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gin martini

  • c
  • Chris Rising Jan 25, 2006 07:45 PM

There seems to be an abundance of new, designer gins available and I am ready to try something new. My regular is Bombay Sapphire. Any one have any recommendations for a great gin martini?

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  1. I enjoy Hendrick's Gin. I think it's pretty new on the market.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Mari

      Would have to 2nd Hendrick's (not sure how new it is), got a bottle for an old pal's BD that's a die-hard gin fan and he loved it, he also liked the bottle I got for him last year, Hampton's ??? (green w/ an orange top, hard to miss). One that I've been unable to find that's supposed to be great is Broker's, it's British and the cap is a derby... still waiting.

      1. re: PolarBear

        Brokers, the one with the derby, is pretty good as well, but not as good as Hendricks or Plymouth. Also Millers is interesting if you like cucumber. It has a strong cucumber taste with a hint of floral, rose I think.

        1. re: JMF

          Hmmm... Miller's sounds interesting especially since I'm looking forward to a trip to New Orleans and having a Pimm's Cup which supposedly is garnished with a slice of cucumber, wonder if there is any connection. And yes, it was three years ago that I turned my pal on to Plymouth. Have to say as a vodka devotee, I've liked all three of these (Hendrick's, Hampton's, Plymouth) gins in a dry martini.

        2. re: PolarBear

          Brokers is available at Nob Hill Grocery in the SF Bay Area.

        3. re: Mari

          New, trendy and absolutely not worth the extra money they charge for it.

          1. re: FrankJBN

            Not that new anymore, though they are really advertising it.

            1. re: FrankJBN

              How can it be new when Mari mentioned it 7 years ago?

              1. re: ac106

                Yeah, it was first released in 1999. When Mari mentioned it as "new" it had already been on the market for 6-7 years.

          2. Hendrick's or Plymouth. The former is more aromatic.

            1 Reply
            1. re: billh

              I'm a gin fanatic and you took the words right out of my mouth. I think Hendrick's and Plymouth are the two tastiest gins currently on the market... and I am going to be marketing my own gins within two years.

            2. If you can find it, Junipero from the Anchor Brewing Co. in
              San Francisco is very, very good. If you're making a martini
              out of it, it might be worth skipping the vermouth and olive.

              Link: http://www.anchorbrewing.com/about_us...

              4 Replies
              1. re: Antwerp

                Chilled gin alone makes chilled gin, not a martini. :)

                1. re: KB

                  Not to mention that "gin martini" is somewhat redundant. :-)

                  1. re: KB

                    My point exactly!

                  2. re: Antwerp

                    Junipero is pretty good if you really like an overwhelming juniper berry taste/aroma... none of the the other botanicals seem to come through.

                  3. I was really impressed with Hendricks. It is 'super crisp' and 'super dry' to quote the Asahi slogan, and as I recall lets the aromatics really show.

                    1. Well you have gotten plenty of fine gin recs so I will skip that area but add my vote for Plymouth or Hendricks (though I will mention that saphire is a less juniper intensive gin so pick accordingly for your upgrade). I have the Junipero in the house now and it is much more intesnsely Junipe flavored and very spicy.

                      So what are you using, if anything, for vermouth. If you have a skanky old bottle of generic vermouth, try to find some Noilly Pratt or the more upscale Vya. Try old school wet martinis say 2:1 or even 1:1 then look for a bottle of orange bitters and try a dash of that in there.

                      Or perhaps try Degroffs version of the original Martinez cocktail:

                      1.5 gin
                      1.0 vermouth
                      1 dash angostura
                      2 dashes Maraschino

                      Don't worry, that big bottle of Maraschino will go down faster when you add the Aviation coctail to your happy hour.

                      2.0 gin
                      0.5 lemon juice
                      0.5 Maraschino

                      My other current gin fave is Corpse Reviver # 2
                      0.75 gin
                      0.75 cointreau
                      0.75 Lillet Blanc (which subbed for vermouth makes an interesting martini as well)
                      0.75 lemon juice
                      and just a few drops of Absinthe for a background flavor note.

