By Adam Drake
The sophistication that comes along with drinking a martini is equaled only by those who can make one well. Martinis are not hard to make. With the proper ingredients, they’re downright simple and will taste amazing.
Most people head straight for the vodka when making a martini, a cliché leftover from your 20s, no doubt, when you thought vodka goes with anything. I prefer gin in my martinis, especially because gin adds more nuance and flavor to the drink. Many people fear gin as they’ve had it in gin and tonics and assume it tastes like a Christmas tree. Luckily, that’s just the tonic — and better gins on the market have incredibly refreshing and delicate tastes. I prefer my martinis with Bombay Sapphire due to the use of various botanicals in the gin that make it complex and act as an improvement over bland gins such as Hendrick’s or Tanqueray.
I’m not a fan of vermouth, but a martini is only complete once you add a few drops. In my case, I’ll add — at most – ¼ oz of dry vermouth. Too much and it’ll overpower the gin, ruining the taste of the drink.
Mr. Bond won’t be happy with me, but never shake a martini. Shaking a martini bruises the liquor, changing the flavors and upsetting the balance. Instead, stir it gently with ice, and then use a strainer to pour it into a martini glass. Finally, garnish the drink with lemon zest.
A few tips:
· Throw a few ice cubes into your martini glasses prior to mixing the drink. Empty them before pouring the gin and vermouth into the glass. This will chill the glass without diluting the flavor.
· When serving martinis to guests, bring the empty glasses to them and pour the drink in front of them. Carrying full martini glasses is a tricky experience.
2oz of gin
¼ oz of dry vermouth
Chill the martini glass with ice cubes. Combine the gin and vermouth and stir gently in a cocktail shaker. Remove the ice cubes from the glass and pour the mixture in. Garnish with a lemon zest.
Adam Drake is Creative Director for the Sweat Life, a former four-year varsity rower for the University of Miami, and currently rows for the Maritime Rowing Club. He is the co-founder of Kayak for a Cause, a charity event based in Connecticut. As a writer, Adam has developed television shows for Comedy Central, Bad Boy Worldwide, and Sky, written ad campaigns for clients such as Bacardi, Starbucks, Dove Men+Care, and HBO, and was a contributor to the pop culture site YesButNoButYes. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing, boating, and working on his tremendous collection of unfinished novels.