I made a perfect martini at home. Or did I "bruise the gin"?

How to make a perfect home-made Martini:

(1) Finally break down and buy a set of decent Martini glasses. The type of glass is very important.
(2) Thoroughly rinse out your Starbucks all-metal thermos
(3) Insert gin, vermouth, and two ice cubes into same
(4) Place olive in glass
(5) Shake thermos vigorously for one minute
(6) Pour into glass and enjoy.,

I completed Steps (1) through (6), and sure enough, the finished product had just that wonderful icy mistiness that adds so much to the pleasure of drinking a professionally mixed Martini. I attribute this to the fact that some the ice gets minced by the shaking. Go me, I said to myself. If I were transplanted to the inside of an early 1960s comedy film, I would know just how to handle a cocktail shaker.

On the other hand, I’ve heard that shaking a Martini “bruises the gin”. Can gin be bruised? Can anyone explain the whole shaken vs. stirred debate?

Shaken gin oxidizes, which ain’t a good thing in my opinion. I prefer gin martinis that are stirred-- much smoother.

But don’t take my word for it! Set 'em up side by side and conduct a taste test.

You have to bruise the gin. It won’t behave like a good soldier without a little bruising :slight_smile:

  1. Glasses are very important, good move.
  2. I got a free stainless steel shaker for giving a bad review on some software
  3. put in 4 clean and fresh ice cubes
  4. put olives and cold olive juice in glass about 3/4 oz (or if warm pour into shaker).
  5. add dash vermouth and gin
  6. shake 11 times, 12 if I had to use warm olive juice.
  7. From this point I think we do things exactly the same :slight_smile:

I have heard that too about shaking, I don’t buy it. I think the biggest difference is how much water melts off the ice, shaking will melt more water than stirring. Other than that I think it is all ritual, which is a large part of the enjoyment of martini’s. Adding the ingredients in the proper order, ensuring the glass is ready, carefully carrying two martini’s to the living room to my waiting wife whilst dodging kittens and teenagers and taking that first sip. Add munching on gin-soaked olives and you have the beginnings of a proper religious rite. Call it communion if you want :slight_smile:

Forget shaking. Put gin in a pitcher. Look at the bottle of vermouth. Put the pitcher of gin in the freezer while thinking of the vermouth. Wait a while. Pour and serve.

Smooth, not diluted, and very, very dry.

Okay, I have been known to use some vermouth at times. In such cases, I give it a small stir before putting the pitcher in the freezer.

Ackshully, that’s way too much work.

  1. Put bottle of gin in freezer.
  2. Put martini glass in freezer.
  3. Wait 24 minutes, hours, days or months.
  4. Take out martini glass.
  5. Pour gin into martini glass.
  6. Enjoy :smiley:

(Vermouth is totally optional)

When I do martinis (which is very rare, because I’m not much of a gin fan, and even less so vermouth), I do this:

  1. Put ice in shaker
  2. Pour vermouth over ice
  3. Dump vermouth into sink. The amount left over clinging to the ice is perfect for a dry martini.
  4. Add gin
  5. Stir
  6. Strain ice and serve in martini glass

Hmm. A slight hijack. Because I hate martinis.

My drink of choice is a vodka gimlet–potable when mediocre, sublime when done right. I’ve only every reached the sublime state once, though, and the bartender making it did some sort of shake-and-strain ritual that I didn’t quite follow, but created a drink with a “wonderful icy mistiness,” as described in the OP.

How do I order a vodka gimlet like this at a bar, and is it copacetic to do so?


Vermouth is not optional but the smallest amount possible is needed. Best method:

Chill gin (or vodka if you want a vodka martini).

Hold vermouth bottle up to a strong light source (the sun works best), and let the light shine through the liquid into a martini glass.

Pour in gin / vodka.

Add an olive.


Or alternatively, you can refer to the vermouth obliquely while discussing the history of aromatized wines in 18th century Aquitaine. In all seriousness though, I do like my martini’s a bit wet, with perhaps two parts gin to one of vermouth. Those are good sized glasses I bought. Four ounces of straight gin is a bit much, especially when I might want to have another.

Actually I should mention where I heard that about the gin being bruised. We were watching an old movie, Auntie Mame, and early in the film her eight-year old nephew Patrick mixes a martini for Mr. Babcock. He stirred it in a pitcher, using what appeared to be room-temperature ingredients. No ice was used that I could see.

Was it ever customary to drink martinis at room temperature?

Left Hand of Dorkness: Hooray gimlets. I tend to prefer gin, but vodka is lovely too. And you gotta use Rose’s Sweetened Lime Juice. Some of the fancier places I’ve been to will use fresh lime juice and sugar. Sure, it sounds better, but the end result is foul and tastes of rubbing alcohol. If Rose’s was good enough for Marlowe, then by gum it’s good enough for me.

I’d try to order it shaken, and tip a bit heavy for the service.

Yeowch! Yes, it is a bit much. I might use some actual vermouth myself if I was making a four-ouncer.

By the way, I should add in response to an above comment that yes, the bottle can go in the fridge. But bringing a tray with a frosty pitcher and two glasses into the room makes a nice presentation that your companion will likely appreciate. Add some nice jazz for that special touch.

I do so love it when my wife and I have a cocktail hour. Or two.

OK, can someone please explain this to me:

Some martini lovers out there seem to prescribe to this theory of “no vermouth = good.” Umm…well, then it’s not really a martini, is it? Isn’t it then just a big glass of gin? A recipe for martini includes vermouth, because whoever invented it a long time ago decided that’s what he wanted to put in it to make it NOT straight gin.

This is how they serve them at Bandera, which is considered one of the better martini bars in West L.A. Actually many of their variations on the martini theme revolve around what the olive is stuffed with…bleu cheese, pimento, or whatever. I had a bad experience with a couple of these supercharged martinis following a cigar of which I had inadvertently swallowed a shred.

While I agree that a martini should include at least some vermouth, the action of chilling, shaking, prepping the glass, and the addition of the olive creates a distinctly different final result than merely pouring gin into a glass. Just as merely pouring gin and vermouth into a glass isn’t truly a martini, at least in my opinion.

You’ve explained it to yourself. If it’s straight gin, then it’s not a “mixed drink” its just some slob drinking straight gin. The Vermouth part is a challenge to create the “mixed drink” while trying not to ruin God’s beautiful clear ambrosia.

Kind of like spending as little as possible on the date because you really don’t want dinner, you want sex.

Now where’s my Bombay?

I couldn’t agree more. I assume this trend is due, in part, to the fact that the vermouth used by most bars and restaurants tastes like crap.

Regarding the shaken vs. stirred debate, there was a staff report on that.

I’ve always been a shaker myself. Actually I have been doing a double shake…shaking with a small amount of ice, adding more ice, then giving it a final shake. I think you get a “softer” drink this way. I assume that the extra shaking results in more water in the drink. But what do I know? I just drink them.

HA! The person that’s “not much of a gin fan” is the only one to describe the correct way to make a martini.

Easy. People who like big glasses of gin are DRUNKS! (although they like to call themselves “sophisticated drinkers”)

Personally, I’m a 2 to 1 or 3 to 1 gin to vermouth man, stirred, with a big ol’ wedge of lemon.

I use the same ratio you do, but don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re not a drunk. Martini drinkers are by definition, drunks. And I mean that in the best sense of the word. Drunk and Sophisticated Drinker are not mutually exclusive terms.

sorry for the newbie question, but which vermouth are you supposed to use: the normal stuff, of the stuff with the added sugar?