One of the most popular authors in the 1930s, W.S Maugham , declared that “Martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other.”
The Martini is one of the most renowned and stylish cocktails in the world. It is a cocktail made with gin and vermouth, and garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Over the years, the martini has become one of the best-known mixed alcoholic beverages.
This famous drink which is usually enjoyed in an ambience of luxury and style however has a very humble origin. Sometime in the mid 1800’s, a miner walked into a bar and asked for a special drink to celebrate his new fortune. The bartender then threw together what he had on hand — fortified wine (vermouth) and gin, and a few other goodies — and called it a Martinez, after the town in which the bar was located. As this drink became more popular, it evolved and came to be known as the “Martini”. The first official mention of the Martini was in The New and Improved Illustrated Bartending Manual in 1888.
Over the years, the Martini has evolved into not just one of the most stylish drinks but also as a symbol of pop culture. James Bond revived the Martini when he uttered the famous line “Vodka martini, shaken, not stirred” in the film Goldfinger while Martini variations which grew to include green apple martinis, chocolate martinis and Cosmopolitans were popularized by the TV show Sex and the City. It is said that prominent figures like Frank Sinatra, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Alfred Hitchcock, Winston Churchill and F. Scott Fitzgerald drank their Martinis from classic Martini glasses. Martini lovers around the world celebrate June 19 as ‘National Martini Day’.
Overtime, the Martini evolved into a number of variations. From classics to one-of-a-kind creations, a martini can be prepared in numerous ways catering to various different preferences.
- Dry, wet, or perfect Martini
Ordering it “dry” is asking for a martini with less vermouth than usual. A “wet” martini — you guessed it — comes with more vermouth than the standard ratio. And “perfect”? Well, that just means the drink uses equal amounts of gin and vermouth.
- Shaken or stirred: “Shaken, not stirred” might sound familiar thanks to Mr. Bond. A shaken martini, mixed in a cocktail shaker with ice, usually produces an icier, cloudier, and slightly more diluted drink. A stirred martini chills the cocktail without diluting it quite as much from the ice.
- Dirty: Olive lovers are sure to appreciate a “dirty” martini. This version adds olive juice for an extra briny taste.
- Gibson: A Gibson is still a martini; the only difference is that is comes garnished with a cocktail onion instead of an olive or peel.
- Vesper: For something a bit different, try a vesper: a martini composed of gin, vodka, Lillet Blanc, and a lemon twist
- Pomegranate Tanqueray Martini
- Espresso Martini
- Blue Martini
- Sweet Cranberry Martini
Fun Fact: You can also actually enjoy a $10,000 Martini at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City – the garnish? A beautiful, REAL radiant cut Diamond!!!
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Guest Blog by: Mr. Prasad Rao | Associate F&B Director- Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel