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?

11 comments:

Booklady said...

I like a really good dirty martini made with Bombay Blue Sapphire gin. A local restaurant, Jack Quinn's makes the best I've ever had. I also like Chocolate Martini's and my husband makes the best of those.

mary kennedy said...

Its not even 9:00 am and I feel like a could use a delicious martini! Excellent post. As they say, 'It's gotta be five o'clock somewhere!"

Robert Giddings said...

The brand makes a big difference especially in martinis. If you add soda or juice it's not as important. I like rum but there is a big difference across the spectrum. When I drink vodka it is normally with cranberry or lemonade so cheap stuff is fine.

Today just happens to be National Tequilla Day. Margarittas on the deck!

Anne Louise Bannon said...

My husband makes a gorgeous martini. But it is all about using a really good gin with just a splash of vermouth.

katherine is love said...

I am a big fan of semi dry white wine. It's just so light and refreshing. And on a hot summer day, after slaving away at my office job all day, it's nice to come home and have an ice cold beer (preferably by the pool)!

Nancy said...

I have never had a gin martini, but I have had a few gin and tonics, which I wouldn't mind having right now. A long time ago I had a vodka martini and that was good. It packed quite a wallop, too. For sure I would have olives rather than lemon.

Lorraine Bartlett said...

Bombay Sapphire is damn fine gin! Not so fond of a dirty martini. We found out that one of the very nice restaurants we frequent (that makes lousy drinks) uses only a HALF shot glass for everything, and they ask top buck. Don't go there so often any more....

Lorraine Bartlett said...

It sure is five o'clock somewhere!

Lorraine Bartlett said...

We've found that sometimes the cheaper brands make the better drinks. We asked the bartender at The Cottage Inn what she makes martinis with and she showed us the bottle. On the way home, we bought one at the local liquor store. If you're going to drink something like a gin and tonic, then cheap is fine. (I once got hammered on beef eater G&Ts because the alcohol percent is about 15% higher. I stay away from Beefeater these days.)

Lorraine Bartlett said...

I agree -- just a splash of vermouth.

Maggie Sefton said...

I like a good Cosmopolitan, but I'm picky about the mixer used with the vodka. :)