SPVAQ32021 - 16

H
. L. Mencken called the martini " the only American invention as perfect as the
sonnet, " and E. B. White called it " the elixir of quietude. " This classic gin and
vermouth cocktail, which can be traced back to the 1860s, has morphed into many
variations, including the vodka martini popularized by fictional spy James Bond
who required his to be shaken, not stirred.
Here's the story behind the
drink.
No one knows for sure who
mixed the first martini, but many
point to Jerry Thomas, " the father
of American mixology. " In 1862 he
published " Bar-Tender's Guide, "
which described how to make a
number of classic cocktails. It was
the YouTube tutorial of its day.
The book was wildly popular and
reprinted several times. The 1887
edition included a recipe for the
Martinez, which was a forerunner
to what we know today as the
martini.
Thomas had been living in San
Francisco when he popularized
the Martinez, but the people
of Martinez, California claim
the cocktail was invented there.
Allegedly, a gold miner who struck
it rich was served a Martinez
while celebrating his find. He was
on his way to San Francisco, where
he later told Thomas about the
drink.
According to some, the martini
was created at the Knickerbocker
Hotel in New York during the
early-1900s, or it was invented
by a bartender called Martini, or
it was designed by the vermouth
brand Martini & Rossi. At the end
of the day, no one knows the real
story.
If you want to get serious about
mixing martinis, there are a few
things you need to know. First,
the classic cocktail has five parts
gin to one part dry vermouth,
shaken or stirred with crushed ice,
and presented-naturally-in a
martini glass. It's typically served
neat with an olive. Pearl onions
and lemon twists are alternative
garnishes. A wet martini has more
vermouth while a dry martini has
less, and a perfect martini has
equal parts gin and vermouth.
Instead of (or in addition to)
shaking with ice, you can prepare
the glass by prechilling it with ice
cubes and cold water.
Martini bars have become
quite trendy over the past few
years. First it was tiki bars and
speakeasies, now it's the martini
lounge. These are cocktail bars,
usually upscale, that specialize
in a wide menu of martinis, from
the traditional to the modern to
the outlandish. Most bartenders
can make a good martini, but at
a martini bar you'll get expert,
creative mixology. Some popular
spots in Virginia include:
* Old City Bar, Richmond
* Bar Louis, Herndon
*
Salt, Arlington
* Ultra Martini Lounge,
Virginia Beach
* Twist Martini & Associates,
Virginia Beach
*
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse
& Wine Bar, McLean
* Lost Saint at Tavern and
Grocery, Charlottesville
* Chateau Lobby Bar,
Charlottesville
The martini is a simple cocktail,
but there are a nearly endless
number of variations. Here are
recipes for nine of the best.
GIBSON
VODKA MARTINI
▷ 2½ OZ. GIN
▷ ½ OZ. DRY VERMOUTH
▷ COCKTAIL ONION
Add gin and vermouth to a mixing
glass with ice and stir until chilled.
Strain into a cocktail/martini glass
and serve with a cocktail onion.
▷ 2½ OZ. VODKA
▷ ½ OZ. DRY VERMOUTH
▷ COCKTAIL OLIVE
Put vodka and vermouth in a mixing
glass with crushed ice and stir until
well chilled. Strain into a cocktail
glass and garnish with an olive.
DIRTY MARTINI
▷ 2½ OUNCES GIN
▷ 1/2 OUNCE DRY VERMOUTH
▷ 1/2 OUNCE OLIVE BRINE
▷ OLIVES
Combine gin, vermouth and brine in a
mixing glass with crushed ice and stir
vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini
glass and garnish with skewered olives.
16 SPIRITED VIRGINIA

SPVAQ32021

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