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DesertWolf

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The only vermouth Ive ever had that doesnt ruin my martinis is no vermouth, of any kind. I am curious though so may have to look for the one.

Edited by MASTERPC

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try dolin.

 

i think the stuff lasts longer than some people claim. i've seen articles and semi-scientific blind tests where people couldn't really tell much difference even after a few weeks. not going to look them up again but they're out there, and match my own experience. especially when i'm using so little in a drink (i actually use more/a little closer to the recipes with dolin though, and it's still good)..

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I know Dolin very well, and most of the other dry vermouths readily available in the US. Of those, the one that, in my experience, has the best staying power is Boissiere, and that is probably due to the fact that it is about 1% higher in alcohol than most other brands.

 

A Martini, by traditional definition, contains vermouth. I know there are people who prefer chilled gin with very little or no vermouth, but just because they choose to call that a Martini, it doesn't make it any more a Martini than if I choose to call a duck a platypus.

 

I read literally shit-tons on this subject, and I've never seen one legitimate article that has convinced me that reasonably perceptive people can't tell the difference between fresh vermouth and that which is opened for a "few weeks".

 

Vermouth is wine. It begins to oxidize the minute it is opened. The only thing that gives it any more legs than standard still wine is the slightly higher abv (approx 16% vs an average 13 - 13.5%) and the higher sugar content. But like everything else in life, there are limits.

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In Downtown Kashmir what that means.

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Watching Sharp Objects so, maybe Im a bit discriminating.

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well, i don't notice much of a difference up to at least 2 weeks. maybe my palate just isn't as nuanced as yours.

Edited by MisterX

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Most dry vermouths will hold pretty well up to two weeks if they are tightly capped and referigerated between uses. Two weeks is quite different from "a few weeks" or "(months old)". I certainly wasn't trying to suggest that people open a new bottle of vermouth every time they make a drink.

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i didn't say i regularly drink months old vermouth. i just said that i just drank the last bit i had left over from a couple of months ago. i had it so i used it. it wasn't so bad. and i honestly think you're overstating the rate at which vermouth spoils, and i'm seriously doubting your ability to detect such a big difference probably up to at least a month, as long as it's properly refrigerated. Noilly Prat apparently claim theirs can last up to 3 months. they actually make the stuff. obviously some kind of deterioration will begin before that point but at what point is it going to be really noticeable, or in your words *ruin* a martini? my dolin was in the fridge probably pushing 3 months and i used a fair amount of it, and the drink tasted fine. so maybe my tastebuds are broken? or just not refined enough? has to be one of those two, i guess.

Edited by MisterX

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Noilly Prat in the fridge, I dont drink martinis out, only home made, always disappointed with restaurant martinis, sometime give one made with vodka and another time, calamari olives were tossed in the bottom of the glass, not even on a tooth pick! Going out with friends, they say, no martinis, I say, they dont have Absinthe, give me a Sam Adams!

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i didn't say i regularly drink months old vermouth.

 

and i honestly think you're overstating the rate at which vermouth spoils, and i'm seriously doubting your ability to detect such a big difference probably up to at least a month, as long as it's properly refrigerated.

For crying out loud. I don't even know why I'm responding to this, but here goes:

 

First, I didn't say that you said that.

 

Second, you are entitled to your opinion on the subjects of vermouth spoilage rates, and my perceptive abilities, but I really can't imagine what you base the latter on. To my knowledge, we don't know each other.

 

Time and refrigeration aren't the only factors that contribute to the oxidation of vermouth. At least as important as time, is how many times the bottle has been opened, allowing a fresh infusion of oxygen into the environment, and how much air space is in the bottle. Let me give you two scenarios:

 

1. A bottle is opened once and 1/4 ounce is used, the bottle is capped and fridged and not used again for a long time. That bottle might very well be sound a couple months later since only a small volume of oxygen was ever introduced and a relatively large volume of liquid is being acted upon.

 

2. A bottle is opened every 2 or 3 days and 3/4 ounce is used each time. In 3 weeks that bottle will have been opened about 9 times, each time replentishing an ever greater volume of oxygen. If it's a 375ml bottle, slightly over half the vermouth will now be gone. In my experience, this is about the point at which oxidation rates dramatically increase. In another week, my experience is that most dry vermouths will be showing critical oxidation.

