Dry Vermouth
Stir and strain into an ice cold cocktail glass. Garnish with a manicured lemon zest. Prepare yourself a nice chair, maybe a book... hell, you could be playing video games, mating, making dinner, whatevs! We guarantee that if this little thing is by your side, life will be better!! Promise!
PS: NO VODKA! The Martini is a recipe! If you change a recipe, you change the name. Seems logical, right? If I used cranberries in muffins, instead of blueberries, would I call them cran-blueberry muffins? DUMB!! Therefore, if I go and swap the gin for vodka and add some apple pucker for giggles... NOT A 'TINI' of any sort!!
I apologize for my obvious biases. A Kangaroo, more commonly known as (ugh) a vodka martini, can be ideal for someone seeking a more subtle beverage option. However, the O.G. is unparalleled when one begins to appreciate why something can be so simple, yet complex, in the same moment. That, my friends, is the definition of elegance.

I've omitted notes on execution. We'll revisit those. First, here's our very brief historical bit...
Gin Lane
This lovely beverage came into fruition sometime after the 1870's, when the stateside folk started importing French Vermouth – aka dry vermouth. There's no doubt that the Martinez is its predecessor (a gin cocktail with sweet vermouth, orange bitters, and a touch of maraschino liqueur). However, the origin of either the Martinez or the Martini cocktail is still a fierce debate. Several theories emerged, but little has been proven.
What we do know about the Martini is when it became popular, and what happened as a result. Because of wild popularity among dignitaries, the Martini was extremely marketable. It found it's way into the hands of hollywood moguls and eventually onto the big screen.

Nick Likes his Martini RIGHT
One of the more notable silver-screen advocates of the Martini was the Thin Man series... In his cameo, our hero Nick is found instructing the bewildered staff on proper Martini service. Dude walks into the bar and makes his own Martini!! Um, Awesome! (I would have scoffed at a dude like this a year ago. Now? Definite props)
As a result of films like Thin Man, Hollywood began to profoundly impact drinking habits. Rather than staying true to a recipe, the Martini was swept up by the rhetoric of the big screen. The fatal blow? "Vodka Martini - Shaken, not Stirred" UUUUUUGGGHHHHHHHHH!!! So, it was... and would be, until folks started diggin' up old cocktail books and realizing the "OLD" way was the GOOOOOOD way!
In fact, because this cocktail, when compared to others, was by far most frequently delivered in a cocktail glass, said glass would eventually be recognized as a Martini glass... And that's why folks took the liberty of naming whatever they threw in the thing a 'tini' - WTF people!
Let's get back to the 'whys and hows'
First, the GIN
We use Plymouth Gin because it features a well-balanced blend of herbs and spices. London Dry can have a tendency to be heavy on the juniper. Heavy juniper isn't bad, but we would rather control for this.
Next, French Vermouth
Dolin is currently our favorite brand.
it's recognizable in the drink, but light enough that it doesn't seize control of the gin.
Finally, the Bitters
We prefer orange bitters, although others – particularly scrappy's grapefruit bitters or Angostura – might do amazing things for you. Why is orange bitters important to us? Because it helps dig up all the little citrus notes in a good gin while enhancing the complexity of the vermouth. After learning from friends in the industry, we're pretty stoked about a 50/50 (1:1) mix of Regan's #6 (herbal/spice driven) and Fee's Orange (very orange-ish and pretty sweet).
Here's our favorite recipe:
1.5 oz Plymouth Gin
.5 oz Dolin French Vermouth
1 dash 50/50 Orange bitters
PREP: Add the above ingredients to an iced mixing glass. Stir with an awesome bar spoon. Strain into an ice cold cocktail coupe (if the stem of the glass is cold to the touch, the glass is ready) and zest with a lemon.

*Why is the drink so small? Because temperature is essential... As the temp rises, so does the intense reminder that you're drinking practically straight liquor. Increases in temp also ruin the integrity of the vermouth, a fortified white wine. When was the last time you really enjoyed drinking a glass of warm white wine? Not that memorable, eh!?!
*The measurements we've included are completely subjective. It's a simple 3:1 ratio. If you really love vermouth, add more and scale back the portion of gin... If you really love gin, try the opposite... if you really like orange bitters... yadayadayada...
*For ice, try freezing a couple shallow tuber-wares filled with distilled water ($1 for a gallon at the grocery store). When you're ready to start mixing, have some of your make-shift popsicles in one hand with a large chisel in the other, and crack away. You'll have plenty of LARGE, beautiful rocks. Why large ice? (1) its high-density and reduced surface area allows for less dilution/more control while dropping temps to arctic status ASAP, and (2) it looks cool! One gallon of distilled water will give you enough ice for roughly 15-20 cocktails. If you have treated water (reverse osmosis is best), even better. Why all the filtering nonsense? Clarity in ice... they look like freakin' diamonds!
*Frozen glassware is best (the trick with the Martini is bone chilling cold temps). If the glass has a nice wide/short stem, the freeze will last. Also, the rounded edges will help keep the liquid in the cup. Note good old Nick's glass in the pic above. He's a G. 007? Not so much.

*If time permits, take the extra care to manicure your lemon zest (simply, cut the rough edges from lemon peel to form a clean rectangular strip). Then, pinch your zest over the beverage without cracking the peel, and place on the edge of the glass. Not everyone loves to have peel in, and it's an extra step that shows you're a considerate person. The care that goes into this cocktail is what really stuns guests.

*Shaken or Stirred? Simple... We prefer to stir. Why? because agitating the vermouth in a shake will cause you beverage to be cloudy. We would rather leave the guest feeling as though they have a beautiful and delicate beverage in their hand. Does the shake improve the flavor? Nope. Does it ruin flavor? Maybe... if we're to agree that the presentation, or performance, of creating a beverage has some type of influence on the our guest's impression, then the subtle and delicate process of stirring seems far more appropriate than the intensity of a hard shake.

As you can tell, there's a multitude of ways to personalize the recipe. That's what makes the beverage so special. In an outstanding post, Mr. Huegel claims that there are more than 9,000 ways to make a REAL Martini. With the recent developments in bitters and gin categories, I would bet the # is well over 10,000. Also, the above estimates don't take into consideration variables like method and performance – which, as we discussed, is undoubtedly related to the impression of our guest. That would put us well into the millions of possible outcomes for ONE DRINK! For this reason, it's fair for Mr. Bonné to claim that, "[He] can't tell you how to make the perfect martini. No one can. For the martini is the Rorschach test of cocktails. It is a window into the imbiber's psyche." BOOYAA!

So, how will you have your Martini?
- The Management
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