How to Drink: Martini

This week on How to Drink I’m finally addressing the classic and venerable Martini… only I’m addressing it twice. The martini is an old drink, it starts showing up in the latter half of the 1800’s when pairing spirits with vermouth came into vogue. In this episode I make both a Gin Martini and it’s descendant, the Dry Martini (though for inscrutable reasons I make them in the reverse order). As I explain in the video I’m no fan of what the “Dry Martini” has become: a glass of gin with as little vermouth as physics will allow and a pair of oily olives tossed in. The older, pre-prohibition style of this drink calls for far more vermouth than that, and usually some kind of bitters as well. I do mention Winston Churchill famously saying he liked his martini’s made with London Dry Gin and a “bow in the direction of France” but I fail to mention why. It’s possible that Churchill simply thought the Vermouth took up volume better served by higher proof stuff, but there’s also the possibility that it simply had to do with the war making French Vermouth rare and difficult to lay hands on. Whatever the case, here’s two martinis:

Gin Martini
2 oz. / 60 ml. Old Tom Gin
1 oz. / 30 ml. French Vermouth
1 Dash Absinthe
Garnish with Lemon Peel

Dry Martini
1.5 oz. / 45 ml. London Dry Gin
1.5 oz. / 45 ml. French Vermouth
2 Dashes orange bitters
Garnish with a twist of orange

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Music by Glenn Crytzer and The Savoy Seven


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