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Best martinis in the World??

Come on people, help me out here. Where are the best (gin) martinis in the world?

So far my list includes:

1) Harry's Bar, Venice
2) Forelini's, NYC
3) The Princeton Club, NYC
4) The Graham Greene Martini; Hanoi, Vietnam, at the Metropole Hotel (I know, it's a bastard...but good)
5) The Hemingway Bar, The Ritz, Paris

Others? I'm writing a book about this and need some help!

Thanks,
Eric

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  1. The bar at the Duke's Hotel in London (off St. James Street) is quite famous for its martinis.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DavidT

      I believe Duke's is the location where the creator of James Bond decided to include a martini as Bond's staple, because the martini's there were supposed to be the best in the world (supposedly). I watched Follow that Food the other day on TV and they did a part on Duke's Hotel. Very interesting to watch the bartender there make a martini.

    2. Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa. The bartenders will make your drink, put it in front of you, and then use an eyedropper for the amount of vermouth you desire.

      5 Replies
      1. re: byrd

        So you think a good martini is a glass of gin? ok

        1. re: tamerlanenj

          personaly i like my martinis 4 to 1 ratio
          from salon.com:

          for those of you kids too young to remember, a classic martini is made from 2 ounces gin, or vodka, and a splash of dry vermouth. (These days, the word martini has been bastardized to include almost any concoction that is mixed in a shaker and strained into a martini glass.) The classic martini's dryness is defined by the amount of vermouth added. The less vermouth, the drier the drink. Serious martini drinkers are very specific about their desired degree of dryness. As a point of reference, "dry" equals approximately 1/4 ounce, "extra dry" constitutes a few drops, and when someone orders an "extra, extra dry" martini, they are essentially requesting gin or vodka straight from the bottle (just what most doctors prescribe for post-tax trauma).

          Bartenders and martini aficionados often attempted to outdo each other with novel approaches in their quest to serve up the "driest" concoction possible. Here are some of the most creative methods I have observed.

          Pour the gin or vodka in a shaker, then wave the vermouth bottle over the top (Winston Churchill made his martinis by pouring gin into a pitcher, then glancing briefly at a bottle of vermouth across the room).
          Fill a small perfume mister with vermouth and use it to spritz a fine mist.
          Take an empty martini glass, add a splash of vermouth. Swirl it around so that the walls of the glass are coated, then toss out the excess vermouth. Add chilled gin or vodka.
          and the winner is . . .

          Fill a shot glass with vermouth, down the shot, then breath heavily on the glass of chilled gin or vodka.

          1. re: byrd

            While these are entertaining(and by the way you missed a couple, like the bartender who whispers "vermouth" across the top of the glass of gin, or my dad's, who carries the bottle of gin past the closet where he keeps the vermouth, religiously, once a week) a true Martini coctail is made of equal parts dry gin and dry vermouth with a dash of orange bitters. While I don't drink it like that frequently, it is something to try for a point of reference. I usually make mine 4 to 1 with a small dash of orange bitters, usually made with Plymouth gin and Vya vermouth and some ancient deKuyper orange bitters from the 50's that I acquired a few years ago

            1. re: chazzerking

              Chazzerking, that's exactly my formula including brands (although without the ancient bitters...still using Fee Bros.). Quite the cocktail.

            2. re: byrd

              funny, you took this quote straight from my martini painting!

        2. You hit a couple of my favorites already (Harry's, Ritz Paris). I don't know if it would rate as world class, but I'd give Boston's best Martini to the Oak Bar at the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel, even though it would not rate as offering the city's best cocktails all-around.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            Great - I will try this one for sure. Thanks!

            -Eric

          2. What is your book on and what info are you covering in it? Who's your publisher? Just curious about when and where we might see it.

            1. I hate to be such a buzzkill, but really, what makes one of these martinis so much better than the rest? I mean, it's only two ingredients (unless you want the original martini, which contains bitters)!

              I am a former professional bartender and love a good martini, but come on, it ain't rocket science. A properly made martini is something that I don't see too often, but I can teach a bartender in 30 seconds how to do it right. I believe a lot of this "best" attitude comes from presentation. Maybe the question should be worded - "What are the best bars to drink a martini?" Now, we have a book to write.

              -Kevin

              1 Reply
              1. re: UptownKevin

                Kevin,

                Please see my reply below. I know it isn't rocket science, but you wouldn't believe how many bartenders shake them (shudder), stir them for too short a period of time (groan), do not use fresh cuts when I ask for a twist (sigh), or make it undrinkable with the amount of vermouth (gasp!). Even some of the best bars in the world still mess the drink up by screwing with the aforementioned...

