If a modern martini (at least 5 - 1 gin/vermoth ratio) is not “balanced” because it tastes too much like gin, and if a cocktail must be “balanced,” then fine, a martini is not a “cocktail,” it’s a gin drink. But even if this thing you’re making is a proper “cocktail,” it is not a martini as almost anybody uses the word.  It’s something else. 

Apparently there’s some sort of movement away from the modern martini.  There was an article by Jason Wilson in the 2/4/09 Washington Post that quoted Mr. Hess (paraphrase: a modern martini is for alcoholics) and the always interesting David Wondrich (paraphrase: a modern martini is for people who are posing as macho, and is “pretty much undrinkable”).  It’s all very interesting historically, and it’s always fun to play with drink recipes.  But if a bartender wants to suggest I try this thing when I order a martini, he or she better warn me.  I might be interested to try this sort of variant, for historical interest or to try something different, and I might even enjoy it as long as I’m expecting something unusual, but it’s NOT what I mean when I ask for a martini.

There are so many wonderful, unique gins being made nowadays, and if you make a 3 -1 martini, and move further from a martini as most people use the word by adding orange bitters, you literally have no idea what the gin you’re drinking tastes like.  In a 3 - 1 martini with bitters, you can hardly tell Hendricks from G’Vine from Plymouth from freaking Beefeater, because you’re confusing the botanicals in the gin with those in the vermouth and the bitters. Those of us who actually enjoy gin—apparently a tiny minority—will drink it straight to sample the craftsmanship of the distillers, but we also enjoy martinis, as a gin drink, if not a “cocktail.”  And contrary to what you said, a 5 - 1 or 6 -1 or even 7 - 1 martini most definitely does NOT taste like pure gin, it’s hard to know how you can even say that.

Love your site, by the way, and i’m learning a lot.  It’s just that I also love gin, and I really believe that if you don’t, you should just steer clear of the martini.

Dinah (MetaGrrrl/Bibulous) 21 Mar 2009
10:30 am

I profoundly disagree that a 3-to-1 Martini masks the character of the gin being used. Yes, it subtle. It’s a cocktail, not a showcase of a particular spirit.

If you want chilled gin with a dash of dry vermouth, order that. Be gin proud and order what you like!

But it is no more a Martini than chilled whiskey with a dash of sweet vermouth is a Manhattan.

Frankly, I disagree with Robert here about not drinking straight gin. Some are lovely with just a little ice melt.There are also spirits-forward drinks that showcase a given spirit - I had a fantastic Gin Old Fashioned with Death’s Door gin on my last visit to The Violet Hour, for example.

David 21 Mar 2009
11:34 am

Dinah, your post has good points, but it also sent me off Googling Death’s Door gin, which I had never heard of, here in Texas.  I’ve now mail-ordered a bottle, which I’ll look forward to trying, so thanks for the mention of that.  While reading around a bit, I came across someone reviewing it and he made a point that I’ve been thinking about. 

Some of the gins coming on the market in the last decade or so are softer and with unique botanicals, so that they almost seem made to be drunk straight.  I made myself a drink a little earlier, 5 - 1 Aviation gin with Vya Extra Dry vermouth, where both gin and vermouth are unique, and the drink was just weird, not enjoyable.  I don’t think it would have been any better at a different proportion, I think Aviation gin just doesn’t make a good martini.  These new-fangled gins seem to need a new-fangled approach, and I’m not sure what to do with some of them, other than just drink them straight from the freezer…and yes, contrary to Robert’s thoughts, I’m afraid I do keep my gin of the moment in the freezer.

Fred 21 Mar 2009
11:52 am

David, Robert’s point was that some water should be part if a cocktail. Also, I am pretty sure his purpose was to present a classic Martini.

I enjoyed learning where the “dry” distinction came from, and it rings true. I have made a sweet Martini, and enjoyed it, and still enjoy dry Martinis.

I typically like a 5-1 ratio. I had read that cocktails should be 3 ounces.

Dinah (MetaGrrrl/Bibulous) 21 Mar 2009
12:23 pm

Hi David,

I think you’ll really like the Death’s Door. The other ones I’ve been enjoying lately are Leopold’s and, especially, CapRock.

The CapRock in particular is great just over an ice cube. Stunningly good stuff!

Cheers!

Robert Hess 22 Mar 2009
9:48 am

David,
You raise a number of good points, as well as points that I think I need to provide some additional clarifications for.