                      Also worth a try are

                      the Delilah
                      1.5 gin
                      0.75 lemon juice
                      0.75 Cointreau

                      Pegu
                      2.0 gin
                      1.0 Cointreau
                      0.5 lime juice (or muddle some wedges)
                      Angostura bitters to taste and optional orange bitters to taste

                      Cheers!

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: Nathan P.

                        The best use I've found for Junipero, beyond iced shots, is:

                        Negroni:
                        1.0 Junipero
                        1.0 Sweet vermouth
                        1.0 Campari
                        Squeeze of orange.

                        Plymouth distillery gives a great tour, if you ever happen to be
                        in that part of the world.

                        1. re: Antwerp

                          Yeah I agree. The junipero has a real punch that cuts through the vermouth and campari better than any other gin I have tried. I recently picked up a bottle of Carpano's Antica Formula Vermouth which adds another whole level of complexity to the drink. Its almost hard to tell it is the same cocktail -worth a try if you can find it or sub its cousin the punt e mes. Is the Plymouth Navy strength worth searching for? I only see the regular around here.

                          And if you are ever in SF the Anchor brewery does a great tour. I don't know if you get to see the still but I managed to get an invitation to an industry night where I got a private tour that included checking out the stills for the production of gin and their ryes.

                        2. re: Nathan P.

                          John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series has Travis favoring Plymouth gin. Here's his "McGee Special Martini" from PALE GRAY FOR GUILT, p.21.

                          *****************************

                          "...a familiar face was working the quiet and elegant bar, and he remembered The Drink, and seemed so pleased with himself in remembering, that we each had one, sitting and watching the deftness with silent and respectful attention. Two ample old-fashioned glasses, side by side, filled to the two thirds line with cracked ice. A big, unmeasured slosh of dry sherry into each glass. Then swiftly, the strainer placed across the top of one and then the other, as with a delicate snap of the wrist he dumped the sherry down the drain. Then fill to the ice level with Plymouth gin, rub the lemon peel around the inside of the rim, pinch some little floating beads of citrus oil on the surface of the drink, throw away the peel, present with small tidy bow and flourish to the folk. 'Two McGees,' said he."

                          Link: http://home.earthlink.net/~rufener/

                          1. re: Sharuf

                            Yes... as a McGee fan I remember that quote... and tried it an liked it, although his real favorite was iced mugs of plain Plymouths on the rocks. Once I read that I tried gin on the rocks and never went back to a martini. Just plain gin for me... an "Extra, Extra Dry Martini"

                            1. re: Sharuf

                              I've read all the Travis McGee novels. Didn't he switch to Boodles for a while?

                              Jim

                              1. re: Jim Washburn

                                Hmmm... I can't remember that but possibly. Plymouth wasn't exported to the US for many years and only has been again for a few years, and the price has doubled in the past two years.

                                1. re: Jim Washburn

                                  Yes, Travis switched to Boodles.

                                  Travis' usual at-home drink was Plymouth gin, until in 1974 the inevitable happened. Here is how MacDonald tells it in THE DREADFUL LEMON SKY, p.32. "I...broke out the very last bottle of the Plymouth gin which had been bottled in the United Kingdom. All the others were bottled in the U.S. Gin People, it isn't the same. It's still a pretty good gin, but it is not a superb, stingingly dry, and lovely gin. ...There is something self-destructive about Western technology and distribution. Whenever any consumer object is so excellent that it attracts a devoted following, some of the slide rule and computer types come in on their twinkle toes and take over the store, and in a trice they figure out just how far they can cut quality and still increase the market penetration... Thus the very good things of the world go down the drain, from honest turkey to honest eggs to honest tomatoes. And gin."

                                  I have since heard that the Plymouth Gin co. has been purchased by caring people, and the product restored to its former excellence.

                              2. re: Nathan P.