                You're point about the presentation is right on too. See below.

                Thanks!

                -Eric

              2. Thanks for everyone's thoughts...now a little of my replies - !

                First, the point about gin/vermouth/dryness. In attempting to do this research, I am committed to "real" martinis, which are gin (not, not vodka) and a small amount of vermouth. I shun the illegitimate heirs of the martini - those things that Oprah pushes - but I would respect them if they were just called...cocktails! Which they are.

                I like my martinis about 5-to-1 or 4-to-1. So, when I ask the bartender for a "martini" and don't specify anything else, I WANT him to make me a gin martini with a respectable (i.e. not too much) amount of vermouth. I don't want him to ask me if I want a vodka martini, because real martinis are not vodka martinis. All you have to do is look in an old cocktail book, and you'll only find one recipe - with gin!

                Ok, next point. The poster who mentioned that it is a simple drink is correct. Very simple, and very easy to mess up. My rating system is rough and informal, but the things I am looking for are:

                - The right mixture of gin (not vodka) and vermouth
                - A real twist when I ask for it, cut FRESH from a lemon
                - Good, decently large olives if I ask for them
                - A drink that is not shaken. I don't want my gin all cloudy and terrible-looking. A martini is not a fruity drink, and I don't know why bartenders shake them - I am a creature of the stirred martini. And speaking of stirred martinis, if you're a bartender you better stir it for at least 30 seconds. Any less and it won't even be cold.
                - Presentation. That is a huge point, and I agree that it makes for a large part of my decision. The reason the drink is so good at the Ritz in Paris, for example, is that the joint is elegant to the point of being a Bogart film. You can even smoke, which in this case is appropriate and altogether reasonable to expect. So a lot of this book will be not the drink itself, but the environment surrounding the drink. This does not necessarily mean that I demand a wood-and-oak paneled room, but something with a tough of class can't really hurt; something that is unique and different, but works as a whole. The Graham Greene martini in Hanoi at the Metropole Hotel, for example.

                One last request to round things out here - I am looking in particular for good martinis in Asia. Anyone? They really don't drink them too much there, and the best places are therefore international hotels. Is there anything worth recommending in HKG or Shanghai? Also, any reports from the Tokyo-American Club? I am expecially interested in this last one.

                Thanks for the help!

                Eric

                21 Replies
                1. re: Eric the Law Student

                  In Hong Kong, I've found that the best bet for American-level cocktail craft is the bars at American 4- or 5-star hotels, e.g,. the J.W. Marriott. In Singapore, the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel has great (albeit now touristy) atmosphere and serious cocktails.

                  1. re: Eric the Law Student

                    So how is your book going to be different from other Martini books like Gary Regan's, Miller and Brown's, etc.?

                    1. re: JMF

                      Good question. Those books - with an exception of a short section in Miller and Brown's work - are mostly "how-to" and informational books. Chapters about gin, vodka, stirring, etc. An analysis/history of the drink itself.

                      My book, should I be sober enough to pen it, will be more of a travel guide posing as a martini book. I want to deal heavily on the places and the descriptions of where, as well as the drink itself. If I were talented enough, I think it would make a wonderful art book - grab a slick old black and white camera and run artsy shots of the smoky bar in question next to the text talking about what it's all about to drink a martini in said bar. In fact, the more I think about this the more I like it - a coffeetable glossy giving an artistic take on what you see when you're there and what you feel when you quaff.

                      -Eric

                      1. re: Eric the Law Student

                        If you ever get a chance sit on the veranda of the Africa House Hotel in Stone Town Zanzibar at sunset watching the sun sink into the Indian Ocean and fishing dhows sailing by while sipping a sundowner martini. Magnificent.

                         
                        1. re: JMF

                          Now that's the kind of advice I'm looking for!

                          -Eric

                    2. re: Eric the Law Student

                      Where do I go to get "too much" vermouth in my martini? That's never happened. I plead and try and I'm lucky if I can get more than a dab.

                      1. re: Up With Olives

                        I don't know where you are located but go to any of the top high end bars like in NYC you have The Pegu Club, Bemmelman's, etc. They make very traditional martinis circa 1900's like a "Fitty Fitty" which is what was called a dry martini back then. 1:1 gin to dry vermouth plus a splash of orange bitters.

