5@5 -  Mixing the perfect martini
August 9th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Sean Connery may have solidified the phrase "shaken, not stirred" in America's pop culture lexicon by way of the James Bond classic Goldfinger, but it seems Britain's favorite secret service agent might be doing his martini wrong if Carl Nolet, Jr. has anything to say about it.

As an 11th generation member of the Nolet Distillery Family, let's just say Carl knows a thing or two about how to properly saddle up to a cocktail.

Five Steps To Mixing the Perfect Martini: Carl Nolet, Jr.

1. Stirred, not shaken
"In my opinion, to truly create the perfect gin martini, stir your gin in a mixing tin with ice - this is a more delicate way of mixing and helps avoid bruising the botanicals in the gin."

2. Perfect your glassware
"There’s a reason that martini glasses are shaped the way they are - the stem allows the drink to stay cold, while the wide open brim produces surface tension that helps bring out the gin’s bouquet. Having the proper glassware is just as important as using the correct technique."

3. Keep it simple
"To truly appreciate the flavors found within the gin, skip the vermouth and olives. My perfect gin martini is simple: stirred and served up in a martini glass."

4. Complement the gin botanicals with the right garnish
"While a lemon twist is a classic garnish, think outside the box and pair your garnish to the defining flavors within your gin of choice. For example, you can garnish with a rose petal, three raspberries on a silver pick or a luscious peach slice for a unique twist."

5. Sip and enjoy!
“I really enjoy gin’s complex flavor palate and refreshing botanicals - especially in the summertime.”

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Sip • Spirits • Think

soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. Steuben

    So right about the right glass for the right cocktail. Besides the perfect look, the right crystal barware brings out the best in the drink.

    August 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  2. Edgar

    This article says nothing except to drink straight Gin chilled in a martini glass. The quality of articles on CNN are crap.

    August 11, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • sheldon

      so what you think, stupid?

      August 11, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • MalaDee@Edgar

      Sorry to see you wasted money on that reading comprehension class. Try home ec instead.

      August 11, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • Things not to say in bed.

      38. And to think, I didn't even have to buy you dinner!

      August 11, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  3. kerry

    A drink is a drink ;)

    August 11, 2011 at 2:50 am |
  4. jo

    potato vodka is the key

    August 10, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  5. Scott

    "To truly appreciate the flavors found within the gin, skip the vermouth and olives."

    That's not a martini, that's just straight gin. Carl Nolet Jr. fails.

    August 10, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  6. jujubeans

    WRONG! It's gotta be gin, rinse the glass with vermouth, one big olive.

    August 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  7. Pete

    Came into this thinking that the information was going to be terrible, but this is exactly how to make a martini.

    August 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  8. Snookii

    Beer and Jager is all you need, me and my girl Deena are "a blast in glass" TAXI SONO QUI!

    August 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  9. Bristoll

    Not for nothing, but Bond's drink was a VODKA martini, "shaken, not stirred".

    This gin martini thing is about as much like James Bond as Daniel Craig's absolute butchering of 50 years of tradition with his now infamous request for a "Mount Gay & Soda".

    Bond is dead, and Daniel Craig killed him. At least the vodka martini lives on.

    August 10, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Truth@Bristoll

      Bond was a liberal stooge, just so you know.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
      • Bristoll

        Don't look now, but that bygone era was one where "liberal" and "conservative" weren't words that initiated hostilities.

        Who cares what his party affiliation was, Comrade?

        August 10, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
      • Scott

        Bond was a fictional character, just so you know

        August 10, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  10. Jenee

    If you drink martinis, you are an alcoholic. Without exception.

    August 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Snookii

      So the "night train" you drink is ok?

      August 10, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  11. Dale

    Try this one: equal parts Hendricks Gin & Absolut 100 vodka, a splash of vermouth & 1/2 tsp olive juice. Not a true martini, but it is tasty & one heckuva buzz!

    August 10, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • HeezHowzaHooza

      Leave out the vermouth and olives and you've got yourself a nice Clear Thinker.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  12. Aaron

    Bruising the botanicals... sounds incredibly stupid.

