Perfect martini? March 23, 2013 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone remember that comment about how to make the perfect martini?

Not actually a 'perfect' martini with half sweet and half dry vermouth but one that was the pinnacle of excellence. I remember it was made with vodka, not with gin and there was a line in there about making your own blue cheese olives with a sharp paring knife and some empty green olives. Something about a bar towel as well.

I haven't had success finding it and next week I'm doing a brief cocktail hour at my work. It was so evocative, at least as I remember it I'd love to find it again.
posted by Carillon to MetaFilter-Related at 10:54 AM (50 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Not a comment, but this?
posted by punchtothehead at 11:05 AM on March 23, 2013


I don't know if this is what you're looking for, but damnit, it's important.

(Well, as important an argument about cocktails gets.)
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 11:09 AM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, your first problem is that you're trying to make it with vodka, not gin.
posted by klangklangston at 11:14 AM on March 23, 2013 [34 favorites]


The legendary cocktail conoisseur around here was Miguel. I found this comment.
posted by Marauding Ennui at 11:25 AM on March 23, 2013


'Perfect' martini is apparently a subjective judgement. A real martini is gin and vermouth with an olive. Each variation should have its own name as does the Gibson which has a cocktail onion.
But what do I know? I drink wine which is ready: no mixing, no looking up recipes, no waiting.
posted by Cranberry at 11:30 AM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think you are thinking of this.
posted by gregjones at 11:40 AM on March 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yes that was exactly it gregjones thank you. It assumed it was a comment not a link because I remember it so vividly.

And klang, I know it should be gin not vodka, but the essence of the link was what I was after.

Thanks all!
posted by Carillon at 11:56 AM on March 23, 2013


I think you are thinking of this.

That drink sounds horrible. Vodka. Left to dilute in a shaker of ice. Ice that you've hit with a hammer. While you stuff blue cheese into an olive. Then, dilute further by shaking it with the ice. This, my friends, is a shitini.

Here is the process demonstrated exactly right. Notice that literally every step is the opposite of what Coudal recommends.
posted by dobbs at 12:21 PM on March 23, 2013 [14 favorites]


Your favorite mixed drink sucks!
posted by edgeways at 12:24 PM on March 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Start with the perfect gin, add the perfect Vermouth, and garnish with the perfect olive. Enjoy.
posted by Brian B. at 1:35 PM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


there are other opinions

"Noël Coward suggested that the ideal martini should be made by "filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy"(which along with France is a major producer of vermouth). Luis Buñuel considered it enough to hold up a glass of gin next to a bottle of vermouth and let a beam of sunlight pass through. Winston Churchill was said to whisper the word 'vermouth' to a freshly poured glass of gin."

i've never had a martini in my life so i wouldn't know
posted by pyramid termite at 1:45 PM on March 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


We all know what the perfect gin is, but there's no such thing as perfect vermouth. It's all just fortified wine hooch.

*ducks to avoid martini glasses hurled by cocktail snobs*
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:54 PM on March 23, 2013


How to make the perfect martini.

Hand me a bottle of well-balanced gin, nothing too junipery and scented, some stuffed olives, and a strong dry white vermouth.

then watch as I vanish in a cloud of smoke while cackling madly.
posted by The Whelk at 2:06 PM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Noël Coward suggested that the ideal martini should be made by "filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy"(which along with France is a major producer of vermouth). Luis Buñuel considered it enough to hold up a glass of gin next to a bottle of vermouth and let a beam of sunlight pass through. Winston Churchill was said to whisper the word 'vermouth' to a freshly poured glass of gin."

If you just want to chug straight gin out of a cocktail glass, be my guest, but don't call it a martini because it ISN'T goddamn it! WORDS MEAN THINGS
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:07 PM on March 23, 2013 [9 favorites]


A Martini with no vermouth is called a Wasp.
posted by The Whelk at 2:13 PM on March 23, 2013


The Truth About Vermouth
posted by Brian B. at 2:37 PM on March 23, 2013


As long as we're talking cocktails, anybody ever have a Vesper? This 007 fan is curious, but I've never been into mixed drinks generally.
posted by dhartung at 3:32 PM on March 23, 2013


It's crisp and clean and ever so slightly floral which is a nice touch but I feel awkward ordering it cause it's basically a Themed Bond novelty cocktail at this point.
posted by The Whelk at 3:33 PM on March 23, 2013


