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We can thank prohibition for the popularity of the martini. With the rise of the speakeasy and easily made bathtub gin, the martini became one of the hottest cocktails of the roaring twenties.
The martini of the 20s was a bit different from how we make them today. Back then a martini was about one third dry vermouth. After prohibition gin production became more refined (and legal). Tastes changed and the amount of vermouth in a martini declined over the years.
We do like a hint of dry vermouth. Some like even less, just rinsing the cocktail glass with vermouth. There are even small atomizer bottles that can create a subtle cloud of vermouth that you can let settle into your martini. Those that want even less vermouth may simply speak the word ‘vermouth’ over their drink and be done with it.
Today a dry martini is made with either gin or vodka. Garnished with either olives or a lemon twist. Traditionally the olives are an odd number; usually one or three (odd numbers of olives are considered good luck!).
Variations include the perfect martini, made with equal amounts of dry vermouth and sweet vermouth, and the dirty martini, with a splash or two of olive brine / juice.
2.5 ounces gin or vodka
1 teaspoon dry vermouth
Garnish: 1 or 3 olives, or lemon twist.
In a mixing glass half filled with ice, combine the gin or vodka with the vermouth.
Strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with 1 or 3 olives, or lemon twist.
Add 1 teaspoon of sweet vermouth to the Dry Martini.
Add a splash of olive brine / juice to the Dry Martini.
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The Riedel Vinum martini glass is one of my fave’s. It’s not too big, elegant, and these are dishwasher safe.
The Tipsy brand makes great vermouth enhanced olives and onions – These are a great finish to any martini.
I use these for everything! Garnishing drinks and using on a cheese board. They also make a really useful long size that works great in tall drinks.