    I'm betting the martini snob that wrote this article wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a shaken or stirred martini no matter how "delicately" it was stirred.

    August 10, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  13. JEM

    A martini is gin and vermouth, not vodka and vermouth. And don't tell me shite on the abominable trend of calling anything served in a martini glass a martini. Appletinis, chocotinis and the like are not martinis and I resent having bartenders ask what kind of martini I want when there is only one "kind" of martini.

    August 10, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • jujubeans

      amen, brother!

      August 10, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  14. les

    enjoying a martini - or any beverage in moderation is totally OK - why all the thinking that a person has gone over the deep end if you enjoy that one drink? chill people

    August 10, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  15. jay

    Here's my perfect martini – :
    200ml glass bottle – with Beefeater gin and Noily Prat French vermouth – ratio: 16 to 1 – freezer over night – not shaken or stirred, but poured into chilled 5oz. martini glass – garnished with Spanish olives

    August 10, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • R


      August 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  16. vk

    Keep it simple
    "To truly appreciate the flavors found within the gin, skip the vermouth and olives. My perfect gin martini is simple: stirred and served up in a martini glass."

    Gin without vermouth is no longer a martini. Simply, a "gin up". What a stupid article.

    August 10, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • Truth@vk

      Your table is ready in the STFU lounge.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • jujubeans

      I agree. Not a martini

      August 10, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  17. bachmanntwit

    Here in the Bachmann household we believe that those who partake of spirits will suffer eternal damnation.

    August 10, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • HeavyDrinker

      Yup. *Hic*

      August 10, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • hi-larious

      shut the front door that's some good $h!t.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  18. Paulo

    Sounds like the best martini is to just grab the gin bottle from the freezer and take a swig. No bruising, no dilution, no added flavors. Snobbery, meet reality.

    August 10, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  19. AleeD

    Never been a fan of the traditional martini. I have, however, been enjoying The Living Daylights out of these nuevo tinis that have hit bars & restaurants over the last several years. They're calling anything served in a martini glass a "martini." That doesn't bother me but I know purists who are outraged. ;) I just raise my luscious caramel-apple-tini to them and enjoy.

    August 10, 2011 at 8:01 am |
  20. jpip

    Chill your martini glass. Put a splash of vermouth in the glass. Swirl it around to coat the sides and pour it out. Then pour in your chilled gin. Garnish with two olives.
    Of course, that's just a matter of taste as is the subject of the article and in arguments of taste (or opinion), there is no argument. Drink it (or whatever you like) however you want to...

    August 10, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  21. ibrad

    Try different things & do what you like! Stir,shake or jiggle. Listen to yourself not these so-called pros. Ever like a movie that all critics say was bad, bad ,bad ? Trust yourself!

    August 10, 2011 at 2:52 am |
    • Dommi Natricks@ibrad

      "jiggle" a martini?! LOL! Place a filled shaker between two jugs & jiggle ... 'til ... whatever floats your boat. ~_~

      August 10, 2011 at 7:43 am |
  22. kayjulia

    Most people don't know what they are ordering/drinking anyway ask 'em what a Gibson is and you'll get a blank stare ask what a Rob Roy is and they'll Who? These kids don't know beans about beans! I know this straight Gin is just that straight Gin and not a Martini a Martini has Vermouth and really good Vermouth is smooth and drinkable all by its self your choice of fruit or veggie in it is personal preference has no bearing on the drink. Shaken to death is not appealing as stirred but a quick shake to cool the mix is okay this business of bruising is Bull Sh**, pouring vermouth and gin back and forth two maybe three times good too, especially if you have kept both the gin and the vermouth very cold. This is a grownups drink kiddies need the sweet stuff and that's fine too jus don't mess with my Martini ... oh 4×1 and if you have to ask which is 4 and which is one you don't know beans ....

    August 10, 2011 at 2:10 am |
  23. Lushrimfire

    Shake my Manhatten and I'll refuse it and send it back, all liquor is subject to so called'bruising' , whiskey, especially scotch can be completely ruined by even the slightest shaking, unfortunately our latest generation of so-called mixologists are undertrained, ignorant to to finer points of liquor and are more interested in showboating for tips and pounding out quantity instead of quality libations.