You are correct in saying that the dry Martini as presented in this episode is not what most customers would expect if they were to go to a bar and simply order a “Martini”. It IS however what customers in pre-Prohibition America would have expected. If I were to put this drink on a cocktail menu I would take care to list it as something like “Pre-Prohibition Martini” or some-such which would require a customer to specifically order it.

I disagree however that this is a “gin-haters” Martini. The goal of any cocktail should be one of “balance”, which means not only a balance of sweet to sour (in a “Margarita” style of cocktail), but also a balance of the spirit which it contains. This doesn’t mean to “mask” the spirit, or even push it to the background, but it does mean that the spirit should not stand head and shoulders above everything else. It should instead be “sharing” the stage properly with each of the other ingredients.

For me, a cocktail should “celebrate” the spirit, and as such, you should always be able to taste the spirit in a cocktail, but it also shouldn’t slap you in the face with its presence. For a drink like the Martini, I recommend people experiment to find their own personal balance. The goal should be to mix it at just the right ratio so that you almost can’t tell where the gin stops, and the vermouth begins. And the dash of orange bitters is an important piece of this equation.


Dinah,
I’m not saying that drinking straight gin is a bad thing, just that it’s not something that the average drinker does. If you were to tally all of the times that a customer asks for a particular spirit “straight” at the bar, gin will always be virtually non-existant. I use the points I touch upon in this video to help somebody who “thinks” they don’t like gin to realize that perhaps they just haven’t had a properly made gin cocktail yet. I like to compare this with introducing somebody to wine. I wouldn’t start them off with a hearty Zinfandel, instead I’d have them try a sweet and less complicated white wine, and then over time get them used to some of the dryer and more complex red wines. Gin has a flavor which the “beginner” will find daunting, if not discusting, and so you need to gradtually introduce their palate to these flavors.

Dinah (MetaGrrrl/Bibulous) 22 Mar 2009
10:50 am

Good clarification, Robert, thanks.

Yes, straight gin drinking is for freaks. Mmm, gin. :)
... 

By the way, re: prior discussion of bitters & amari, have you tried the Zucca Rabarbaro yet? Wonderful smoky odd stuff. We got our bottle in London at the Whisky Exchange. http://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/P-9248.aspx

IanRafferty 1 Jun 2009
6:03 pm

I love it when any client of mine asks for a Martini.  With so many contemporary cocktails proving so much more popular, I always imagine Speakeasys when I stir a Martini.  Orange water is something that I have never tried and therefore plan to order and experiment.  I also agree, that whilst James Bond is a very cool character on screen, he has been invented from a book, and I Mr Hess, will take your side every time.  Having said that, after the recent release of the latest bond, a peaked interest in a Vesper Martini has occured which I encourage greatly.  However, I like to add a flamed orange zest as I feel it adds that much needed balance to a terrifyingly strong drink.  Qouted in the “Diffords Guide” as, enough alcohol to drop a Rhino, or something along those lines.  I also feel that with most drinks in a “cocktail” glass.  The glass should be pre-chilled, and the cocktail should always be double strained.  First through the hawthorne followed by the sieve!  Heres to the rejuvination of such classics, like the Martini.  Cheers!

Laurie 21 Jun 2009
3:45 am

Robert, The response you had for David and Dinah really helped clear up questions I had about the pre-prohibition martini. The biggest reason is I hate traditional Martinis. The first Martini I ever drank tasted like the bartender poured Pinesol in a glass and served it to me. Since then I’ve never had another cocktail with gin. Vodka all the way. But this segment gave me a ray of hope that I might be able to try another traditional Martini. I like the idea of balance in a cocktail. I have always thought that but didn’t realize that’s how a cocktail is supposed to be made since a large portion of bartenders rarely achieve balance in a cocktail.  I also like the fact that you bring the art back into cocktails which I find is rare. I have a copy of the New York Bartender’s Guide and would like to try several different cocktails. I have yet to find a bartender that can make a drink that I would like to try from that book. They always ask me what’s in that? Now granted if I were asking for a strange off the wall drink from an obscure text I would expect that but this is from a book that has been in circulation for decades that I thought was considered a bible for bartenders? Many times I’m almost offended they are asking, especially a cocktail that is a classic.  Is there a bar in Seattle you would recommend above anywhere else in town? I’m not looking for a trendy, hip, loud, obnoxious meat market which seams to be the norm for some of the most popular spots. Just looking for a comfortable, welcoming place were the cocktails are fab and so are the people and I don’t have to bring my own copy of the Bartender’s Drink Guide in order to try something new.  :)

Robert Hess 21 Jun 2009
6:44 am

Laurie,
The problem you describe is oh-so-common. Both in avoiding gin due to a bad “first experience”, and having problems finding bartenders who can execute a properly balanced cocktail.

