Friday, July 24, 2015

In search of the perfect martini ...

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Writers often have a reputation for drinking, so why should I rock the boat?  I have two different drinks of choice.  Black velvet and soda and gin martinis.

Why is it so difficult to find a really good gin martini?  You'd think they'd be easy to make. There are basically two ingredients; gin and vermouth.  Some people like them with olives (that would be me), and some people like them with a twist of lemon. (Yuck!)

When I'm in a nice restaurant and order my drink, I always ask for a dry gin martini up with olives. Dry means light on the vermouth, which I find to be rather bitter. 

Lately, it seems it's getting harder and harder to find a decent martini--even when you order from a place that has a nice bar. Often they're left in the shaker too long and you get a very watery tasting drink.  Mind you, if you're paying $7 a pop--you want drink that tastes the way it should.  Other times there's too much vermouth (and it's supposed to be 1 shot of vermouth to 2 of gin--I'm asking for less), or there's virtually no hint of gin.  (What's with that?)

My friend Pat drinks Gray Goose martinis, or at least she used to.  She got tired of getting lousy drinks and now just asks for straight vodka in a chilled glass.  (Gray Goose is NOT a cheap vodka--so if she's pay $10 or more for her martini--she wants it the way she wants it.)

Mr. L and I were recently on a mini vacation, so I got to sample martinis at three different (nice) restaurants within three days. None of them were worth the price. When I want a really good martini, there are only four places in New York that I know make them well.  The Sherwood Inn (Skaneateles, NY), Benard's Grove (Greece, NY),  The Cottage Inn (Red Creek, NY), and Keenans (Rochester, NY). 

I'm sure there are more, but I haven't found them yet.

What's your poison?