    August 10, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • scotty

      After all the torture of fermentation, double distillation and years stuck in a burned barrel, how the heck is getting rattled by a few cubes of ice going to bruise your Manhattan? And why the heck are you ruining perfectly good scotch or bourbon by diluting it with wine and bitters? Who taught you how to drink, your mommy?

      August 10, 2011 at 2:14 am |
  24. Mar Tini

    I am not as drunk as some thinkle peep I am....................so ther

    August 9, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  25. 0014-cause im twice as good as 007

    although i agree with those who state a martini contains gin and not vodka, i thought i would add to the article claiming connery (referring to bond) got shaken not stirred wrong...the novels where our british agent were created have bond creating his own drink called the "vesper martini" named after a b**ch who really ran him over...this drink contains:1 part gin, 1 part vodka, 1/2 part apertif wine, and a twist of lemon...absolutely dreadful, not a martini, but a bond cocktail that has been diluted over the years of movies..i love my gin, hendricks anybody??

    August 9, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • Mechanical Designeri@0014

      0014 is not twice 007. 014 is twice. You have actually claimed to be about 1/5 as good as 007. Ease off the 'tini's a bit before posting.

      Nice reference to the Bond novels, tho'.

      August 10, 2011 at 7:36 am |
  26. @drinkandbemerry

    After tending bar more years than I care to remember, I find martini drinkers are the hardest to please. Everybody has preference for a detail they simply can't do without and no two martini drinkers agree on all the details. It's a no-win situation. I learned early not to let it get under my skin.

    The very best martini? The one I make at home for myself.

    August 9, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • Kris

      I absolutely agree. And I can't understand why people get so bent out of shape if your preference isn't theirs. I don't mind a guest at my bar who gives me instructions if they need to be THAT picky. Just be polite.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:15 am |
  27. Keith

    Addressing all of the misconceptions and plain BS out there about the Martini is endless but here are a few observations:

    – chilling the gin (or vodka) is not recommended. Most cocktails benefit from the dilution that comes through mixing (or shaking) with ice. The flavors of the botanicals (in both the gin and vermouth) will be more apparent with slight dilution.

    – Shaking arguably makes a somewhat colder drink but to me the crystal clarity of a stirred martini (or Manhattan) is much preferable to the murky initial appearance of a shaken one; to say nothing of the unattractiveness of the floating ice shards.

    – as a number of people have said- if it is made with vodka it isn't a Martini. Martinis are made with gin. Period.

    – a "Vodka Martini" is NOT a "Gibson". A Gibson is a (gin) Martini garnished with an onion instead of an olive or a citrus twist.

    – the proper name for a "Vodka Martini" is a "Kangaroo Cocktail", at least according to David Embury's "Fine Art of Mixing Drinks" (later editions.)

    – the "proper" proportions of gin to vermouth have changed radically over the years with as much as 1/2- 1/2 being common in the early 20th century (along with orange bitters).

    – I like a 3:1 Martini with a dash of orange bitters. Straight-up gin to me seems lazy and the exact antithesis of the elegance an precision of a well-made martini- regardless of ones preferred proportions.

    August 9, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • Dave Lieberman

      You've hit it spot on, Keith. Starting with bar-temperature gin and stirring it to chill and dilute it slightly is the right idea. Shaking dilutes the drink more and causes the drink to dilute further (those little chips of ice are going to melt somewhere, and unless you strain through the finest bar strainer in history, they're going to melt into your drink and dilute it further).

      Gibsons are, as you say, martinis with cocktail onions (often preserved in vermouth) in place of olives. I have a great dislike for creatively-stuffed olives in my drink—no bleu cheese in my apéritif, please—but I have to say that one of the best variations I ever had was a martini with a smoked olive from a company called Org_smo de la Boca (it won't let me post the full name). It was a memorable cocktail.

      Honestly, if people disagree, let them experiment—the worst that happens is they drink several more martinis than they might otherwise, and that might not be a bad thing.