One problem with relying on recipes from a book like the “New York Bartender’s Guide” is that there are over 1,000 recipes in this book and I dare say a lot of them are going to be ones most bartenders have never heard of, much less have memorized. There are indeed some “classic” cocktails in that list, but some are so classic that they haven’t been commonly made in over 90 years. When you begin asking for drinks from such a book, many bartenders are thinking you are simply playing “stumb the bartender”, which has a tendency to not get things off on the right food. When I am wanting a drink that “maybe” the bartender might not know, I always do three things… first I look over the selection of liquors that they have, and try to determine if they have all of the ingredients necessary… second I ask them by saying “By chance do you know the recipe for…”,  and thirdly I always have the recipe on-hand on my PDA so I can show it to them so they can make it. (You can access my online list of recipes from a web enabled phone by going to www.DrinkBoy.com/mobile ).

As I was reading your post, I was thinking to myself “I need to find out what city she lives in so I can hopefully give her a recommendation for a good bar to try…” Thankfully you did, and thankfully you live in Seattle! Which is one of the best cities in the country to find some great bars.

My first recommendation would be the Zig Zag Cafe. They are located on the stairway that leads from the Pike Place market down to the Seattle Aquarium. They are about halfway down on the north side. Look for their outdoor patio seating. They are extremely casual, and I would highly recommend getting a seat at the bar. They open at 5pm, and personally I recommend getting there early because the bar fills up quickly. Murray is their star bartender, and he works Tues-Fri. Let him know you got a recommendation from here, and he’ll be sure to take good care of you.

I also recommend Vessel, Sambar, Chantantee Thai (in Bellevue), the bar at Canlis… and that’s just a start.

Z 25 Aug 2009
11:50 am

One reason some bartenders think vermouth is a bad ingredient is because the vermouth in their well is bad.(old)
Vermouth like wine goes bad. Unlike most of the other spirits in the well which can sit for a loooong time, vermouth should be refrigerated if you are not going through bottles frequently.

Lawrence Spies 15 Dec 2009
9:02 am

Thanks for getting it right Robert!!!! Orange bitters and sweet vermouth!!!!! No one ever adds the bitters now a days Just Gin, hardly any Vermouth or just Gin and an olive!!

Lawrence Spies 15 Dec 2009
9:14 am

I add bitters to my Dry Martini as well…

Robert Hess 15 Dec 2009
1:05 pm

Lawrence, YES! A dash of orange bitters to a dry Martini is that special touch which really finishes the drink.

Bill 11 Feb 2010
7:49 pm

Awesome video. I’ll have to pick up some orange bitters so I can try both of these. I’ve been making “perfect” martinis lately and everybody is pleasantly surprised when they enjoy them. I don’t understand why vermouth has such a bad rap—it’s in most of my favorite drinks! And even though Goldfinger was one of the two best Bond pictures, I agree that it did a lot of damage with the “shaken, not stirred” line.

For getting people to come around to gin, incidentally, I recommend the gimlet.

Indiapale 17 Feb 2010
11:18 am

hey Robert,

I really enjoy your shows and insights on cocktails and mixology.  I was wondering if you know of any legitimate imbibing lounges or bars in the twin cities area that you would recommend?

Lewis

Matt Joy 2 Mar 2010
11:41 pm

Mr. Hess, again, loving your site!  When I first found an interest in mixology I set out to make a classic martini with Gin and Dry Vermouth, garnished with an olive.  Per the folk lore of James Bond I did shake my first one, but more grievously I used a well grade gin along with Martini&Rossi; Dry Vermouth. I do like that brand of Vermouth quite well, but found Seagrams gin quite atrocious in a martini. I almost vowed off of martinis, and gin, altogether until I decided that the quality of gin was likely at fault. Being a lover of bourbon I know the spirit can make or break the drink. I’ve come to find that I enjoy Tanqueray a lot and something new I’ve discovered, New Amsterdam Gin, pleases my palate quite pleasantly with a much better price tag to boot.
  The whole sweet vermouth version is new to me and I’ve not experimented much with the perfect version of anything, I will be trying those soon!
  For such a quintessential drink I was hoping for a little more on the craft of a martini in your video. Per the feedback, the whole inclusion of the vermouth in the mix, rinse and toss and even frosting of a glass with vermouth, olive brine or even onion brine for a Gibson martini is something I would have liked to see demonstrated. Would you possibly consider a follow up video to demonstrate the popular variations of how to make a modern martini as well as any extra craft tricks of the trade to enhance or modify a martini to taste?
  So far, my two favorite martini recipes are: 
1.    .5oz Martini&Rossi; Vermouth shaken over 4 ice cubes. Add 2oz Tanqueray or New Amsterdam Gin and stir with 4 more ice cubes. Strain into a martini glass that has been coated with brine from vermouth soaked cocktail onions. Garnish with one cocktail onion and one vermouth soaked olive. Both onion and olive products I use come pre-brined from World Market.

