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Raymond

Genuine Martini

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After reading my vodka thread, which veered drastically off topic, I realized that I had never actually made a martini at home. I don't think I have even owned a bottle of vermouth. I shall have to correct that, so I went and looked up martini in Mr. Boston's and found five different recipes for it, depending upon how sweet you like it. Knowing my tastes, I would prefer the sweeter end of the spectrum. I just want to ask, which is the real martini (full recipe)? I read another thread about which gin would be best in it, and some people recommended Tanqueray London Dry Gin, which I have at the house. The only other gin I have right now is Seagram's 102, which absolutely no one mentioned. People tended to like Beefeater, so I may try to pick that up next time.

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Plymouth and Voyager, indeed. Plymouth's historical ties to the Martini are reason enough to keep a bottle on hand (and that it is damn good).

The recent change in Noilly Pratt's recipe removes it from my list for the Martini. It was a favorite. If Dolin's isn't available: Serviceable, historical and very affordable is Martini & Rossi. Even Gallo makes a fairly good dry vermouth for a Martini.

 

I prefer the Dry Martini:

2 parts gin, 1 part dry vermouth and a dash of orange bitters

 

You might prefer the "Original Martini":

1 part gin, 1 part sweet vermouth, dash of orange bitters and some recipes call for a teaspoon of simple syrup.

 

Don't forget the "Perfect Martini":

2 parts gin, 1 part dry vermouth, 1 part sweet vermouth and a dash of orange bitters.

 

Personally, I prefer Regan's Orange Bitters (available at Amazon if you can't find it locally) but Fee Brother's is quite good, too.

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Those recipes are tasty.

 

As for gin, New Amsterdam is dang good if you're on a budget. Bluecoat gin is tasty as well. There are several good gins for martini's. Both those mentioned before this post are my favorites and generally in stock in my closet.

 

Good luck and go into this with an open mind. Tasty, light and refreshing. Makes me want one now.

*smile*

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Also, Raymond, Vermouth is a fortified wine, which means it doesn't keep indefinitely. It's best when new, so buy the smallest bottle available, and refrigerate after opening.

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What they all said. The new Mr. Boston's has a classic cocktail section written by DrinkBoy. The old ones, as I recall, are mostly stuff rehashed from The Dark Ages of American Drinking, i.e. 1969 - 1989.

 

While you're making Martinis, try a Mephisto. It's been meddled with too much to still be considered a Martini, but it's in the same vein. My brand recommendations are in parens.

 

2 1⁄2 oz London Dry Gin (Plymouth, Voyager, Beefeater)

1⁄2 oz Sweet Vermouth (Carpano Antica Fomula, Dolin, Noilly Pratt)

1⁄2 oz Dry Vermouth (Dolin, Noilly Pratt)

2 dashes orange bitters (Angostura Orange, Regans, Fee's Bros.)

1 barspoon each:

Marteau Absinthe, simple syrup and a smokey Scotch Whisky (Laphroaig, Ardbeg)

 

Stir all in well-iced tumbler, strain into chilled cocktail glass, garnish with lemon twist.

 

 

Which brings up another topic: stir vs. shake. A Martini is to be stirred vigorously for about 15 to 30 seconds, then strained into a chilled glass. This is true of most cocktails.

 

Shaking is generally reserved for drinks that contain fruit juices (lemon, lime, grapefruit, pineapple), egg white, or cream.

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Broker's is my standard-- I like the flavor, it's a good price point and it seems to be widely available. It's not a super-premium but I prefer it to Tanq and the Bombays which are similarly priced. Beefeater seems like overpriced Gordon's to me; I don't like it.

 

I'm currently experimenting with Anchor Genevieve (genever/proto-gin) which is artisan-distilled and really, really, weird. It came with a big "No Martinis" warning on the bottle.

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Raymond, I think that plain old "fire plug" bottle of Tanqueray you have at the house will make a great Martini. If you think you might like yours on the sweet side, try making my style, which will get you kicked out of any respectable bar. I use sweet vermouth. ( 3/4 of the people reading this just quit the thread)

 

According to Drinkboy, though, this is the way the Martini was originally made and, if he's correct, I can see why the drink became famous. I love them this way.

 

2.5 ozs gin

.75 ozs sweet vermouth

dash of orange bitters

Stir vigorously with ice, as Gwydiram said, and strain into cocktail glass. Cut your lemon twist over the glass, and then throw it in.

 

The sweet vermouth gives the drink its most notable flavor, so choose carefully. Carpano Antica is my favorite sweet vermouth, but I'm not sure it can be made to work in a Martini because its flavor is so deep and rich. The Dolan red I find unpleasantly vegetal, and not good for anything that calls for sweet vermouth. I like Cinzano (Rosso), but the Martini & Rossi or Vya would also work well. Carpano's 'other' red vermouth, the Punt e Mes, is also quite good, but is so spicy that it changes the drink into something that deserves another name.

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Raymond, I prefer my martinis at the sweeter end of the spectrum as well. I don't make them all that often, but when I do, I tend to go for the "perfect martini". I've been making mine more along the lines of 3:1 gin-to-vermouth, with the vermouth 1/2 sweet and 1/2 dry. Still not entirely happy with that, which is why I often end up making a Bijou when I start out making a martini. I make my Bijou according to DrinkBoy, 1:1:1 gin/sweet/chartreuse, which should have clued me in that I want less gin in my martinis. So ...