                        1. re: JMF

                          I'm here in NYC but I was thinking in general, not in the top 1% snazzy bars.

                          1. re: JMF

                            Yes, I have tried those places. I really like Bemmelman's, but the Pegu Club I found to be just all right. Perhaps this means I lean too much towards the Old-School establishment? In fact, Bemmelman's should have been on my list in the first place, my aplogizes that it wasn't.

                            -Eric

                            1. re: Eric the Law Student

                              I like the knowledge of the bartenders at the Pegu Club, and the attitude and knowledge of some of the patrons, but most people who hang out there annoy me.

                              Besides Bemelman's what places do you recommend in NYC that have great drinks and vibe, with no annoying, loud, squeeky types? Maybe a few of us get together this friday?

                              I haven't been to Forelini's or The Princeton Club.

                              1. re: JMF

                                I think I misspelled it - it's Forlini's, I believe. On Baxter St. in Chinatown; a forgotten holdover from the days when Little Italy was bigger. The bartender there used to be this guy named Mario, and he made them perfectly...but I think he retired. One of the relatives of another bartender (I have been told) was actually a cast member in the Sopranos. That's how old-school Italian that place is. Anyway, Forlini's is great because it's where all the cops, detectives, and prosecutors hang out after work and at lunch (I used to be with the Manhattan DA's Office). It's such a real, amusing, and New Yorky crowd that it makes my list in a heartbeat.

                                The Princeton Club, for me, is on the list because of the consistency of the drink, the laid back atmosphere, and the free cheese plate to go with it (every day from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.) You have to be a member, so there's that. Besides being the better school (I am biased), the Princeton Club also beats the Harvard Club's cheeseburger. Hands down...!

                                As for other places in the city that mix a mean martini - besides some of the hotels - there is nothing that jumps out at me right now. My other favorite watering holes are McSorely's Old Ale House (at lunch time when the regulars go) and Chumley's, in the West Village. But that's for beer.

                                I need to take a raincheck on a martini research trip, as I currently live in the Midwest, where I go to law school! However, I'm moving back in June, and business takes me there frequently. Next time.

                                -Eric

                                p.s. Did you see the piece in today's NYT about cocktails in London? 2/7/07, Dining Out Section.

                                  1. re: Eric the Law Student

                                    I haven't been to the P-Club in over 15 years (and it was in my pre-martini days), but I recall that the room was hideous. Did they have a make-over?

                                    1. re: Alcachofa

                                      Yeah, it's a fairly typical pub-type atmosphere, with pictures on the wall of the boathourse, etc. Nothing special, but I have an emotional attachment to the place.

                                      There is also a fancy restaurant upstairs that I know they just completely remodeled, although I haven't been there to see the new layout.

                            2. re: Eric the Law Student

                              Coming probably too late to this thread, but there's an ex-pat hangout outside of Ubud on Bali in Indonesia called Naughty Nuri's that's famous for it's barbequed ribs and martinis. Weird, I know. But both really were terrific.

                              1. re: Eric the Law Student

                                You contradict yourself, you don't like it shaken- because it makes it cloudy (thats actually the cold doing that) you don't like it stirred for less than 30 seconds or it's not cold enough and you ask why bartenders don't stir- you answered your own question- most don't want to stir for a half a minute when they could shake it for 10 sec and get it very cold. There's nothing wrong with shaking- sounds like you just enjoy the pomp and circumstance of the stirred martini.

                                1. re: kchasky

                                  Ther is a difference. Shaking breaks off small chips of ice. that's what makes it colder faster. However, it dilutes the drink and mixes more water into it as those little ice chips melt immediately, and it is the mixture of the water with the alcohol that makes it cloudy.

                                  1. re: chazzerking

                                    And when you stir (especially for 30 seconds+) you MELT the ice- (creating water). At least when the ice chips off from shaking you can strain the pieces out thus getting less water in the martini? Incidently, water in the Martini isn't necessarily a bad thing- my point was that he wanted it cold but to get it cold he had to have the bartender stir for an excessive amount of time. He could easily remedy this by shaking. As for the cloudiness when shaking gin- it isn't the water causing this, it is the cold that is causing the essential oils from the botanicals to momentarily solidify (not sure if that is the right word- English is a second language for me) wait a few minutes, as it begins to warm up it gets clear again- this is how chill filtering works- get the oils cold, solid, then easier to capture.

