Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ordering Martinis

From the Facebook Fan Page:

Q: Anthony, I'm having trouble figuring out about what exactly I like in a martini (and if it is a martini). I like being able to drink a chilled vodka (with olives) with no "aftertaste". I simply love being able to sip on the drink and taste that vodka, I like it to be smooth.

I'm from Oklahoma, so I can't tell if the bartenders around here don't know if I'm just not wanting a martini. The way I understand it, vermouth makes it dry, so I don't want that, but without it, its just vodka. So should I order a shot of vodka chilled with olive garnish?

I've been following your resources for quite a while, and I just think you do such a great job, I really feel like I'm getting the full story and richness of alcohol's culture when I listen to you. So keep up the good work, we really appreciate it.
-David S.

A: Couple quick things: to be a "real" martini it's gotta have both vodka (actually gin is more traditional, but vodka is more popular) and vermouth. Otherwise, as you said, it's just a glass of chilled vodka with olives. Now having said that, a glass of chilled vodka with olives is exactly what some people want.

Second, removing vermouth makes it dry. So, while a traditional (or wet) martini has about 4 parts vodka to 1 part vermouth, a dry martini usually has just a dash of vermouth.

Now to get what you're looking for (and you're by no means alone in this taste preference) you'll need to order an extra dry martini (translation: no vermouth at all). More precisely: an extra dry Grey Goose martini up with olives (translation: Grey Goose vodka chilled and strained into a martini glass with no vermouth, no ice, and olives as a garnish as opposed to a twist).

Any decent bartender will be able to transform that order into exactly the drink you want. If they get it wrong, go to a different bartender.

Thanks for the feedback!