Did you know that the martini is one of few drinks with its own glass? A cocktail this special is a perfect fit for the holiday season – but you’ll want to be sure the martini you offer a place on your table is as picture perfect as the season itself.
“It’s the star of the drinks world,” says Joe McCanta, Grey Goose’s Global Ambassador. “The dryer the martini, the less amount of vermouth. Churchill famously liked a very dry style of martini. As long as sunlight shined through the vermouth towards the drink it was fine.”
From James Bond’s “shaken, not stirred” version to Madonna’s reported love of pomegranate martinis, here are Joe’s seven tips for ensuring that yours is an instant holiday classic.
- A martini is a delicate drink, so it’s important to choose a high-quality spirit for your base ingredient.
- Use a martini glass. The standard glass (6-8 oz.) means liquid will warm up faster, so a smaller glass (4.5 oz.) with less surface-to-liquid ratio stays chilled longer and is enjoyed as close as possible to the optimum temperature.
- Always stirred, never shaken (despite James Bond’s favourite line!). Stir deliberately for 30-45 seconds, keeping ice cubes intact to achieve the optimum temperature and level of dilution. Hint: Shaking results in ice breakage, which over-dilutes the drink and will make it cloudy with ice chips on the surface. Too much water in a drink means it will warm up faster.
- Chill everything – your base ingredients (vodka and vermouth), the martini glass and the mixing glass – to ensure your martini is enjoyed at the optimum temperature.
- Serve in a 5:1 ratio – which means five parts vodka to one part dry vermouth.
- Garnish with a lemon twist. Peel with a vegetable peeler or a knife, but make sure to cut off the white pith as it creates unwanted bitterness in the drink.
Add a dash of orange bitters. This classic method is not often used in modern martinis, but adding a dash of bitters will add a hint of complexity that makes your martini extra special. Think of this as your secret ingredient!