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True Martinis

Updated on June 19, 2012

Types of Gin

Dry Gin - A white spirit flavored with juniper oils.

Holland Gin or Hollands - also known s schnapps is a vigorously flavored gin.

Old Tom Gin - a gin with an oilier texture and a slight orange taste.

Sloe Gin - unlike other gins it is flavored with blackthorn fruit or the sloe berry. Sweet, ruby red and works in fizzes and rickeys.

More Gin Cocktails

Far East Gimlet - in a champagne glass put 1 jigger of dry or Old Tom gin, 1 teaspoon gomme sugar or sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of lime syrup, fill with chilled water, add one ice cube and a thin slice of lime.

Commander Livesey's Gin-Blind - To make a batch, six ounces of gin, two ounces of cognac, three oz of curacao and a dash of orange bitters. Mix with ice, shack vigorously and serve with a twist of orange peel.

Gin and Quinine Water (Gin and Tonic) - In a highball glass put 1 and 1/2 jiggers of dry or Old Tom gin and fill with chilled quinine tonic water.

Gin Fizz - One jigger of old Tom gin, 1 tsp of sugar, 3 to 4 drops of orange flower water, white of one fresh egg, 2 tbsp cream and the juice of 1/2 lime and 1/2 lemon. Shake with cracked ice or blend and top off with chilled club soda.

What is...?

Gin - a spirit which derives its predominant flavor from juniper berries

Vermouth - A fortified wine flavored with dry ingredients.

Great cocktail recipes - The Martini

Who doesn't know James Bonds favorite cocktail? "Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred" is right up there as the classic Bond catch phrase just after "Bond, James Bond". Now there are two things to notice about Bond's bar order. First he chooses Vodka over the traditional gin. Now here is an indication that Bond has spent a lot of time around Russian's, perhaps female foreign agents. Vodka is defined as a colorless, odorless, and is pretty much tasteless compared to other spirits such as rum, tequila or gin. So when Bond orders a vodka martini he perhaps really enjoys the taste of vermouth, the other main ingredient in a classic martini. Other wise he'd order a classic martini with traditional British gin with all of the flavors of juniper that gin offers. Notice that he also doesn't specify a certain brand of vodka - even 007 can't tell the difference between vodkas!

Anyone who orders something like "A vodka martini and just wave the vermouth bottle over the glass" really doesn't like martinis, basically they are just a alcoholic that is covering up the fact that they just want to have a shot of vodka or preferably a bottle in a paper bag that they can go into the alley and drink while keeping an eye on their shopping cart full of treasures.

Seriously a real martini is the delicate balance between the flavors of gin and vermouth. This shaken not stirred business is just about how many ice crystals you want in the finished product. Stirring is a more gentle process which cools the drink while shaking is rather violent and leave small chips of ice in the final product.

The "Classic Martini" recipe is 2 1/2 oz of Gin and 1/2 of dry vermouth. Add to a vessel and stir or shake with six ice cubes. Strain into a martini glass and add a green olive or twist of lemon peel. That's it, simple and classic. This "dry" business is all about the amount of vermouth. Less makes it drier. But please forget about the vodka. A martini has gin.

A "Dirty Martini" is for olive lovers. Recipe two adds some of the brine from an olive bottle to the mix and is usually served with about three olives instead of the traditional one.

Now where vodkas come in is in the form of "tini" variants. The true Martini is made with gin and vermouth but over time all kinds of drinks have been called martini's or "tinis" like the famous Appletini and other flavored vodkas. Since vodka has no flavor its has become a popular spirit to add flavor to and is generally considered more refined than the sugary sweet "schnapps" that seem more artificial and heavy handed.

How to make a perfect Martini


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