                                I thought a Martinez has to have Sweet Vermouth? Maybe Degroff's version is different or you just missed adding "sweet". Also, a proper Aviation cocktail needs to have a creme de violet element to make it the right color, i. e. the sky color.

                              3. I'd like to suggest the gin gibson as a worthy alternative to the martini -- in which case, the question becomes who makes the best cocktail onions?

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: SeltzerHead

                                  I favor the Gibson myself, though it's really a differnt drink--especially if, like me, you prefer the sweet variety of cocktail onion to the more savory kind. As for who makes the best cocktail onions, I have to confess I don't know, and don't even know how to determine from the bottle which will be sweet and which will be savory. I go through them so slowly (sadly enough) that I don't end up buying them with enough frequency to remember or learn anything.

                                  As for the main question, Hendrick's is great (not that new, though) and I've always liked Tanquery Ten too. Haven't had Plymouth in a while so I'll have to revisit based on the enthusiasm for it here. I've recently been enjoying Citadelle pretty well. If one can get over the un-ginlike fact that it's made in France and any suspicion that its relatively low cost means it's no good, it's got a nicely distinctive light floral quality that I enjoy. Not sure how it'd go with a regular martini--it might be out of sync with the heavier salty qualities that the olive imparts. But it works well with a sweet-onion
                                  Gibson.

                                  Let me also thank the poster who gave the recipe for the Delilah for reminding me of it. Thanks to him too for mentioning the Aviation. My requests for that drink are too often met with blank stares or disastrous results (though it is, in fairness, hard to do well in my opinion), and maybe some more publicity for it will make these experiences less frequent.

                                  1. re: Denis

                                    I'm also a Gibson fan...After trying and liking martinis I then moved on to Gibsons, then to Dirty Gibsons (where some of the onion juice is added). I like the big, sweet, English pickled onions from HP. Eventual of course I then moved to gin on the rocks.

                                  2. re: SeltzerHead

                                    Considering this is chowhound, I would think the standard would be homemade pickled frogs leg shallots or soemthing like that. I'm a twist man myself so never shop for onions.

                                  3. I'm a fan of regular Tanqueray but their Tanqueray 10 makes an even better martini (assuming of course that the vermouth is no closer than the next room and it is only diluted by the oil from the olives).

                                    8 Replies
                                    1. re: Tom

                                      With no vermouth it is NOT a Martini. It is a glass of cold gin. Nothing wrong with drinking cold gin mind you, but a martini it aint. Try one with vermouth, good vermouth and a fair measure of it.

                                      1. re: Nathan P.

                                        The late, semi-great Lucius Beebe declared that "any martini drier than 5 to 1 is just iced gin!" and I concur. I insist on the vermouth being an actual ingredient, not merely an unfounded rumor; I've had young bartenders almost break into tears when I demanded that they pour the vermouth into the shaker (yes, shaker, please!) instead of just rinsing out the glass with it. "You're making me RUIN it!" they cry. "Put a sock in it, sonny," I tell'em. "No, on second thought, make that an olive..."

                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                          I think it is a combo of the modern supersize everything (including alcohol) mentality plus the popularity of vodka. Vodka has no particular affinity for vermouth so the drink shifted to just cold vodka. Now we drinkers of delicous real martinis suffer from the old bottle of vermouth that has been dispensing 3 drops of vermouth into martinis for the last 9 months! I just ignore the strange looks I get from bartenders- just like I ignore there confused look when I ask if they have bitters for my Manhattan.

                                          1. re: Nathan P.

                                            If the bastards don't have bitters, it's time to find another bar.

                                      2. re: Tom

                                        Personally I'm of the mindset that vermouth ruins good gin. Vermouth really isn't that tasty. That's why I gave up martinis for gin on the rocks, no fruit.