                                    Merry Christmas to all! I will be opening an 18 year old bottle of Scotch to celebrate- It's good I don't have kids!

                                    1. re: chazzerking

                                      Sometimes I'm in the mood for a very bruised martini, shaken vigorously so that tiny bits of ice float to the top giving the drink a beautiful crystaline look, just a bit diluted but not at all watered down. Heaven on a hot night. I recommend Musso and Franks in Hollywood or the King Kohl Bar in the St. Regis in NYC

                                  1. re: Harp00n

                                    Yes, I use that site all the time when traveling. Thanks.

                                    -Eric

                                    1. re: Eric the Law Student

                                      Your welcome.
                                      Btw, mine's 5 or 6 to 1 straight-up with Sapphire or Hendricks. I reserve the Plymouth for the G&T with a twist of lemon, not lime. But that's for another thread and another day.

                                  2. the best martini in the world is at home....start out with Plymouth Gin, a capful of M&R Vermouth, give it a swirl over fresh ice, strain into a glass that has been in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes, garnish with an olive.

                                    I prefer Manhattans....talk about a cocktail that gets screwed up at most restaurants....too many bartenders make them with just a dash of sweet vermouth (like a martini) or make them "perfect manhattans" with a half Sweet and half Dry vermouth. I have printed out a recipe that I keep in my wallet just in case of a cocktail mixing emergency.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Hammie

                                      re:Hammie
                                      I tried that pre-printed recipe solution and only got icy glares. I now utilize a different bar that I like and have decided not to threaten the ambiance with that technique.

                                      1. re: Hammie

                                        RIGHT ON, Hammie. As a martini fan, when it comes right down to needing true comfort, it is a good Manhattan on some slivered rocks presented in a cold , crystal cut-glass vessel.

                                      2. Oak Room in Boston
                                        Plaza Athenee in Paris
                                        Harry's in Paris

                                        The first two would get a nod based solely on ambiance but the drinks are first rate two. Harry's is just good fun and good drinks - and who can resist having a hotdog with your martini?

                                        I'm with you Hammie, my friends all hate to go out with me because I verbally instruct bartenders on how I want my manhattan.

                                        1. My House.

                                          I hate to order a martini at a resteraunt, and have it sit at the bar before the server brings it to me. I feel so pretentious ordering it up, two olives very dry and ice-ice cold, pay 15 dollars and yes, go back upto the bar and ask them to re-shake it. I make it at home, it comes out perfect.

                                          1. Given that my whole life has been a shallow search for the perfect martini, I feel compelled to chip in

                                            I used to dismiss those in the US pretty foul but then realised that they were not badly made just made to suit a different taste. I find that I never ( well rarely ) get things chilled properly or a drink made sufficiently dry. The taste is for more vermouth than you would find in the UK

                                            A number of bars in London have hit the spot. The American Bar at The Savoy is, quite rightly legendary. I once asked the bartender there how much vermouth he would add and he replied " sir, it is enough that the man who delivered the gin had a mother who once drank vermouth" That says it all to me.

                                            Not to everybody's taste but my perfect martini is

                                            chilled gin ( Plymouth for choice )
                                            in a chilled glass washed with a tiny splash of vermouth
                                            drunk through a slick of oil either savoury ( from an olive) or citrus from a lemon twist

                                            Other good places in London include The Library Bar @ The Lanesborough, Dukes ( as mentioned before ) and Number 1 The Aldwych ( which IMHO ) makes the best in town

                                            S

                                            1. Ahh, practicing for the Bar I see. I would ad The Dal Rae in Pico Rivera, CA (LA proximity) to the list. 1 of the remaining 50's classic restaurants untouched by time.

                                              1. sigh. an "authentic" martini is a 1-1..to maybe a 3-1. further, sweet vermouth is just as authentic as dry vermouth (make it a good vermouth like Carpano Antica). it also involves orange bitters.

                                                if you want a very dry gin drink...you want a glass of chilled gin...neat.
                                                (which can be great)...but please don't call that a martini.

                                                  1. For many years, I've drank martinis all over the US and around the world, and I make a pretty damn good one myself. I've had many excellent ones. Musso & Frank in Hollywood is terrific, so was the late, great Chasen's in LA (both the regular and the "flame of love " versions) You have Locke Ober and the Bar at the Ritz Carlton in Boston, and the 21 Club and the Oak Bar at the Plaza Hotel in NYC, among many others. All fantastic.

