Never has a cocktail held the glamour and sophistication as that of the Martini. It has symbolized decadence for decades!
Originally concocted of a ratio of two parts gin to one part dry vermouth (2:1), it has evolved into a ratio of fifty parts vodka to one part dry vermouth (50:1), although some folk still prefer gin.
Traditionally it is well chilled with ice, either in a shaker or a pitcher, and then poured into a chilled martini glass. There has always been debate as to whether a Martini should be shaken or stirred - James Bond always asked for his Vodka Martini to be “shaken, not stirred” but Auntie Mame said that “shaking bruises the gin”. She also preferred a twist of lemon as a garnish, as “olives take up too much room in such a little glass.”
Martinis have been around since the mid-1800’s, originally with gin and originally in London. By the 1920’s New Yorkers had begun to imbibe them with abandon. During prohibition, they grew in popularity, made with bathtub gin, and sipped in tea cups.
Over the past decade, or so, a great deal of bastardization has taken over what a Martini - there are “Appletinis”, “Peppermintinis”, “Saketini” and many, many more. But the only thing any of those have in common with a real Martini is the glassware, nothing more!
In my opinion the best preparation of a Martini, sorry Auntie Mame, is to fill cocktail shaker and Martini glass with ice. Add vodka to the shaker and cold water to the glass. Shake the vodka vigorously until the shaker is frosted. Empty the ice water from the glass, then splash the empty glass with vermouth, then empty that too. Pour the aggressively cold vodka into the Martini glass and garnish with a lemon peel. Thank you very Much, Auntie Mame.
But do remember that Martinis are like breasts: one is not enough, and three is too many.