 

I've heard only rave reviews of Joe's martinis, so will try his "perfect" recipe next time, but want to confirm first -- Joe, are you really going 2:1:1 gin/dry/sweet in your perfect martini?

 

And WBT's variation looks well worth a try, I have no problem considering leaving out the dry vermouth -- see Bijou, above :pirate:

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I just finished a perfect martini and it was quite pleasant despite the mid shelf booze. I'm going to build another and see if I agree with me.

 

To good gin, Cheers!

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I've heard only rave reviews of Joe's martinis, so will try his "perfect" recipe next time, but want to confirm first -- Joe, are you really going 2:1:1 gin/dry/sweet in your perfect martini?

My Martinis are all about the classic Dry Martini. Quite honestly, I don't remember where that recipe for the Perfect Martini came from. I would advise following the recipe on Drinkboy's website before you try what I tossed down from memory. After all, I may have been drinking.

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The recipe is just fine Joe. If there are folks that are concerned about the gin coming on too strong, the perfect martini recipe will put those concerns to rest. Tasty stuff. Good night all.

 

Cheers!

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Okay, Bill, now don't get into a drunken row with yourself.

 

Brooks, thanks for the vermouth info. That is exactly the kind of thing I had no idea about. Wouldn't have even known to ask.

 

Until reading on WS, I have always just kept my bar on a bookshelf in the dining area and poured straight from there. However, you guys have moved me to clear out space in my freezer and fill it up with the gin, bouron and vodka that I have at the moment. Should rum be added to that? I don't know. I look forward to broad new horizons of trying my favorite drinks freaking cold. I never thought about it before. I recall once giving a girl a bottle of Crown Royal for Christmas and she immediately ran it over to the freezer and shoved it in. I just thought it was a matter of personal taste.

 

My copy of Mr. Boston, now that I look at it, has emblazoned on the front cover "New for this edition: The Perfect Martini". I guess one of these five recipes is supposed to be it. I shall look into the site mentioned above.

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you guys have moved me to clear out space in my freezer and fill it up with the gin, bouron and vodka that I have at the moment.

Don't.

 

Cocktail recipes call for shaking or stirring your mixture with ice, and it isn't just to get the drink cold. The other reason is for dilution. You want the ice to melt into your drink.

 

In fact, if you look at recipes for "bottled" or batched cocktails or punches, ( drinks that you make in large quantities before a party in order to save time and hassle ) you'll see that they include a certain amount of water. This is because if you make the drink in advance, you won't get the necessary amount of water that would have come from shaking the drink with ice before serving.

 

If you keep your booze stored in the freezer, which is a common mistake, it will be so cold that the ice won't melt into your drink when you shake or stir it. It will be nice and cold, but the cocktails you make with it will be too strong and won't have that smoothness that a binder of water creates. Most good cocktail books give this advice somewhere in the "technique" chapter. Most folks don't put gin or whisk(e)y in the freezer, but everybody puts vodka in there, and they're ALL wrong.

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My copy of Mr. Boston, now that I look at it, has emblazoned on the front cover "New for this edition: The Perfect Martini". I guess one of these five recipes is supposed to be it. I shall look into the site mentioned above.

That sounds like the 2005 edition and Robert was in the 2006. Another great website is The Cocktail Database: cocktaildb.com.

 

Don't be misled by the term "perfect". There's a perfect "Martini", and then there's the "Perfect Martini." There's also a "Perfect Manhattan." In each case, it refers to the vermouth used: Sweet, Dry, or a mix of both: Perfect.

 

Also, some recipes call for French vermouth or Italian vermouth.

Sweet = Red = Italian.

Dry = White = French.

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So, you are saying that the word "perfect" in the title is not mere arrogance, but actually implies that both types of vermouth are being used? And, thanks for the advice on spotting the different types. I'm sure some helpful fellow has written all of this stuff down in one convenient place, but I don't know where that is.

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Okay, I obtained some red Martini and Rossi and tried to make a sweet martini at home. It turns out I don't like my drinks quite that sweet. I shall get a bottle of dry vermouth and try Joe's 2:1:1 perfect martini next.

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To be honest, I wrote down the "Sweet Martini" recipe verbatim from Drinkboy's book out of respect, but in real life, I don't use nearly that much red vermouth. Since you already bought the bottle for experimentation purposes, try mixing it again with just enough of the M&R to make the drink about the color of ginger ale. It really shouldn't be all that sweet,at least mine aren't.

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One of Jules' and The Punk's favorite drink is a glass of sweet vermouth on the rocks with an orange twist.* No reason to let the sweet vermouth go to waste. Think cola with real flavor. :cheers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Kudos to G~ for that simple and refreshing lesson.

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I am, as I type, trying out Wild Bill's idea off altering the recipe. I used one shot of gin (Tanq) with one teaspoon of the sweet vermouth. I don't yet have any orange bitters in the house. That will be something for my next grocery run, along with the dry vermouth. Anyway, this idea is much more like it.

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