Variations on a theme – The Martini

I was recently given a copy of The Martini Book by Sally Ann Berk. The sub-title is “201 ways to mix the perfect American cocktail.” Now, many of the drinks the book calls “Martinis” are not a Martini at all. They are the sweet, juice filled “Pop Cocktails” that have become popular. These drinks are for the people who want a Martini but are put off by the taste of the classic cocktail. They want that sophistication, the aura of civilized life that a Martini brings, just not the bite of pure spirits.

The Martini Book also lists quite a few drinks with Vodka as the main spirit. To me, Vodka is the training wheels of cocktails. At some point those training wheels need to come off. Vodka is a way to introduce someone to cocktails if they have never had a drink before. After awhile though, you should expand your horizons and discover spirits that bring flavor and character to a cocktail instead of just alcohol. Oh, one more thing about Vodka; there is no such thing as a Vodka Martini. The drink that consists of Vodka and Vermouth is properly called a Kangaroo.

The book also has quite a few drinks that used the same ingredients as the Martini, just in different proportions or with a simple change in garnish. These drinks are listed below.

Unless otherwise noted, the method for preparing all of these cocktails is as simple and elegant as the Martini itself: add all ingredients to an ice filled mixing tin, stir until the tin frosts, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, add garnish.

The Variations

Artillery Cocktail

  • 6 parts gin
  • 2 parts sweet vermouth

Buckeye Martini

  • 6 parts gin
  • 1 part dry vermouth
  • black olive

Farmer’s Martini

  • 6 parts gin
  • 1 part dry vermouth
  • 1 part sweet vermouth
  • 3 to 5 dashes Angostura bitters

Fifty-Fifty Martini

  • 4 parts gin
  • 4 parts dry vermouth
  • cocktail olive

Frozen Martini

  • 5 parts gin
  • 1 part dry vermouth
  • 2 almond-stuffed cocktail olives

Place everything into the freezer, including the glass and shaker for at least three hours. Then, add the gin and vermouth to the chilled shaker and stir. Add the frozen olives to the glass and strain the alcohol into the glass.

Gibson

  • 8 parts gin
  • 3 to 5 dashes dry vermouth
  • 2 cocktail onions

Golf Martini

  • 8 parts gin
  • 3 to 5 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 parts dry vermouth
  • cocktail olive

Gypsy Martini

  • 8 parts gin
  • 2 parts sweet vermouth
  • maraschino cherry

Hoffman House Martini

  • 8 parts gin
  • 1 part dry vermouth
  • 3 to 5 dashes orange bitters
  • cocktail olive

Homestead Martini

  • 6 parts gin
  • 2 parts sweet vermouth
  • orange twist

Hotel Plaza Cocktail

  • 2 parts gin
  • 2 parts dry vermouth
  • 2 parts sweet vermouth
  • maraschino cherry

Knickerbocker

  • 6 parts gin
  • 2 parts dry vermouth
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet vermouth
  • lemon twist

Kup’s Indispensable Martini

  • 6 parts gin
  • 1 1/2 parts dry vermouth
  • 1 1/2 parts sweet vermouth
  • orange twist

Maritime Martini

  • 6 parts gin
  • 2 parts dry vermouth
  • anchovy-stuffed olive

Martunia

  • 6 parts gin
  • 1 part dry vermouth
  • 1 part sweet vermouth
  • edible flowers (organic)

Naked Martini

  • 6 parts gin
  • cocktail olive

Octopus’s Garden

  • 6 parts gin
  • 2 parts dry vermouth
  • smoked baby octopus
  • black olive

Perfect Martini

  • 6 parts gin
  • 1 part dry vermouth
  • 1 part sweet vermouth
  • cocktail olive

Plaza Martini

  • 2 parts gin
  • 2 parts dry vermouth
  • 2 parts sweet vermouth

Racquet Club

  • 6 parts gin
  • 2 parts dry vermouth
  • 3 to 5 dashes orange bitters

Sloe Gin Martini

  • 6 parts sloe gin (Plymouth’s)
  • 2 parts dry vermouth
  • 3 to 5 dashes Angostura bitters
  • lemon twist

Don’t use that cheap crap they put in Alabama Slammers. Only use Plymouth’s Sloe Gin. They steep sloe berries in Plymouth Gin.

Sweet Martini

  • 6 parts gin
  • 2 parts sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • lime twist

Sweetie Martini

  • 6 parts gin
  • 1 part dry vermouth
  • 1 part sweet vermouth
  • lemon twist
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