The Perfect Martini
I have found there are important rules to making a great martini. Don't forget, it's the process that makes a drink great. Here are my 6 rules:
1. Chill your favorite glass in the freezer. You must have a favorite. Perhaps with a great story behind it or whatever. And it has to be a martini glass. Never, ever a high ball or wine glass.
2. Get some great music going to set the mood. Some Astrud Gilberto always helps or perhaps some other groovelounge tunes.
3. Always shake your martini. There is some controversy here--I admit. And use plenty of ice. Don't shake too much or you'll bruise the precious vodka or gin. Often, after a couple of shakes, I'll let it sit for a few minutes and yes, even stir it. Sorry James.
4. Always have a bowl of fresh mixed nuts to accompany your drink. Somehow I've always found that mixed nuts are very hip and make me feel important. Maybe I have a problem. But perhaps it's just that 50's paradigm kicking in.
5. Don't ever use cheap vodka. My all time favorite is still Chopin. My all time favorite gin is Hendricks. But there are fantastic small batch distilleries all over the country. And if you must choose Vermouth, just wave the bottle over the glass.
6. Always garnish. . .olives, lemon peel, tipsy onions; maybe a lime peel for a gimlet. It's like putting the period on the end of a sentence.
So here's the deal. Throw a ton of ice into a shaker. Pour your favorite alchohol of choice into the shaker. Get the glasses out of the freezer. Get your garnish ready. Shake for a few moments. Let sit. Lightly stir. Garnish the glass. I like to swirl the garnish around the rim. Pour into each glass. Kick back, turn up the music and enjoy.