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Sep. 13, 2021
The martini cocktail is the world’s most iconic cocktail. While it has a reputation for being just “shaken” vodka or gin, a proper martini cocktail is an elegant balancing act that showcases both the base spirit and the skill of its creator.
So when it comes to ordering a martini cocktail at a bar, a restaurant, or perfecting one at home, it pays to know the basics so you get the right mix in your glass.
A martini cocktail is essentially the uniting of three elements – and good things always come in threes: Spirit + vermouth + garnish.
The rules are increasingly blurred (and we like to add a touch of orange bitters to ours) but these are the fundamental building blocks. It’s safe to say that sickly sweet cocktails such as the appletini are a long way off being what we would refer to as a martini cocktail (just because something has ‘tini’ in the end of it, doesn’t mean it’s a martini cocktail.)
We know it might be intimidating to order a martini cocktail at a bar or stirring one at home. Keep the following guideposts in mind:
Most vodkas aim to be neutral — they talk about the number of distillations and purity. But in a cocktail (and particularly a martini cocktail), this can make it bland and characterless. GREY GOOSE® is a bit different – it was created by François Thibualt, a former Cognac Maître de Chai, who set out to create a vodka with real taste and character. This makes it ideally suited to a cocktail like a martini.
Make sure everything is chilled, both the ingredients and the glass. Ideally, Grey Goose and Noilly Prat® vermouth should be stored between 0-5ºc. Remember to ice down your martini glass as you prepare the drink.
The recommended ratio for a martini cocktail is 5:1 vodka to vermouth, but that’s just a starting point. The difference between a wet and dry martini is the ratio of vermouth to vodka. If you like yours drier, 10:1 is not uncommon. Wetter? Try 2:1. Everyone’s palate is unique. Find what’s pleasing to you.
These days there are any number of ways to customize a martini cocktail. Here are some examples.
Many bartenders see the vodka martini cocktail as the ultimate challenge — because there’s no hiding place, their skill and creativity is paramount in creating a world class drink, rich in character, subtlety and taste. So next time you walk into a bar, feel free to challenge the bartender to create something to your taste. And don’t be afraid to let them be creative!
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