      August 9, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
  28. Pierre A.

    It was a line from the movie "Auntie Mame" with Rosalind Russell as Mame when her adopted nephew Patrick says something like: Shaking bruises the gin.

    August 9, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
  29. azbankr

    Another step not mentioned is to start with "clean" ice. Going to some bar to order a perfect martini with ice from an ice machine will ruin it. Better to stay at home and make your own "clean" ice and enjoy there.

    August 9, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
  30. JPD

    My perfect martini is painfully dry – pour vermouth in a metal shaker over ice, swirl it around and pour almost all of it out! Then add Beefeater gin, and shake vigorously. Add blue cheese stuffed olives on a glass stick. The classic martini glass (long stem, wide top) should be right out of the freezer. Having one right now!

    August 9, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
  31. tazer warrior princess

    Who doesn't love martinis. ;-)

    August 9, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
  32. Angel

    Its amazing what little simple adjustments made can turn any event into a most memorable one i would like to thank everyone for sharing the knowledge on martinis would be great to all meat and have one of these martinis it would be great over dinner after all this is a distinguished drink and consumed usually by interesting down to earth people r u sure were not related!

    August 9, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
  33. Lost Wages Joe

    Here's how you do it:

    Fill your shaker half-way with good clean ice. Add a dash of dry vermouth. Cover and shake (if the ice was cubes instead of crushed, shake VIOLENTLY to break-up the ice). Pour off the vermouth. Fill the shaker to about 3/4s full with Hendrick's gin (or Tanqueray in a pinch). Shake it again, 'til the shaker is so cold it hurts your hands. Pour into a clean Martini glass, garnish with 1 big green olive, or 2 small ones, or alternately a twist of lemon peel. Drink, and if necessary, repeat.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • Dave Lieberman

      What you're describing is called an in-and-out martini, except that classically it would be stirred. (I have no objection to people asking for "a martini, shaken"—I just hate having to sidle up to a bar and say, "A gin martini, don't skip the vermouth, stirred, with one olive."

      And even then, in one particular bar—Elephant Bar in Burbank, California, I am TALKING ABOUT YOU—the next question was, "Up, or on the rocks?"

      August 9, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
  34. Ted

    There is a drink called a "Perfect Martini".... What is described is chilled Gin with some sort of garnish... NOT a Perfect Martini. This article loses all credibility with that asinine description. Poorly done. Thumbs down.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  35. Chuck

    Shaken or stirred?

    They're different, but I like them both. Shaken has a lighter flavor and texture. Stirred preserves the syrup-like texture of cold gin (or vodka) and the prefect clarity. But shaking gives you little chips of ice which are nice too. Neither is "perfect" over the other. Sometime I feel like shaken, sometimes I want stirred.

    What the author misses, what is the single MOST IMPORTANT thing in a Martini, is the CHILL! A martini must be ice-cold. Start the day before hand by putting your spirit (gin or vodka) into the freezer; it's won't freeze because it's 80 proof. Better yet, just keep your gin or vodka in the freezer all the time. Chill your glass in the freezer at least an hour before hand. Better yet, just keep a few glasses in the freezer at all times. If you shake, use plenty of ice. Make the drink up fast. The chill is the most important thing.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • azbankr

      I always keep a bottle of vodka in the freezer, right next to my stash of cash.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
      • packin' heat

        ...and my gun

        August 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  36. Snobby Jim

    Carl Nolet Jr. is the proprietor of the distillery that makes Ketel One vodka, plus a Dutch-style gin that I do not believe is distributed outside of Holland (hence I have never tried it). While he makes an outstanding vodka, I believe he may have been misquoted for this article, or his understanding of physics is not quite up to par.

    Referring to martini glassware, he notes the "... wide open brim produces surface tension." I suspect he means "surface area." A liquid in a container with a wider opening will have more surface area than one in a narrower container, and hence will evaporate more rapidly. The "surface tension" of a liquid is not dependent on the size of the container it is in, though.