                                        1. re: JMF

                                          on contrare mon frere- you didn't like the vermouth because it was crappy vermouth, most likely not kept refrigerated and most likely the mass produced sloff they pass off as vermouth. as a reader mentioned in 2006 the Carpano Antica is where you want your vermouth to land (italian) or Dolin or even Vya- available at very fine liquor establishments

                                          it will help you rediscover the joy of the true martini

                                          1. re: JMF

                                            Caught in a time warp. Now that JMF is making his own spirits and bitters, it would be interesting to see if his affection for the Martini has returned. But then I like vermouth.

                                            --
                                            www.kindredcocktails.com | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

                                            1. re: EvergreenDan

                                              Wow! Just came across this post. Boy have my tastes changed over the past seven years since Jan. 2006. And my knowledge of spirits and cocktail ingredients. My comment above was just as I started my present adventure. tobinsmith you are right on the money. I had never had a good, or fresh, vermouth. By October of that year I was a professional writer focused on food and drink. By March 2007 I was being asked to enter my cocktail creations in competitions, and my recipes were being put on big brands websites.

                                              Now I like my martini's with a good vermouth. Dolin is one of my favs. I also like them 3:1 or 2:1 gin to vermouth, and only stirred for at least 35 seconds. But I still love gin on the rocks with a splash of water.

                                        2. By the way, let's get our terminology straight here. We are talking about the most refined spirit here, although it originally started out more as a medical tonic and liquor for the masses. When talking about Martini's... If it's made with gin it's a Martini... if made with vodka it's a Vodka Martini... if made with anything else... it's not a Martini! It's a strained cocktail, straight up, served in a martini glass.

                                          Of course who ever designed the Martini Glass wasn't the worlds best designer. It's the absolutely wrong glass for a martini. The walls are thin so the drink has to be drunk fast before it warms up, and a martini is a sipping drink. Also the sloped shape makes it hard to drink from. It tends to slop all over, especially after the second one of the night.

                                          A martini would probably be more effective in a thick walled, tulip shaped glass that would keep it cold, and concentrate the aroma of all those great botanicals.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: JMF

                                            I think part of this glass issue is the bucket glasses that todays supersized customers want. If you look at old glasses you see the cocktail shape in 4 oz sizes. Make a drink in this size and it is much easier to drink quickly than a modern 8 oz glass.

                                            1. re: Nathan P.

                                              My old cocktail glasses (similar to those Nick and Nora were seen drinking) are 2-1/2 or 3 ounces and from what I've read, weren't meant to be filled to the rim.

                                              1. re: K. McB.

                                                Yep- I think this also explains the 3 martini lunch. Three 6 oz modern martinis with no vermouth in them and I would be lucky to be able to find my way out of the restaurant.

                                            2. re: JMF

                                              Only thing is that the "martini glass" is really the cocktail glass. And it existed before the drink. So I say, have a martini in whatever container you like.

                                              1. re: mod'ern

                                                So, why the shape of the cocktail glass?

                                                I thought it was to dissapate the fumes of hard liquor. Taking a good whiff of hard alcohol would knock you socks off.

                                                I took a quick look to see if the glass makers like Riedel were doing anything different with martini/cocktail glasses and they were not.

                                                Surprisingly, Reidel, the maker of the stemless wine glass doesn't seem to be going to the stemless martini glass cradled in a chiller/holder.

                                                The other legend behind the cocktail glass is that it orgininated during prohibition so you could drink the cocktail in three quick sips if there was a raid. And going back to that period, cheap hooch was disguised with the flavor of juniper berries, bath tub gin, so that goes back to a glass where no one really would want to be savouring the fumes of what they were drinking. That wasn't the point.

                                                I think there's a certain Hollywood glamour that lingers with it ... Nick and Nora, Fred and Ginger, Dean, Frank, Sammy and the boys. Sort of like those old 50's movies with the shallow bowl champagne glasses.

                                                Maybe with the boutiquing of gin, the shape of the glass will change to take advantage of the drink.

                                              2. re: JMF

                                                Actually I want to add to this old post. A so-called vodka martini is actually, technically, called a Kangaroo.

