I’m going to get off the Scotch high horse here for a bit and talk about my favorite before dinner drink… a nice smooth mildly dry Martini.
Gin. A Martini is made with Gin. Good Gin. Not crappy Gin. Not Gin-and-Tonic Gin. Smooth, floral, spicy, tasty Gin. With Vermouth and Olives.
Not Vodka. Not cranberry. Not orange slices.
Gin. Vermouth. Olive.
I’m going to get a bit snobby here and even qualify what Gins are allowed (yes, I used allowed, not recommended) for a Martini.
Plymouth. Hendricks. Beefeater.
You can take your Tanqueray Gin and save it for when you have a bunch of sophomores coming over for a frat party or some stupid shit like that. Yuck. (I re-worded that to tone down my negative sentiments toward the harsh tasting awful after-tasting Tanqueray stuff).
Bombay? Yeah, I’ll take some Bombay. I recall many hours over several days spent sipping Bombay Sapphires and Tonics on a lazy river at a hotel in Saipan. I didn’t leave the hotel for three days, ate salmon and lox on bagels for breakfast, and drank my lunch and dinner. In an inner-tube. On a river. Flipping fantastic. The steadiest and longest lasting buzz I’ve ever had. Also, an awful sun burn. But the drinks were amazing. Every time my tube came around the bar-corner, the buy-me-drink-girl had a Bombay and Tonic waiting for me. I drank so many of those slow sipped under the Saipan sun that… well I’m at a loss.
Point is, use Bombay for your Gin and Tonics. Not your Martinis.
My current favorite for a Martini is Hendricks. I like very little Vermouth (I’ve acquired a taste for Gin) and an olive.
I often like a Dirty Martini, where they splash a little of the olive brine in. Fantastic. The best Gin for a Dirty Martini? Beefeater. Cheaper than Hendricks, and you’re not wasting a smoother Gin on a briny Martini.
Are there better Gins out there than Plymouth and Hendricks? Absolutely. Don’t use them in a Martini. Save them for sipping straight. Either neat or with one ice cube.
Examples? I have only one… Monkey 47. The best Gin on the planet. You can quote me. The best.
So, back to the point of this post: I like Martinis. Specifically, I like them made this way…
4oz Beefeater (or Plymouth or Hendricks) Gin
1/2 to 3/4 oz Dry Vermouth (we’re talking the dry French stuff here)
Stirred or shaken with or over ice
Strained into your Martini glass
Garnished with two green olives
You always serve your Martini with two olives. One for you and one for a friend.
A friend once told me that.