Monday, November 28, 2011

Shaken Not Stirred

Martinis are a favorite around here.  PamaTinis, featured in the previous post, are standard happy hour fare, running neck and neck with the classic olive martini.  There is, without a doubt, an art to making a really great martini.  Most bars use too much vermouth or none at all.  The trick to the perfect martini is just the right amount of vermouth, vigorous shaking and good quality olives.  You want fresh vermouth too.  A bottle sits a long time on most bars and it will go stale.  Replace it ever so often even if it’s not empty.  For a while there, we were having a terrible time finding good olives.  They were hard, thick skinned, or bitter.  One drawback of living on an island is that we sometimes have limited supplies available to us.  We have settled on Iberia Spanish Olives, the small, pimento stuffed variety.  Scott is a purist and likes the solitary olive floating in the drink.  Suzi wants at least 3 olives, preferably speared on a toothpick, and if they happen to be stuffed with bleu cheese, that is even better. 

Classic Olive Martini

3 shots Vodka
Dry Vermouth … measurements can get tricky as this is really a taste thing.  You can experiment, but Scott says he gives it somewhere between “Threaten” and a “Splash.”  (Approximately ½ teaspoon at most for a 3 oz martini would be a good guideline.) 

Pour liquids into shaker, add ice and shake vigorously.  (The shaking is key here.  It is important to “bruise” the liquor, basically meaning, it becomes well aerated.)  Serve in chilled up glasses with olive(s) for garnish.

Remember, we use soup bowl glasses.  If your up glasses are smaller, you might need to cut back on the measurements or use a sidecar for the extra.

To make a dirty martini, instead of putting olive juice in the drink itself, try putting a juicy olive in the shaker along with the ice and other ingredients.

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