    Another annoyance about this article: a "perfect martini" is a specific cocktail, one made with an equal ratio of sweet vermouth to dry vermouth, in addition to the gin. Any drink made with a an equal ratio of sweet and dry vermouths is properly called a "perfect" cocktail, such as a perfect Manhattan. I believe the "perfect" in this case refers to the word's earlier connotations of "balanced" or "tempered." The typical martini made with gin and dry vermouth alone is properly called the "dry martini."

    And, apologies again to Mr. Nolet, but I am sick of hearing about how shaking a cocktail will "bruise" the gin. You cannot bruise gin. Gin bruises you. The drink that fueled the military behind the largest empire in history, and in its more unsavory guises blinded or killed untold hundreds of unfortunates, cannot be harmed by a mere toss of the wrist. Besides, I defy anyone to quantifiably tell me the difference in taste between gin that has been shaken and gin that has not.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Chuck

      "... I am sick of hearing about how shaking a cocktail will "bruise" the gin. You cannot bruise gin. Gin bruises you."

      Exactly. And well-put. I have no idea what "bruise" means in this context. If you're going to shake, shake it long and hard.

      Oh... and Oxo makes the best shaker.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Ted

      Thank you, thank you, thank you Snobby Jim!!! But in this case I'll call you "Dead On Jim"! Thanks for mentioning the "Perfect Martini" and bruising.... In my POV, the article loses its credibility when these type of blatant mistakes are made. Thanks again!

      August 9, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
      • Ted

        PS: Don't apologize to Mr. Nolet. He is the 'expert' making rookie mistakes in an international format. He deserves the ridicule. He shouldn't be given the opportunity again to muddy the waters with inaccuracies such as this.

        August 9, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      I'll note that I think the difference is in the article – the vs a. The perfect martini is like saying the perfect pizza crust, grilled cheese or roasted chicken. How to make that item perfectly.

      If he'd said "a Perfect Martini" – that's the name of the cocktail. He went with the former. No cred lost on that front.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:59 am |
    • dirty vodka girl

      i love ketel one.
      and you.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  37. Cathy

    Your on my favorite subject! I am always wanting to create and experiment with martinis. Now try this! Grilled pineapple, grilled jalepanos and now marinate them with a bottle of tequila for 10 days! fill your shaker with ice add 4 shots of the tequila 1/2 shot of triple sec and top off with margarita mix. Now shake! Make sure the glasses are frozen, rim with salt and thats it !makes 2 perfect martinis! Now Let your imagination run wild! Marinate your favorite fruit in vodka or gin! Got to go earthquake!

    August 9, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • whisper vermouth

      How can anyone call this a martini? It's not the glass the drink is served in, it's the drink, stupid.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:37 am |
      • Conrad Shull

        Exactly. If I put whiskey, cola, orange juice, red wine and chocolate sauce in a frosty mug, is that a beer?

        August 11, 2011 at 8:24 am |
  38. Almost martini time

    Bombay Sapphire martini stirred not shaken with 3 large green olives and touch of vermouth, just the way I like them.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Ted

      Try the exact recipe with London Dry Gin. My fave! I like my Bombay Sapphire with tonic and a lime.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  39. MedicMax

    I like my martini like I like my women: A little bit dirty and full of gin.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Retired Jersey Cop

      See – I like my martinis like I like MY women...

      ...a little sweet (using sweet vermouth),
      ...a little dirty (just a touch of olive juice or it overpowers the gin),
      ...and 2 nice olives (need I say more)...

      August 10, 2011 at 9:22 am |
      • dirty gin girl

        loves it...

        August 10, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  40. Tim Knecht

    The fastest, easiest way to ruin a martini, whether it's made with a high or low quality vodka or gin, is to use a cheap vermouth. ALWAYS use a good quality vermouth.

