Article By: Pink Lady
Since the late ’9Os “martinis” have been all the rage. Dirty Martini, Apple-tini, Choco-tini, Pomegranate-tini – this trend of mixing up a beverage and slapping “tini” on its suffix is the reason a proper martini is one of the most endangered cocktails of all.
For the uninitiated, the earliest recipes for martinis call for gin – not vodka or Sour Apple Schnapps or Pomegrante liqueur, etc. – and a fairly heavy measure of vermouth. We enjoy ours in a 2:1 ratio with a dash of orange bitters and an olive or twist.
All too often when broaching the topic of vermouth, people shudder: “Vermouth? That stuff’s disgusting. I like my martini without it: extra dry, as dry as possible please.” LUPEC’s got news, friends – a martini without vermouth is just a big glass of clear liquor. Ordering it “extra dirty” is cheating: adding as much olive brine as possible to the glass in an attempt to facilitate choking it down means you aren’t ready for a full-flavored cocktail and should probably stick to something more gateway, like a simple sour.
If a “Filthily Dirty Martini” is your standard drink order, we challenge you to 1 cozy up to a bottle of dry vermouth, and 2 try using it in a gin martini. Vermouth is really just fortified wine, aromatized with herbs and spices. It’s nothing more. After you’ve spent your $5 or so on a fresh bottle of Noilly Prat, pour yourself a small glass and take a sip. Floral, mild, with a slightly bitter finish – that wasn’t so bad, was it?
Part of vermouth’s bad reputation lies in the way most modern drinkers store it: in the dusty back corner of the liquor cabinet, to be employed begrudgingly every few years. Improperly stored vermouth goes bad, and indeed bad vermouth tastes “disgusting”. For optimal freshness and preservation, stick that brand new bottle of Noilly Prat in the fridge.
Another contributing factor to vermouth’s bad reputation is that it mixes clumsily with vodka. Gin and vermouth, however, is a lovely match. And when mixed in “vintage” ratios, the beverage has a slightly savory quality. It may be what you were looking for when you poured half the brine from the olive jar into your big glass of vodka.
DRY MARTINI COCKTAIL
ONE PART French (dry) Vermouth
TWO PARTS gin (also dry)
TWO DASHES orange bitters
STIR ingredients over ice in a mixing glass.
GARNISH with an olive if you’re recovering from dirty vodkatini madness;
a lemon twist if not.