Mar 15

Learn How To Make A Martini

How To Make The Perfect Martini (courtesy of Howdini.com)

I’m Allen Katz for Howdini.com, and today, I’m gonna teach you how to make a martini, one of the great classics in American cocktail culture. It’s a very simple cocktail, and, when done properly, is one of the most refreshing drinks that you can serve to you and your guests. It’s a wonderful combination, historically, of Gin (which I know surprises some people) and Dry Vermouth, or French Vermouth.

Now, many people consider a martini to be a combination with vodka and no vermouth at all. But, what we’re gonna try today is this wonderful co-mingling of 2 classic ingredients, that have such a crisp flavor and such a wonderful finish, that I think you’re gonna like this extremely, extremely well.

What we’re gonna start with is some of the essential bar tools:

Mixing glasses, of course
A Bar spoon
Several measuring tools called jiggers

The wonderful thing about preparing a home bar is that all of these tools can be purchased for 25, $30 at most, at a restaurant supply store, at a local liquor store, or even at some specialty food stores that now have cocktail ingredients. It’s quite a lot of fun! So, the simple recipe that I’m gonna try today is:

First, our most important ingredient is ice. We’ll take one mixing glass and fill it with ice.

And, in our 2nd glass, we’ll combine our ingredients. First, the gin. And, of course, ingredients are paramount in a good cocktail. And what you want to start with is a softer gin. Now, gins come in a wide variety, from very fragrant and profound with the juniper perfume and flavor, and you can try that as well. But it’s a fun thing to experiment to see how the variations in a simple cocktail (again, just 2 ingredients) can change, by changing the gin.

So, I’ve got 2½ parts of gin, and I’m gonna do about ½ a part of dry vermouth. Now, I know what you’re thinking. What am I doing with all this vermouth? Now, I’ll be honest – one, I’m a big fan of vermouth. It has a wonderful, fruity flavor. Vermouth is simply an aromatized wine. And really, a great martini is not a martini without vermouth. The idea of waving it over the glass, rinsing the glass with it and throwing it over your shoulder…it’s another cocktail altogether! And if you’ve never had it, get over that fear and try it with dry vermouth.

And, as you can see, all I’m gonna do is stir the cocktail. I know it’s a lot of fun to shake a great cocktail, but for the martini, the idea is just to get it exceedingly cold and a little bit diluted as well. Of course, we’re just using 2 spirits, and so we want to bring down that alcohol content by diluting the ice, adding a little bit of water into the cocktail. So, about 30 seconds,and we’ll be ready to go!

Now, once I’ve stirred the martini, I’m gonna prepare my glass. And, again, with just a little bit of ice and a little bit of residual water, I’m gonna get the martini glass well chilled. If you’re doing this at home, ideally if you have space, put a couple of martini glasses in the freezer. Get them well chilled…it will take 15, 20 seconds…and then, when you’re ready to serve the cocktail, you can take them right from the freezer.

So, we’ve got our martini glass chilled, we’ve got our martini well chilled, and then we’re simply gonna take a strainer…and it’s just a beautiful, clean color. And, even that fragrance of a little bit of vermouth, the gin is not too overpowering, is a wonderful combination. And, to finish it, there are several varieties that you can try. One is an olive, of course. I prefer a little bit of a lemon twist, and I just use a simple vegetable peeler to take a twist. You’re just gonna squeeze gently. If the lemon is fresh, you get some of those essential oils right in over the cocktail, perhaps just taking it to the rim a little bit. And, there you have a wonderful, classic martini!

I’m Alllen Katz for Howdini.com!

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