    (And, and martini is gin and vermouth; a vodka martini is vodka and vermouth. Whatever the bull-**** drinks these newbies make with chocolate and raspberry and a zillion other additives are, they are NOT martinis. WORDS HAVE MEANINGS, and "martini" means gin and vermouth (or, if very, very, very dry, only gin), and ""vodka martini" means vodka and vermouth (or, if very, very, very dry, only vodka). These children can have their sugary-sweet, kindergarten drinks; just DON'T CALL THEM MARTINIS.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Chuck

      Martini is a white-hot spot-light, front-and-center, starring role for gin or vodka. A bit of vermouth, and a twist of lemon zest accompany in the background. But the gin/vodka is the star. Always use your best gin/vodka for a martinti.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
      • whisper vermouth

        keep your lemon zest and give me a cocktail onion. Oh yeah, that makes it a Gibson. NM

        August 10, 2011 at 1:35 am |
  41. Susan

    Cold gin in a stem glass does not a martini make.

    August 9, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
  42. uhmbutyeahno

    Martini's are vodka or gin mixed with vermouth; cold gin is not a martini.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  43. Dave Lieberman

    No offense to Mr. Nolet, whose family's distillery makes a good gin, but gin stirred with ice and served up is not a martini. Waving a closed bottle of vermouth over the stirring cup does not make it a martini, either. A martini is gin and vermouth, stirred and served up with either an olive (one! olive!) or a lemon twist. I personally like 4:1 as my ratio of gin to vermouth, but most people like 5:1.

    As for the business of shaking vs. stirring, there's no such thing as "bruising the botanicals." The reason you don't shake a martini is because you don't need to; shaking is what bartenders do to convince two liquids of different densities to play well together. You shake a margarita, because simple syrup is heavier than either tequila or lime juice (or, if you like, triple sec).

    Shaking makes a colder and more diluted drink, which does mute the flavors of the ingredients; if you've ever noticed that ice cream tastes much sweeter after it's melted than when it's still frozen, you know the idea. Also, if you shake a martini you will end up with shards of ice floating on top of the drink, which is annoying when trying to drink it.

    People who like vodka and vermouth (or not) with olives, please, please invent a new name for your cocktail so that when I go to a bar and order a martini I don't have to give a bloody recipe with it.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • ragarts

      Amen Dave. A martini is gin and vermouth, not vodka and vermouth. And don't get me started on the abominable trend of calling anything served in a martini glass a martini. Appletinis, chocotinis and the like are not martinis and I resent having bartenders ask what kind of martini I want when there is only one "kind" of martini.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • me

      Well written, thank you.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • Almost martini time

      Dave, for anyone and bartenders that knows their drinks a vodka martini does have a name... it is called a Gibson. It's made the same as a Gin martini but with a pickled onion instead of olives. So if ure bartender asks what kind of martini you would like either gin or vodka then he/she doesn't know their drinks.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
      • Brad

        The problem is too many people who are never taught to drink, they pick it up at a frat party or whatever. Granted there are too many bartenders who don't know what they are doing. But if you order a Gibson in my bar you get gin, vermouth and a cocktail onion. If you want a martini made with vodka, it's is either a vodka tini or a vodka martini.
        And a "perfect martini" has both sweet and dry vermouth it is something I have never made, but have seen in cocktail books for the better part of two decades.

        August 9, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
      • ravishing

        a gibson is made with gin.

        August 10, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
      • Once And For All

        A martini contains gin, vermouth and an olive.
        A Gibson is a martini (see definition above) except it has an onion instead of an olive.

        When you want a vodka martini, you ask for a vodka martini. There is no name for it anymore. It used to be a Kangaroo or simply a vodkatini but those names are no more. It's just a vodka martini.

        August 10, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • MJ

      Bravo sir, bravo!

      August 9, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • ralph t

      Well said, my kind sir.

      August 9, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • whisper vermouth

      Sometimes a slight dilution of the liquor allows the flavors in it to bloom. Same concept as ordering a whiskey with a splash.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • Retired Jersey Cop

      Bravo! Hear Hear!

      You have no idea how many times I've sent a drink BACK because the bartender used vodka instead of gin – even though I have specified "GIN MARTINI"!

      *SIGH* My only vice left to me now – my going out once a month for 2 martinis and a cigar...

      August 10, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • Nats

      Yes! Ice cold gin (Bombay Sapphire), vermouth and olives. No more, no less.