                                              3. Or does it matter? And why? Can anybody explain? I've been fascinated by this ever since I discovered Ian Fleming's novels as a kid. I asked scores of people about this and never could get a satisfactory answer. "Don't bruise the gin!" the stirrers inevitably replied. Say what? I asked the very famous head bartender of the Willard Hotel in Washington DC, and he described a procedure he called "agitated" which, he said, combined the best of both (put a stirrer beween your palms and rub vigourously)

                                                Image: http://www.lovefilm.com/images/static...

                                                16 Replies
                                                1. re: Brian S

                                                  Actually, a martini should be stirred not shaken. If you shake it, there is a good chance little shavings of ice will break off and find their way into your glass. I also recall seeing a show where they mentioned that shaking a martini also leaves the drink slightly cloudy.

                                                  1. re: Evan

                                                    Leave it to the British Science establishment...

                                                    Link: http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/conten...

                                                    1. re: WLA

                                                      This is interesting in a completely meaningless way. And I think I'd be stupider for having read this were I not also a collector of useless facts.

                                                      So now I know that a martini shaken for 1 minute is better at neutralizing hydrogen peroxide.

                                                      Next time I'm about to ingests some H202, I'll sure to 007.

                                                      1. re: mod'ern

                                                        When I saw the subject I recalled hearing about this study at sometime or another. Google found it in a split second for me. Google for President.

                                                        The only argument that makes any sense for shaking rather than stirring is that it imparts more coldness to the drink. Otherwise I don't care how they give me that ability to take the first sip that makes the world go away for an instant in time...

                                                        1. re: WLA

                                                          Don't get me wrong. I liked the fact that you posted the link. I was just making fun of the study. It was useless and interesting--not a wholly bad combination. And like you, now I won't be able to shake it out of my memory.

                                                          1. re: WLA

                                                            Agreed. I'm a purist in most martini details -- I need a 3- or 4-to-1 gin to vermouth ratio,and small cocktail glasses -- but so long as it's COLD I don't care if it's shaken or stirred. Any fizz or cloudiness disappears within seconds, and I have no problem with a teeny icy shard or two. But I'm sick of watching my drink lightly stirred and poured without any chance to get cold enough to hold the temperature. So, if the drink isn't prepared by someone who knows what she's doing, I tend to fare much better off with the shaken drink.

                                                            At home, I do either or.

                                                            1. re: K. McB.

                                                              Let me just endorse your emphasis on the importance of temperature. As Baker says in The Gentleman's Companion, "cold drinks must be served *arctic* cold." This is never more true than in the case of the martini, in my opinion.

                                                      2. re: Evan

                                                        Brian nailed it- cloudy slushy drinks result if a martini is shaken. It wont ruin a drink like a shaken manahattan which can become frothy; ewwwwwww! I jsut shake anything with juice or heavy components.

                                                        1. re: Nathan P.

                                                          Hmmm, my shaken one's (using large enough cubes) are cloudy only briefly in the glass them become perfectly clear. I usually use water filtered in a Brita to make the ice, wonder if that matters?

                                                          1. re: PolarBear

                                                            Briefly, that describes how long it takes me to finish one! :)

                                                            You have brought up another key coctail issue: ice. The size and shape have a huge difference in the rate of dilution and chilling you get when you make a drink. Energy efficient ice makes bad drinks- watery or not cold enough. I have had to abandon the small cubes in my current fridge and pulled out a bigger tray. Would love to know if anyone has a source for super-huge-ice cube trays?

                                                      3. re: Brian S

                                                        Stirred. And you can't "bruise" gin either.

                                                        1. re: Brian S
                                                          j
                                                          JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

                                                          Clear drinks should be stirred. There are multiple reasons for this. Some had already mentioned the little bits of ice that get into the drink when shaken. Another reason not to shake your martini is that a good vigorous shaking will give the drink a little bit of effervescence, which will disrupt the texture of a really good martini.

