Martini Quotes

"I'm not talking a cup of cheap gin splashed over an ice cube.

I'm talking satin, fire and ice; Fred Astaire in a glass; surgical cleanliness, insight.. comfort; redemption and absolution. I'm talking MARTINI.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Martini Mixing Essentials

    A Production

     A Martini is a wonderful experience of the senses, a marriage if you will, with the flavors and aromas combining to produce that seminal cocktail.  Something as effortful yet alluring as a Martini requires some thought and preparation.  There need be no melodrama or fluff to the production.  I have never seen the movie "Cocktail " with Tom Cruise, but the thought of all that flipping, spinning and such is enough to make me want to take out a restraining order against the guy. The cocktail should be able to stand on it's own merits without a superfluous show. That sort of mixology production is all smoke with no fire.  Now a real cocktail like the Martini is all about the fire.  And not the red hot sort, but more the eternal cold flames of Dante's inferno.   I bet Signore Alighieri would have been a Martini drinker.

The Players

Now let us set the stage, for the Martini is a drama (more on this later in a later post).  Here then are the players:

Cold  The Martini should be sinfully cold.  By chilling the components beforehand, you can avoid having to shake the ingredients with ice for any length of time.  The point is that if all the components are already cold, you don't need as much time with the ice which will only dilute what is otherwise an ideal creation.  One of the great disappointments in life is ordering a Martini and having it arrive with shards of ice floating in the glass, like ice bergs waiting to sink your Titanic Martini.  If you must use a shaker, make sure it (as well as your Martini glass) is kept cold for another layer of frosty insurance against the invading attempts of warmth.  I have known a barkeep or two who keeps his favorite bottle of Gin on ice as well.  Have no fear, as the freezing point of 80 proof alcohol is -30 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Clear  I prefer my classic Martini clear. It is such a deceptively simple recipe with only three ingredients.  It helps bring the garnish to the forefront if the liquid milieu is clear.

Aroma  As the ingredients meld together,  the uplifting aromas of the vermouth, the botanicals in the gin, and the garnish combine to produce an olfactory experience which is nearly as good as the liquid refreshment that is soon to follow.

Flavor  Gin crafters have before them a vast array of botanical ingredients to infuse into their products besides the typical juniper which makes gin-gin.  From the rose petal and cucumber in Hendricks to spruce tip and kumquat in Wire Works, there is a revival in gin crafting which is exploring new and unique flavor combinations of which we are the beneficiaries.  

Having concocted a Martini, I can't help but recall some lines from "Like a Hurricane" by Neil Young

               Before that moment you touched my lips
               That perfect feeling when time just slips
               Away between us
               On our foggy trip 

I believe that the majority of people assume he is talking about a woman, but consider for a moment that perhaps it is the Martini to which he is referring.  It works for me.  At this point, the five senses come together blissfully -  the consummation of the marriage.  But wait, more than a few astute readers have probably realized that's only four senses, what about hearing?  Have a couple more Martinis and you may just hear it speak to you.

      I could wax poetic about these various entities ( and likely will in future posts).  For now let it suffice that we have before us the necessary requirements of a Martini.  Choosing who plays the parts will be left to another day.  In the meanwhile, mix and experiment- direct the players.  For it is said that the mark of a genius is the ability to find seemingly new and endless variety in a finite set of variables. Conversely, stupidity is continuing to do the same thing over and over again whilst expecting a different result.

Unleash your genius!

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