      August 10, 2011 at 9:19 am |
      • ScottyRew

        That's a great drink, if you leave out the vermouth and olives...

        August 11, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Ant928

      Well said...I was about to ask that too. I'm an ex-bartender and was thinking "But wait...he's making a...chilled...double shot...with garnish?"

      I was starting to think I was missing something...

      August 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • barkeep

      As someone who has bartended the last 16 years, I agree that there are a lot of bad bartenders out there. But all I ask is before you get upset with a bartender that asks "What kind?" when you order a martini, think of how many martinis that bartender may have had sent back because they were properly made. Most bartenders do know that a martini is gin and vermouth, but most "martinis" bartenders make are not that. The "-tini" craze (thankfully dying out) may have ruined the ease of ordering your favorite drink, but don't get upset with the bartender. We're just trying to do our job the most efficient way. Now, if when your martini arrives its not properly made (say vodka was used when you specifically ordered gin), complain away. But please, a moment of grace for what is taken as ignorance, when its only bowing to a fad that some bartenders don't agree with. Trust me. I don't want to play twenty questions with you when you order. It takes away from getting your cocktail to you.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Nicky Cee

      Dave Lieberman - EXACTLY! I was posting the same message when I read yours. Why does this writer think that cold gin is a martini? It is cold gin! 5 to 1 is the perfect ratio and I don't care if you shake or stir, as long as either is done gently and quickly so gin doesn't get watered down (the fancy way of saying "watered down"? Bruised.)

      August 10, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • HeezHowzaHooza

      Agreed on all counts. If you want chilled gin alone in a cocktail glass, order it – don't call it a Martini, that's like calling a pizza without pepperonis a "pepperoni pizza". Hmmm...that sounded better in my head, but I think the point is made. "Vodka Martini" could be a V&V or something.

      And this notion of "bruising the gin" or what have you has been around forever – as other people have noted, it's pure nonsense and it's a shame that people who should know better choose to perpetuate it. I guess it just sounds good to say.

      August 11, 2011 at 9:06 am |
  44. Hicopulous

    Put the gin in the freezer. Remove when very cold. Unscrew the cap. Put bottle in mouth and gulp. Think pleasant thoughts. Do it again. "Booze is booze." Old Russian proverb. The ultra-precious among us pretend that fussy-fussy is essential are hilarious. HIC!

    August 9, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • EuphoriCrest

      Don't forget to place the bottle in a brown paper bag before imbibing.

      August 9, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • myklftw

      Step three – use liver for doorstop afterwards. Barbaric.

      August 10, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  45. Multi-Tasking @ Work

    it's 5:00...Cheers

    August 9, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  46. James Bond 007

    There is no "perfect martini" in the Obese Americas !

    August 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • MBob

      So you took the time to read an article about the way to make a lovely cocktail, and your only contribution is to say Americans are fat? How original!

      August 9, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
      • James Bond 007

        Your assuming I read the article,you Twit !

        August 9, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
      • His name is James... James the Idiot

        The most sensible thing James did was to implicitly admit that he's nothing more than a low-class troll. Well done, James.

        August 11, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • Ted

      If it makes you feel better about yourself, feel free to pretend to be a fictional spy and insult people from other countries. I have lived in GB, DK and in the USA. GB has just as many fatties as the USA does. Before popping off, consider the impact of your statement. In this case, it simply made you look foolish.

      On a side note, there is a drink called a "Perfect Martini".... What is described is chilled Gin with some sort of garnish... NOT a Perfect Martini. This article loses all credibility with that asinine description. Poorly done. Thumbs down.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
      • James Bond 007

        Pussy Galore,You may kick this one in the bullocks. Don't aim for his teeth,they are already in bad shape.

        August 9, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
      • Noxious Sunshine

        Actually, Ted.. Stats show that USA is the "fattest" nation in the world...

        August 10, 2011 at 11:18 am |
      • James Bond 007@Ted

        I just saw the bartender stirring yours with his wanker...Enjoy!!

        August 10, 2011 at 11:57 am |
      • His name is James... James the Idiot

        You sound like the type that'd enjoy looking. I'm quite sure that you're jealous it wasn't up your bum.