2.  Frost a martini glass generously with Dry Vermouth. ( Takes me about 15-20 minutes of checking back on the glass in the freezer to swirl and frost the vermouth until all liquid has frozen on the body of the glass.)  Add 1.5oz Tanqueray Rangpur Gin that has been quickly stirred to cold before too much dilution from the ice occurs. Garnish with a Vermouth Olive.  *I prefer to keep this version lighter on all compliments to the gin since the Rangpur Gin is light on heat and heavy on botanicals/lime and is easily overwhelmed by other ingredients.

Side note- I’ve seen you and a few others use/recommend Plymouth gin and I plan to pick up a bottle soon to see what it is like.
  Pardon a second request, but would you ever consider a video in which you describe/compare your top 3 or so brands of base spirit in each category?  I’m at a loss of which brand of cognac/brandy I should start with for a sidecar and would feel more comfortable trying to make new drinks if I had a “safe bet” brand of base spirit to work with for any given drink.  Thank you in advance for indulging my long winded comment!!!

Brandon Morgan 20 Mar 2010
8:49 am

Robert,
I didn’t see you put the orange bitters in the Dry Martini. It is in your recipe though. In a dry martini ora dry vodka martini, do you still add a dash of orange bitters?

Robert Hess 20 Mar 2010
3:53 pm

Brandon,
Yeah, as the note in the description indicates, I sort of… er… forgot to add the orange bitters to the “dry” version of the Martini, and didn’t even notice it until we were reviewing the videos for posting, by which time it was far too late to do anything about it.

Matt,
I will most likely cover the Martini again (and make sure I include the orange bitters this time), and address some of the variations you point out… however, I am not a fan of the “rinse and dump” Martinis, since they are more a “glass of cold gin” then they are a true cocktail. For me, I prefer to use enough vermouth so you can’t tell where the gin stops and the vermouth begins.

We are also discussing how to do some episodes which provide a little bit of product comparisons in some fashion. It is important to realize of course that tastes can be subjective, and so what I might like as a gin, you might not. The best judge in such cases is your own palate. For this reason I recommend simply going to a bar that you trust to make great drinks, and try something like the Martini with a couple different gins to see what you think yourself. Or you could gather some friends together, and try this out at home.

Matt Joy 21 Mar 2010
12:22 pm

Robert,  I agree with you on not liking the rinse and dump method. Just about every bar tender “in the biz” says they make their martinis that way and the last time I ordered a Manhattan at a local bar they also did the rinse and dump with the bitters before straining the drink in.  Like you’ve said, finding a mixologist that appreciates the craft in the world of speed pours and fast cash is hard.  Thanks again :)

blair frodelius 25 Apr 2010
7:53 am

Robert,

Had the worst ever Martini last night at a new bar in town.  I asked for a stirred three to one gin martini up, with an olive and a twist.  What I got was something akin to a genetic abomination.

The bartender began by what looked to be rummaging in the garnish tray, but I couldn’t see exactly since i was two deep at the rail.  Then, came the gin, the dry vermouth and ice.  So far, so good.  However, I was chagrined to see her stir the drink with a plastic straw a few times and strain it into a cocktail glass.  Only a lemon twist was added.  I decided to go with it, since the place was rather busy.  Taking a sip of the drink, there was a familiar, yet disturbing flavor.  I tasted again.  Gin, yes, but also a sweetness, and a wash of olive brine.

I suddenly realized what she had been doing with the condiment tray.  She had tried to make a dirty martini by pouring olive brine into the mixing glass from the tray!  Undoubtedly, some of the maraschino, lemon and lime juices got in there as well.

Why she thought I had asked for what ended up being a dirty/fruity martini, I have no idea.  But, let me tell you, it doesn’t work.