 

 

... or in your words *ruin* a martini?

Actually, that was originally your word. I simply aped it to add emphasis and continuity to my quip and contrary opinion.

 

my dolin was in the fridge probably pushing 3 months and i used a fair amount of it, and the drink tasted fine. so maybe my tastebuds are broken? or just not refined enough? has to be one of those two, i guess.

Or maybe something else, which is that perhaps you have become accustomed to tasting oxidized vermouth. I might suggest that the next time you are down to that level in a bottle with more than 3 or 4 weeks on it, buy a fresh bottle and do a side by side. I'll bet you'll be stunned at the difference.

 

It's been my opinion for a long time now that the reason so many people use far too little or no vermouth (or olive brine or whatever) in Martinis, is because they are getting highly oxidized vermouth either out at establishments, or from their own stash because they don't realize that it is perishable at some point. It's too bad because a well proportioned and well made Martini is one of the greats in the pantheon of American mixed drinks.

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The only vermouth Ive ever had that doesnt ruin my martinis is no vermouth, of any kind. I am curious though so may have to look for the one.

That would be a seriously worthy pursuit. As I've already said, the Martini is one of the greats in American mixed drinks. And yet it's so simple... gin, vermouth, bitters, garnish. If this looks familiar, it's because the Martini is one of the 'old-school' drinks that actually is a true cocktail (spirit + sugar + water + bitters). Nobody knows for sure who 'invented' it, but if the truth were known, I'd bet multiple mixologists of the day were all spinning them up, unknown to each other. It really was just a natural progression. When vermouth became widely available (in the later 1800s), bartenders began using it prolifically to replace plain sugar in the true cocktail, that form known as the 'fancy' cocktail (a cocktail sweetened with an ingredient other than plain sugar). At first they were made with sweet gin and sweet vermouth, but as the turn of the century approached, consumer tastes in this drink began to trend drier (however still more sweet than current general trends), and hence the move to dry vermouth at a 1:1 ratio, and then progressively drier ratios. The sweeter composition has held in the sibling drink, the Manhattan. Although known and documented, the dry Manhattan never caught on like the dry Martini did. And I submit that it's because it really isn't a very winning combination (whiskey and dry vermouth).

 

There's reasons why both these drinks have become such enduring classics. Of course there's the sympatico with regard to flavors and aromas of the base spirit and the modifier in each (whiskey, especially rye, and sweet vermouth in the Manhattan, and gin and sweet or dry vermouth in the Martini) that's really hard to beat. But moreover, from a textural standpoint, the combination of spirit and wine is absolutely sensual and hedonistic. And this is why I think people really short change themselves when they make Martinis with little or no vermouth. There's also the visual effect of this combo, especially with the Martini, and especially when using a dry vermouth that is close to colorless (Noilly Prat ED and Dolin are both good examples). When mixed with gin, the combination of viscosity and the resulting light refraction characteristics results in an almost 'other worldly' liquid-silver look. And that's part of the appeal. Even though from a historical standpoint, the Martini is 'old school', its look has always been chic, modern, and timeless. I'm not even sure which would be which, but I've always thought that the Manhattan and the Martini are the little black dress and tuxedo of the cocktail world.

 

In Downtown Kashmir what that means.

 

So anyway, MPC, my advice would be the same as the very good advice offered to you by Mr. Ekks...

 

try dolin.

Dolin is a great place to start for anyone who wants to begin to experience a properly composed Martini. It's very high quality, gentle and somewhat floral, and not wildly assertive. What it does give you is those visual and textural characteristics that make the drink so appealing. If I never had a Martini made for the rest of my life with anything other than Dolin, that wouldn't suck.

 

Gins? Personally, I like a reasonably traditional profile, and you need good quality in this drink. With just four other ingredients, and the types of ingredients (vermouth, bitters, lemon oil, and water), it's got nowhere to hide. Beefeater, Plymouth, Perry's Tot, Botanist, and Tanqueray 10 are all good choices. Marc's Voyager is outstanding in a Martini. Although a little more 'rough and tumble' than these others, I really like Broker's, and it's an exceptional value.

