As an inveterate gin-lover, I enjoyed LATimes magazine’s nice article tracing the history of the martini from a sweet concoction, to a dry olive-y sipper, to the perversions of the appletini ilk. Let’s make this a three martini lunch:
Variations are nothing new: The martini has always been a moving target. It morphed from the sweet Martinez in the late 1800s into the martini made with dry vermouth at the turn of the 20th century. It lost most of its vermouth going into the ’50s and, moving toward the ’70s, then became an all-vodka drink as that spirit overtook sales of gin.
At the turn of the millennium, a martini was any neon-colored sugary liquid served in a “martini glass” the size of a terrarium. And as if to defy the laws of physics, in the current classic-cocktail revival, all of these exist simultaneously—at least for bartenders challenged to make them for customers whose tastes lie in one era or another.
My preferred martini recipe is so: fill shaker with ice. Add one ounce dry vermouth. Shake briefly, then pour off vermouth. Add three or four ounces gin, shake, and pour into chilled martini glass. Garnish with three olives, preferably stuffed with a nice gorgonzola. That’s how I like it, but the only right way is quickly, before I have to ask for another.
H/t Jacob Grier.