                                                          1. re: Brian S

                                                            In various postings below it will be seen that the shaken martini is deprecated for being (a) clouded with tiny shards of ice and (b) rendered somewhat effervescent by the process. To which I humbly submit that I rather like those so-called defects, and find that they add to my enjoyment of the Martini Experience.

                                                            I do not have these things in my usual martini, because (I'm being embarrasingly frank here) I keep my gin and my martini glasses in the freezer, and my vermouth and olives in the fridge, and when I suddenly feel the urge for a martini I just take everything out and combine it with neither ritual nor any particular effort. But running the stuff through a shaker does have the character of an Occasion, and I do like the result.

                                                            1. re: Brian S
                                                              j
                                                              Jersey City Mods

                                                              I took a bartending course a long time ago and the proper Martini is definitely NOT shaken. It is simply an eccentricity of the Bond character. Which is no reason not to shake it if you want!

                                                              1. re: Brian S

                                                                After trying both (too many times to count), I definitely preferred a stirred martini. I find that shaking dilutes the drink too much. I shudder whenever I see a shaker emerge at the bar.

                                                                I loved an episode of the West Wing where President Bartlett was on a rant about how a perfect martini should be made. Somebody raised the question about shaking beacause of James Bond and Bartlett's response was, "The guy's ordering a diluted drink and being snotty about doing it!!"

                                                                Still gives me a chuckle.

                                                                By the way, my new favorite gin for martinis is Miller's. I'm still order Sapphire when I'm out, but at home, I choose Millers for the lovely floral notes.

                                                                1. re: Brian S

                                                                  The Grubman has been drinking martinis (or gin rocks) for approximately 134 years. Here's the deal on the shaken/stirred question.

                                                                  If you enjoy the taste & kick of your gin -- whatever it may be -- diluted (or not) w vermouth, then pour over ice cubes, stir gently & transfer to a cocktail glass.

                                                                  If you wish to enjoy the taste of your gin, but knock off the initial edge, then pour into shaker w a few cubes of cracked, not ever crushed, ice. Shake vigorously for all of 5 seconds & transfer to your cocktail glass. Pretty much the same taste as the stirred version w/o the shudder.

                                                                2. Hendrick's it was. A bit aromatic, compared to my regular Sapphire. Dry but not without vermouth, olives-two small. Shaken, though crystal clear and thank god no ice chips. When I lived in Dallas I had to specify that no, I do not want a martini slurpee.

                                                                  Lame bartender didn't even know whether Hendricks was stocked and had to look in the closet before he saw the bottle behind the bar. Next stop Plymouth and Junipero.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Chris Rising

                                                                    Congrats on finding something new. At home I tend to buy whatever interesting gin is on sale when I run out. Recently, the BevMo chain in CA had Plymouth on sale for like $13 (its $20-$22 at my locals) so it became a fixture at my house. Enough martini talk though. I drinking this as I type:
                                                                    1.5 oz Junipero
                                                                    0.75 oz Noilly Pratt
                                                                    3 drops of Fees Orange Bitters

                                                                    Super Tasty
                                                                    Cheers Everyone

                                                                    Image: http://porkbelly.smugmug.com/photos/5...

                                                                    1. re: Nathan P.

                                                                      Plymouth for $13??? I'm getting in the car right now... oh crap, they'll be closed by the time I get there. Will have to check the local outlet in the morning. Thanks for the tip.

                                                                  2. How do you top Bombay Saphire?

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: BlueHerons

                                                                      Bombay Saphire is actually a pretty mild and flavorless gin. Marketed as a top level gin, it has a refined taste, ie., flavorless, but a marked absense of botanicals, which are what gin is all about. It just can't compete against some of the craft gins and unique ones such as the very old Plymouth, Hendricks, Millers, Junipero, etc.

                                                                    2. What do you mean by Gin Martini? Is there any other kind?

                                                                      1. Plymouth Gin!!! My new absolute fave...hendricks is good, but can get overwhelming at times...plymouth is so smooth great straight-up or mixed!!!