 

If you don't have orange bitters, you'll need some. In the last 10 - 15 years we've gone from practically non-existent to lots of choices. Of the ones with which I'm familiar, if I had to pick just one for Martini use, it would probably be Bitter Truth.

 

And Lemon... just make sure it's healthy... fresh, firm, and has good color. Olives are the other common garnish, but personally I like a few assorted olives on a side plate. The drink itself, IMO, is always better with a twist.

 

Assembly

 

In a cold mixing glass goes: Gin, vermouth, bitters. Add ice and stir a good 35 - 45 seconds. This drink is all about cold. Just make sure your mixing glass is cold. You don't, however, want it frozen... no freezer. If it's that cold, you'll have difficulty pulling enough water from your ice when you stir, and you do want some dilution.

 

Into a chilled service glass: strain the drink. You want your service glass as cold as you can get it... freezer OK. Remember, with any drink served strained (no ice), the only thing that resists warming is the system of the drink itself and the chilled glass.

 

Twist nice sized strip of lemon peel over the drink and lightly grace the rim. Peel then can go in or discard... either works.

 

Ratios

 

When I'm experimenting with something new, drink wise, I usually default to the pre-prohibition build of 2 ounces of total material. You can always size up whenever you want. Here are various ratios, just so you don't have to do the math. For all these, for now, I would default to 1 full size dash of bitters. 2 could be acceptable, but certainly no more.

 

1:1... 1 oz gin, 1 oz vermouth.

 

2:1... 1.33 oz gin, .66 oz vermouth.

 

3:1... 1.5 oz gin, .50 oz vermouth.

 

4:1... 1.6 oz gin, .40 oz vermouth.

 

5:1... 1:66 oz gin, .33 oz vermouth.

 

If you really get into this, you'll find that each gin will have a sweet spot, for you, regarding ratio. However, I find that 3:1 works very universally well. Like I said, in each gin instance, there could arguably be something better, but 3:1 is never bad, and it's my default when spinning one up with an unfamiliar gin.

 

DISCLAIMER... This is just my personal opinion. There are plenty of recommended recipes that call for even higher gin to vermouth ratios. In my opinion, I think beyond 5:1, that's when you are moving clearly out of Martini-land. There simply isn't sufficient enough vermouth to maintain the character and identity of this drink (you're pretty much drinking just chilled gin at that point, and there's a name for that). I'm not saying the drink would be bad, I'm just saying that I no longer consider it to be a Martini. I think the majority of those recommended ratios (up to 15:1, recommended by Hemmingway), are the desire of hard core alcoholics, or those with vermouth-o-phobia resulting from earlier discussed mishandling.

 

So there you have it. Let us know how it goes. And always remember:

 

Q. Why is the Martini like a woman's breasts?

 

A. Because one isn't enough and three are too many.

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Evil Twin Brewing's The Flava Influencer/ Molotov Suprise.

 

Glad to see someone is as passionate about Martinis as I am, nice post FPB. :thumbup:

 

I must also say Voyager shines in anything you utilize it in from my experience. Damn do I miss it.

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Thanx, Cajun. That's the way it is with Martini drinkers, though.

 

You know, there's that old joke about if you're stranded on a desert island and loosing all hope, just pull out your portable Martini kit and start to spin one up. Within seconds four guys will pop out of the bush to tell you you're doing it wrong, but at least you'll be rescued!

 

No shit about the Voyager. Gotta get that back in CT.

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New fashion (Hendricks gin, Lillet blanc, Aperol aperitif, Peychauds bitter and orange peel).

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Dogfish Head Bourbon Barrel Aged Palo Santo Marron 2018.

 

13.3% and smooth as silk perfection in a brown ale.

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Mango margarita followed by a Pua Hana (kahlua, Bailey’s, grand margnier and a dash of coffee with cream on the top. Have to have my cream to finish things off. ;^>).

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Unibroue's Terrible Belgian Quad.  Can Canadian Belgian's be better than Belgium's Belgian's?  I love this beer.  Thank you Jerry Vietz for all you do to make the world a better place.

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