Week 2 – Gin Martini

Hey look, it’s still the weekend!  On track so far 🙂

This week, Greg requested a classic gin martini.

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As it turns out, the “classic” recipe varies quite a bit, depending on where you look.  Don’t quote me on any of this, but supposedly the original recipe was a 2:1 ratio of gin and sweet vermouth.  Gradually the vermouth changed to dry and the amount used was less and less, sometimes disappearing altogether!

I ventured onto the internet to find some recipes and the amount of vermouth varied quite a bit.  I did find the 2:1 ratio recipe, but I also found a recipe that said to put vermouth in the martini glass, swirl it around to coat, then dump it.  Yet another recipe, credited to Alton Brown, called for adding vermouth to a shaker of ice, swirling it around to coat the ice, then dumping the rest, so the only vermouth is whatever stuck to the ice.  I don’t drink gin martinis often (um…ever) so I had no idea which recipe would suit my tastes.

I decided to follow the guidance of Alton Brown on this one.  I’m still undecided as to whether that was a good idea or not.  Here is a video clip from his show, Good Eats, making a gin martini, cheesy James Bond bit and all.  I do love Alton Brown!

Every interesting fact I know about gin martinis I learned from this video.  For instance, martinis are often made with vodka these days.  As it turns out, vodka and gin are pretty much the same thing, except gin has herbs and juniper added so it is aromatic.  Both liquors are made the same way otherwise.  And I’ll admit, now that I know that, I noticed a similarity in their taste.  Also, you don’t want to shake martinis, despite Mr. Bond’s preference, but should swirl or stir them instead.  The reason is because shaking makes the drink much colder and gin loses its aromatic flavors.  So actually, I suppose if you’re having a martini made of vodka, what’s the harm in shaking it since there are no aromatics to be lost?  Hmmm…

I made both a regular martini and a dirty martini, which is just a small amount of olive brine added.  Turns out, I just don’t like gin martinis.  I suppose over the year, there are going to be some misses, and this was definitely one for me.  Greg didn’t seem particularly fond of it either, though he tolerated it better than me.  It was just soooo much gin!

However, if you are a fan of straight liquor (not me, at least not without a chaser!) and particularly like gin, you will probably love this recipe.

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Gin Martini

Ingredients (per drink)

Crushed ice
1/2 oz dry vermouth
2 1/2 oz gin
A few drops of olive brind (for dirty martini)
Garnish – green olive, cocktail onion, lemon twist – whatever you prefer

Chill your martini glass.  You could put it in the freezer, or fill it with crushed ice and set aside until ready.  Dump the ice before pouring your drink.

Fill a shaker with crushed ice.  Pour vermouth into the shaker and swirl around, coating the ice.  Use a strainer to pour out the vermouth.

Add gin to the vermouth-coated ice in the shaker, as well as olive brine if making dirty.  Place your garnish in the bottom of the martini glass, then strain your martini into the glass.  Serve immediately.

Cheers!

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