                                                                        1. Doesn't anyone drink Beefeaters anymore? While I'm curious to try Millers now (love Pimms cups and the cucumber flavor sounds like a good summer drink), Beefeaters has been hubby and my standard. We went through a Plymouth phase, Boodles, Hendricks, Bombay, but keep coming back to the big B. I find it beautifully aromatic (I'm guessing the wide mouth of the glass is designed for this...?)and flavorful.

                                                                          I would love to find a place that serves a good mixed martini,but after having "bartenders" dump olive water (yuk!) into the mix, we moved to our martinis super dry (as in straight gin). We also like the beautiful clarity of pure iced gin in a clean simple glass. There's something elegant about this very minimalist drink. In fact, the only time we used "other-than-clear" glasses was with a vintage cocktail set with hand painted roosters (very Nick and Nora). Now that they're all broken, we're back to being purists.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: deepo

                                                                            Agree on Beefeater, also like Bombay regular. On the cheaper side I often buy Seagrams or Gordon's for myself at home.

                                                                          2. I third the Beefeater recommendation - it's got a lovely citrus quality I really like. It also stands up to a little more vermouth than my Hendricks martini, which is easily overpowered by the Noilly Prat.

                                                                            I used to keep my gin in the freezer, too, until I realized that dilution was an essential element of a well-made cocktail. One day I noticed that I never kept my brandy or rye or bourbon in the freezer, but my sidecars and sazeracs and manhattans were still delicious.

                                                                            Lastly, I cannot recommend highly enough the practice of adding a dash or two of orange bitters to the shaker. It elevates the martini to the sublime.

                                                                            And has anyone else tried the new double-walled insulated shakers from Oxo and others? Brilliant! No more frozen hands.

                                                                            1. I shake most of my 'up' cocktails vigorously over cubes of ice, and strain them into chilled cocktail glasses. I'm a firm believer that a little dilution and a lot of chilling is important to such drinks. It's why I don't keep liquor in the freezer, except for vodka and sipping bitters like Fernet Branca that I intend to serve neat. A good strainer and not-too-finely cracked ice obviates the "clouding with slush" issue. I save the shaved ice for mists and Mai Tais.

                                                                              Shaking is also important for drinks with added egg white -- like the Ramos Fizz and other fizzes -- to get the desired foamy effect.

                                                                              But I stir drinks made with certain bitters, generally the kind of which a few dashes only are used as cocktail flavorings: Angostura, Peychaud's, orange bitters, peach bitters. Shaking such drinks tends to make them unattractively cloudy.

                                                                              1. Tried martini stirred with Plymouth gin and Vya vermouth at 5:1 ratio with Myers lemon peel and Picholine olives. Excellent!!

                                                                                My understanding is that Ian Fleming always had his martini stirred. Must be a joke that he played on his readers.

                                                                                1. Nothing like a Martini discussion or a spirit post about "what bourbon should I try next" to release the hounds out of the woodwork! I'll list my 2 cents after reading all this and hope it is informative.

                                                                                  1. A martini must have gin. 2. A martini must have dry vermouth, and I have found Dolins dry to be the best. 3. The vermouth used must be either new or refrigerated less then a month. 3. Orange or lemon bitters makes it better. 5. Please stir this drink vigorously until it is damn cold, 45-59 seconds. 6. Plymouth is by historical reference the gin used in the first Martini. 7. That said, for other gins, Brokers is a good value gin for a London dry style and if you have not tried Deaths Door Gin from Wis, go find it now! It is citrus and floral and if you like Plymouth, you will like this one too.

                                                                                  1. My go-to gin of choice is Plymouth,....smooth, not biting, and was Winston Churchills, and the British navy's regular gin

                                                                                    1. As I near the stage where the olives surface I am having no quibbles with a shaken 4:1 original Bombay and original dry Noilly Prat...essence of the impending holidays to me.