Gin martini, stirred, not shaken

For the last several weeks, I’ve been experimenting with making Martinis. For Christmas, Y bought me Martini glasses from Williams-Sonoma (with my initial on them), and coincidentally, TT got me a Martini shaker. To top it all off, I’d recently watched Alton Brown’s Good Eats episode “Raising The Bar“, and he offered a recipe for a dry Martini:

1 cup crushed ice, plus extra for chilling glass
1/2-ounce dry Vermouth
2 1/2 ounces gin
1 olive

Place some crushed ice into the Martini glass you will be serving in, and set aside.

Place the 1 cup of crushed ice into a cocktail shaker. Pour in the Vermouth and swirl it around, making as much contact as possible with the ice. Using a strainer, pour the Vermouth out. Add the gin and stir well to combine.

Remove the ice from your serving glass and add the olive. Using the strainer, pour the gin into the serving glass.

I made a few of these, then decided I wanted to experiment a bit: if a dry Martini has barely any Vermouth in it, how much would a “regular” Martini have? I eventually came across “The Perfect Martini“, which went into great depth on the history of the Martini, and ended with a challenge:

What then is the recipe for a perfect Martini? I could simply tell you the proper ratio of gin and Vermouth to use, but all you would then be doing is following my lead…. If you really want to understand the Martini, and to understand the concept of a balanced cocktail, then what you should do is to spend a little time and do your own experimentations in order to arrive at what you think is your own preferred ratio.

And so, I have. Let me tell you, a good Martini is hard to make. Every ingredient matters, from the quality of gin to the amount of ice. Despite making dozens of Martinis (in the name of science), I haven’t yet come up with a fail-safe recipe for a Martini I love, (though I have made a few which I enjoyed thoroughly). I even made a few with—shudder—vodka, mostly for Y, but I can’t seem to enjoy any vodka Martini.

I’m going to keep up the experiment for a while. It only seems right. If you have a suggestion on improving my Martinis, let me know.