        August 11, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • whisper vermouth

      You are so correct, that is why we must try another and another and another.....

      August 10, 2011 at 1:30 am |
    • myklftw

      Piss off, nonce.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  47. Ajax

    A martini is a cocktail, not a frozen shot; use gin, vermouth, and bitters. Use cracked ice, made from pure water or a tasty source, and shake it until the metal frosts. Serving good gin, frozen, with a garnish, is delicious, and it's my preferred drink - but please don't call it a martini.

    August 9, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • whisper vermouth

      Or be smart and freeze the gin or vodka so no stirring or shaking is required. Big plus is the dang drink isn't watered down.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:28 am |
  48. @brhau

    So I understand that the drink is cloudier when you shake it, but what precisely does "bruising the botanicals" mean? It's one of those things people always say (like letting a whiskey "open up") that I can never quite get a good explanation for.

    August 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • DB

      It's a classic misconception. You cannot bruise anything in this. Shaking a drink in the mixer, as any decent bartender knows, simply waters it down a bit and can add a bit of froth or aeration to, say, a Manhattan. Stirring a drink lessens the chance that the ice will melt much.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • David

      This "bruising the botanicals" talk is similar to the "don't bruise the spirits in your julep by stirring too hard." In terms of science, nothing is bruised, and no molecule or other component is damaged. What happens when you shake a liquid (or, to a lesser extent, stir one vigorously), is that you introduce tiny air bubbles into the mixture. These air bubbles 1) opacify the liquid and 2) change the texture of the liquid on the tongue. The first point is an aesthetic one, but the second changes the way the drink tastes and feels in your mouth. Actually, if you let a shaken cocktail sit for a while, it's nearly indistinguishable from a stirred drink (controlled for temperature and dilution) because those air bubbles tend to remove themselves from the solution over time.

      Most connoisseurs and enthusiasts agree that a drink with all clear components (like a martini) should be stirred to preserve the clarity of the drink and to keep its texture smooth. On the other hand, drinks with opaque or translucent ingredients (citrus juice, milk/cream, egg) should almost always be shaken. But, after all, it's just a drink–do whatever makes you happy (keeping in mind that it's worthwhile to have tried both ways so you can have an informed opinion)!

      August 9, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
      • Always try something Different!

        Thanks for your post. Makes sense!

        August 9, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
      • whisper vermouth

        If a drink is shaken so much it pours out frothy then it is simply overshaken. It only takes three or four shakes to chill the gin.

        August 10, 2011 at 1:27 am |
    • Chef Sun

      This is a total myth that's spread by dunces, whether they have credentials or not. One cannot "bruise" a liquid.

      Chef Sun

      August 9, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Dewarsonrx

      Well David, from what I remember of an Alton Brown episode (he is thorough with his research it seems, is that you :

      1) Stir drinks that involve one liquor, because you only mean to chill it. (ie. Gin, without vermouth)

      2) Shake drinks with 2+ liquors, because your aim is to emulsify the drink, like a vinaigrette.
      The addition of fine ice particles in the emulsion give the drink a smoother consistency.

      That seems to make sense to me. But the bottom line is if you like your Manhattan on the rocks, have fun with it!
      Btw I like scotch/whisky, gin is for the old lady. ;)

      August 9, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
      • Conrad Shull

        I saw this episode, too. His "perfect" martini recipe/technique is really good. Fill a cocktail glass with crushed ice. Shake one pony (1 oz.) of dry vermouth in shaker over crushed ice. Pour out the vermouth. Add two jiggers (3 oz.) of gin to shaker and stir. Dump ice from glass, add two large olives (I like jalapeno stuffed olives) to glass. Pour gin over olives. Enjoy. Repeat.

        August 10, 2011 at 9:27 am |
      • myklftw

        And scotch is pink gin to me. Guess that makes you an old lady as well. Keep your editorials to yourself, you made sense up to that point.

        August 10, 2011 at 10:55 am |
      • Dewarsonrx

        funny how you told me not to editorialize while you did the same myklftw

        August 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
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