Better luck next time…

Cheers!

Blair
http://goodspiritsnews.spaces.live.com

Adam Coronado 25 May 2010
6:50 pm

Tried this today. For such a “cool” drink, it sure does burn. I was using New Amsterdam, though. May need to spring for the Hendricks next bottle.

Adam Coronado 25 May 2010
6:52 pm

On that, Robert, I’ve notice that many drinks on this site simply aren’t served on the rocks. Before visiting here, I made everything that way. Historically, have we just been committed to getting our drinks down before they warm or what? Something tells me we all got drunk in a way bigger hurry, say, 70 years ago.

Fred 26 May 2010
1:16 am

Adam, I am not sure changing the gin will help you much. For example, I happen to like Gordon’s. which is a bargain gin. I would experiment by using sweet vermouth. To your second comment, while you should certainly drink it as you like it (e.g., on the rocks), I wonder if you are comparing how cocktails are made in bars vs. at home. What I mean is this: I find that unless I specify, they make a bigger drink out than I do at home (and what classically was done). A 3 or so oz. drink should not get warm before you finish it, and you should not “get drunk in a way bigger way.”

Robert Hess 26 May 2010
4:17 am

Adam, the “burn” you describe is probably the burn of alcohol, which can be tempered by the water which is incorporated into the drink by the ice as you chill it. When served on the rocks this just happens as you drink it, but when served up, it is important to stir the drink long enough to give it both a proper chill as well as a proper dilution.

blair frodelius 26 May 2010
4:43 am

Adam,

I totally agree with Robert.  The proper amount of dilution is key for a Martini.  Although some people like to keep their gin and vodka in the freezer, I don’t recommend it.  It doesn’t allow enough ice to melt when making a cocktail. 

Cheers!

Blair
http://goodspiritsnews.spaces.live.com

Adam Coronado 26 May 2010
5:40 am

Fred,
Yeah, even though I stirred the crap out of it, I think I might be a rocks man, at least with this drink (I like my Manhattans up). Or maybe not, based on my next point.

Robert,
I noticed that in your videos you seem to pull ice from a bowl or what seems like a bin behind the counter. I pulled my ice straight out of the freezer. This leads me to believe that my drink didn’t dilute as well as yours would (I’m sure the ice melts quicker after it sits a little). I only say this because I counted how long you stir in the video and did the same. Not a symptom of OCD, promise. : )

Love talking spirits with ya’ll. Drink well!

Benjamin D. 9 Jun 2010
8:11 am

Hi Robert,

What are your thoughts on the type of dry vermouth? There are of course the extra dry vermouth and the bianco vermouth which is quite a bit sweeter. Martini & Rossi produce both sorts and Noilly Prat seems to be closer akin to the extra dry Martini & Rossi. I’ve tried both and they seem like completely different drinks. What would have been the original? Personally, I’ve found the extra dry to work better with an olive and more savory flavors but I think the sweetness of the bianco makes for a nice drink with a lemon twist and orange bitters. Any thoughts?

Matt Joy 14 Jun 2010
9:37 pm

Benjamin D. , I just recently purchased the Bianco vermouth and was pleasantly surprised with how tasty it is in a martini and shocked at how it makes the martini a very different drink from the M&R extra dry. I definitely favor a gibson martini with bianco as opposed to a dry with an olive, but still enjoy it. I just got some regans #6 orange bitters after hounding bevmo to restock it, so I look forward to trying these recipes in their entirety now :)

Troy Truchon 1 Jun 2012
7:51 pm

This is the sort of thing I wish I could expect when I order a Martini. I’m at odds with the opinion above as I see calling a glass of gin or (heresy) vodka with as little as a drop or spritz of vermouth a martini to be just as peculiar as calling a glass of sweetened tea with a slice of lemon an arnold palmer. 4:1 is the least amount of vermouth I’d feel comfortable calling a Martini, and if its a fresh bottle of good quality vermouth I’ll gladly mix the most traditional martini of all, namely one part Gin to one part Vermouth. If you enjoy gin there is nothing wrong with drinking it strait, for that matter there is nothing wrong with drinking Vermouth strait either (currently drinking a glass of half sweet, half dry, and a dash of bitters and lemon).

SDM 3 Dec 2012
10:53 pm

Hi Robert, I’m a long time lurker here, borrowing your recipes and wisdom all the time.  I suspect you answered this already but I can’t find it.  Where did you get the combination stirring glass / strainer?  Would love to add that to my bar. Thanks!

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