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How To Make a Dry Martini

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E.B Martin called it 'The elixir of quietude'; the Martini requires little else in the way of introduction. The defining drink of the golden era of the cocktail, it is a sophisticated yet acquired taste.
What you'll need: 
Boston shaker
Long-handled/bar spoon
Martini glass
75ml/2.5floz Premium gin/vodka
Lemon zest twist
Fill the Martini glass with crushed ice and chilled water and place it in the fridge.
Fill the mixing glass to the 3/4 point with hard, cubed ice. Into the mixing glass pour 75ml/2.5floz of premium gin or vodka.
Discard the ice and water before pouring a dash of vermouth into the chilled glass. Swirl the vermouth around the glass to coat the surface. Discard any remaining vermouth.
Stir the ice and gin/vodka with the long-handled/bar spoon until the mixing glass has frosted over.
Strain the gin/vodka into the martini glass and garnish with either a green olive or a twist of lemon zest.
The simplicity of the Dry Martini makes its perfect execution vital. When well made its classic status is no mystery.
Use the best gin or vodka you can afford as it is the dominant ingredient.
Use ice made from mineral water if possible. This will prevent any unwanted flavour leeching into the finished drink.
Noilly Prat is an excellent Vermouth for a Dry Martini.
Ensure that the dry, white Vermouth is used rather than the sweet, red version.
Martinis are highly alcoholic so consume them with care.


Shaken or Stirred?

Very much to personal tastes but the differences should be explained..

Gin = said to be bruised if shaken, gives a slightly bitter taste.

Vodka = used to be shaken as made from potatoes which led to an oily taste and the shaking broke up the oils leading to a nicer taste.

Any martini will be colder if shaken than if stirred. It will also be cloudier due to the small pieces of ice that will remain even after straining (using a tea strainer helps, but overall the drink will always be a little cloudier).

'Cheat' Martinis

A great tip for making this process much simpler:

Store your spirit in the freezer. Take a spritz bottle (you can pick them up quite cheaply from chemists) and fill with the vermouth. Take a chilled glass, add the spirit straight from the freezer and then simply spritz with the vermouth. It's not for everyone as you don't get the dilution that you would get from stirring/shaking with the ice, but with a good quality spirit the results are great!

with onions...

I think I'm right in saying that a cocktail onion added to the martini, rather than an olive, is called a Gibson martini.

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