Martinis? Grand. However, I find myself rather partial to an everything in the till and no sudden moves lately.
posted by smirkette at 3:53 PM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Vespers are lovely but will fuck your shit up fast. And yeah, no-vermouth martinis are a thing bc a) stale vermouth is common and undrinkable b) you are so hardcore you want a big glass of gin but that's socially unacceptable to ask for sans euphemism.
posted by ifjuly at 4:01 PM on March 23, 2013


I remember it was made with vodka

Oh god leave it be; let it stay lost.
posted by supercres at 5:18 PM on March 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Any Martini recipe which uses vodka instead of gin, what the, I can't even
posted by unSane at 7:43 PM on March 23, 2013


(I have no problem with a a big glass of gin on the rocks -- I like it sometimes -- but I use more vermouth in a Martini than is fashionable. I like to taste it, and it means you can SOMETIMES have more than two of them without waking up in a dumpster).
posted by unSane at 7:44 PM on March 23, 2013


Noel Coward was a staggering lush in love with Ian Fleming, who consumed industrial quantities of gin to drown his sorrows at being born rich and fucking anything that moved. I don't regard either of them as remotely reliable on the subject of Martinis, or anything else really.
posted by unSane at 7:47 PM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


(and for once I know what I'm talking about)
posted by unSane at 7:48 PM on March 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


All I care about it is hold the gin because I don't like the flavor and I can order a "vodka martini" in any dive I might end up in and get something that approximates what I like to sip. The only question I sometimes get is twist or olive?. If I get more than one olive I leave a bigger tip. This one time in New Orleans a friendly bartender decided to school me on his martini method which I use to this day at home: Fill the metal shaker with cracked ice. Pour some vermouth in the glass, swirl it around on all sides and dump out the excess. Pour the liquor over the ice in the shaker and shake it good. Pour. Garnish. There should be tiny ice crystals in the vodka. They last about long enough for the first sip.
posted by maggieb at 7:53 PM on March 23, 2013


The thing about using a shaker and ice is that you can get the drink down to about -8C if you try. It sounds weird that you can get it colder than the ice but trust me, the physics is sound.

I'm of the school that Martinis should have a big complex taste, whether that's from the botanicals in the gin, or the vermouth, or something you add to dirty it up, whether that's whisky or olive juice. The fashion these days is that they shouldn't taste of anything at all, which bugs me. On the other hand there are some gins that are just too much for a Martini - Tanq 10 is one of them. The absolute best I've come across is Brokers, but it's hard to get here in Canada. It's damn strong, but you know you're living.
posted by unSane at 7:57 PM on March 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


About four hours ago I ordered a martini at a charity event. The kid just dumped a ton of ice into a plastic cup, covered it with vodka and charged me $12.00. I don't recommend that recipe.
posted by MaritaCov at 9:06 PM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


As a staggeringly theatrical lush in an opera cape once told me " Whelk lad, Martinis are like breasts, one is fine, two are great, three is werid and disorienting."
posted by The Whelk at 9:10 PM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host.”
― Dorothy Parker, The Collected Dorothy Parker
posted by unSane at 9:16 PM on March 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Perfect martini according to Dean Martin: Fill a martini glass with cold gin and toast the city of Rome.
posted by Renoroc at 6:01 AM on March 24, 2013


Hang on, that Coudal recipe is serious?

When it did the rounds a few years ago I honestly thought it was meant as a satirical riff on the idiocies of modern 'mixology', with the use of vodka in a martini recipe being an obvious signal that the whole thing was a pisstake.
posted by jack_mo at 6:21 AM on March 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ha, yes, I had the same reaction. I got to 'vodka' and my eyes rolled back in my head, out the door and halfway down the street. I was half expecting him to add some artisanal baked bean juice after that.
posted by unSane at 8:29 AM on March 24, 2013


I once started a friendship by accidentally shooting someone in the eye with a vodka filled water gun.
posted by The Whelk at 8:36 AM on March 24, 2013


I once started a friendship by accidentally shooting someone in the eye with a vodka filled water gun.

