Cheers! Shaken, not stirred martini
Shaken, Not Stirred
Martinis have become all the rage in recent years, but I challenge any bartender in town to do better than the martini I can make for myself at home. I prefer vodka over gin, because I can’t understand why anyone would drink anything that uses juniper berries — it isn’t even a real berry, by the way — as a primary ingredient.
There are some grain vodkas that are perfectly fine, but I prefer a vodka made from potatoes because it offers a smoother taste at a reasonable price.
I always store my vodka in the freezer. That’s important not only because martinis should be served iced cold, but alcohol stored at room temperature will melt more ice and water down the drink.
The dryness of a martini is entirely a personal taste. I prefer just a splash of dry vermouth, which I put in first and swish around with the ice in the shaker.
Once I’ve put in the vodka — anywhere from 1 to 4 ounces depending on how much driving you are not planning on doing later — I shake the concoction vigorously, enough to create small shards of ice that float on top.
Lately, I have added either a lemon peel or olive, though I prefer olives stuffed with garlic just because I like garlic.
Other people also might add favoring to mask the taste of the alcohol, but I subscribe to Man Rule No. 1: Don’t fruit the beer ... or the martini.
— Charles Ashby
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