Sure, it worked once, but your later attempts to recreate the magic have had mixed results at best.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:39 AM on March 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sadly project FRIENDSHIP GUN was doomed from the start.
posted by The Whelk at 8:46 AM on March 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Which didn't stop the Pentagon spending eleventy trillion dollars on it.
posted by unSane at 2:07 PM on March 24, 2013


Gin tastes like cologne smells. Vodka martini for me, haters.
posted by Splunge at 3:22 PM on March 24, 2013


I suspect you have been exposed to terrible gin and/or cologne
posted by The Whelk at 3:47 PM on March 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


11:3 is the golden ratio. I've experimented. If you use too little vermouth, it tastes more of vermouth. Somehow. Get the ratio right and magic happens. That's really all you have to do. Besides not using the 20 year old bottle of vermouth you need pliers to open.

(Although my grandfather did have a poster that purported to show how to correctly make a martini, which was to refract light through the vermouth into the gin.)
posted by gjc at 6:48 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, 11:3 sounds about right. You don't have to worry about the pliers, though... a bottle of Vermouth lasts about three weeks in my house... I think you can do the rest of the math.
posted by unSane at 7:09 PM on March 24, 2013


For my birthday, my friend gave me a card with the correct instructions.
posted by Errant at 11:08 PM on March 24, 2013


Whiskey martini?


MANHATTANS

I'll get the rye whiskey, the orange bitters and smokey dry vermouth and dark cherries.
posted by The Whelk at 11:19 PM on March 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


aw you guys are making me miss my mom - we have a bit of a tradition for 4pm dirty martinis when I visit her in Key Largo. It does tend to make for some odd vacations, though, because I don't usually get out of bed much earlier than 2pm. Olives for breakfast again mom? ok.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:30 AM on March 25, 2013


I do not care for martinis but I looooove me a good Manhattan.

Also, this: Noel Coward was a staggering lush in love with Ian Fleming, who consumed industrial quantities of gin to drown his sorrows at being born rich and fucking anything that moved. That is a beautiful sentence that deserves to be memorialized. Possibly with a drink.
posted by KathrynT at 3:14 PM on March 26, 2013


I'd take even a bad rye manhattan over a good martini.

My girlfriend and I got into them about ten (god, ten years) ago when a liquor store near where she was living in Boston closed, and they sold off all their stock at ridiculous discount. We got there after most of it had been picked, so we ended up with some weird Scotch (which was delicious) and a bunch of ryes. We fell in love (with the liquor) and then spent, like, five years trying to convince everyone around us to stock it. Then it got big and now we are drunk and happy and get to be rye hipsters since we were into it before everyone except your grandpa and weird uncle.
posted by klangklangston at 3:29 PM on March 26, 2013


My recipe for the perfect Manhattan:

2 oz Alberta Premium rye
1 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth (unfortunately, $70 a bottle in Canada, if you can find it)
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir with ice, pour into a chilled crystal coupe. Garnish with one Luxardo Gourmet Maraschino Cherry.

Sip. Thank me later.
posted by dobbs at 9:00 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel like the only person who thinks Carpano Antica is overrated and overused. I wanted to hug Jamie Boudreau when he tweeted about it, about how it's Big and doesn't belong everywhere, to choose where wisely. Yeah, exactly. It's not that it isn't good, it's that it's aggressive, loud. Though that can be managed just fine in something as elemental as a Manhattan, mind. But if I used one of my favorite pretty-cheap-but-lovely ryes (Bulleit), Carpano would probably kick its ass and destroy all the lovely floral grassy things going on in it.

Whelk's mention of using dry vermouth instead intrigues me. Not familiar with that. Which brand is dry _and_ smoky?

I'm cheerful about using cheap rye (Rittenhouse 100), Regan's orange bitters (I put them nearly anywhere Angostura is supposed to go anymore), and homemade brandied cherries (takes less than 30 minutes and they keep a while in the fridge, and you get the lovely nuttiness of the pit) 'cause those Luxardo ones on mail order would be ridiculously expensive...or better yet, a simple orange twist.
posted by ifjuly at 9:20 AM on March 27, 2013


Ransom Dry Vermouth has a lot of herby but light botanical that would compliment a smokier ryr base with the tart blush of orange bitters. Basically the only sweetness should come from the small amount of fruit flavors provided by the charry or rind, and even they they turn toward the tart.
posted by The Whelk at 9:46 AM on March 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Aw, I can't get Ransom here in TN (and our draconian liquor laws mean I can't have it shipped either). :( Gotta wait 'til the next time I visit my folks in NY...
posted by ifjuly at 10:26 AM on March 27, 2013


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