                                                    With all those in mind, the runner up is served at the Coq d'Or Bar in the Drake Hotel in Chicago. Great martini- in a great bar, in a great hotel, in a great city. The best martini, though, hands down, is served at the bar of the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City. The best. Period.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Jimmy Mac

                                                      "a great bar, in a great hotel, in a great city" -- well said. The atmosphere certianly contributes.

                                                      I wish I found the best martini at the Four Seasons Restaurant. My one visit was very odd, and I suspect that the bartenders were replaced by Secret Service or something because they looked confused and were not capable of drink-making. The staff also acted like they wanted us to leave. I might add that we were all dressed up for a friend's birthday, and we are far past teenage.

                                                      That said, I do intend to try it again sometime.

                                                    2. Clearly I am getting old.

                                                      The best martinis that I can remember were primarily at places that no longer exist, like the Ha'Penny Pub in Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA.

                                                      I had an amazing martini at the Union Square Hotel in San Francisco once, at the restaurant at the top, along with the best lobster bisque I ever had.

                                                      In the 1970s, Antoines in New Orleans had an excellent bartender that knew how to make a martini.

                                                      Currently, there is a little chinese restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC called Red Lotus where the owner, Kevin, knows how to make a superior martini. It won't make a coffee table book of "great bars".

                                                      Peculiar Pub in Manhattan however, used to have a bartender that made a wicked martini.

                                                      And for me, it is the individual bartender that makes the martini, so all the places I've ever had a good one lasted about as long as that bartender worked there.

                                                      I will have to say however, that no commercial martini has ever been as good as home-made ones where the person made a pitcher at a time. There is, I believe, something to the notion that a pitcher at a time makes better ones than making a lot of individual ones.

                                                      Oh, I'm a traditionalist, I drink mine at a 3-1 or 2-1 ratio.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: fussycouple

                                                        fussycouple, could you tell me how you order your 3-1 or 2-1 drinks when you're out on the town? As a traditionalist myself, I find it's difficult to get a bartender to comply. Only in certain places would I feel confident stating the actual ratio. I've tried ordering it "wet" but that's not been successful. So far my most successful order iis "not too dry."

                                                        1. re: Up With Olives

                                                          I don't use the ratio word. I say "I'd like a martini made with one-third vermouth and two-thirds "insert name of gin here" gin, with extra olives."

                                                          If they say "what kind of vermouth", I tell them I'd like a top shelf margarita instead, and give up.

                                                          1. re: fussycouple

                                                            Sorry for my ignorance, fussycouple, but why don't you want to be asked the type of vermouth you would like? Surely there is room for preference in the world of vermouth, just as there is in the world of gin.

                                                        2. re: fussycouple

                                                          Chapel Hill? Now, see, I just moved to Durham (to be specific, my girlfriend is finishing her radiology residency here...). I will make haste to the Red Lotus.

                                                          Thank you.

                                                        3. the bar at the Crillon in Paris makes an excellent martini and in very pleasant surroundings. My experience is that there is much more disparity among the bartender than the bar, though. I've gotten great ones in odd little places and lousy ones at great hotels and restaurants where I'd had a great one before. I, also, wonder why fussycouple doesn't like to be asked what brand of vermouth is preferred by them. there's a great variety of taste and quality among vermouth,easily as much as in the gin. personally, I much prefer Vya, or when in France, Lillet Blanc(even though it is not techically vermouth)

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: chazzerking

                                                            I'm sorry, I wasn't clear. I am talking about when it is clear that the bartender doesn't know the difference between dry and sweet vermouth. I had one ask me once if I wanted a "perfect" martini, and I knew I was in the right house, so that was great, but sometimes it is clear you're in ignorantland.

                                                            Where I come from the default is dry vermouth in a martini and sweet in a manhattan, btw, my palate just refuses to consider sweet in my martini.

                                                          2. I've been enjoying this long-lived thread.

                                                            I quite agree that a range of ingredient bottlings is key to a good Martini cocktail. There are worlds of difference between the various gins and vermouths and bitters, and I don't care at all for the typical "defaults", which in my neighborhood are Bombay Sapphire (a gin I rather dislike), Martini & Rossi Extra Dry (an inferior vermouth, in my opinion), and no bitters at all (an uphill battle to fight).

                                                            But to echo UptownKevin, it doesn't require great technical skill to assemble a good Martini cocktail: chill the proper glass, pour some ingredients in a shaker with some measuring precision, shake or stir, strain, garnish, serve. So the hospitality element, as in so much of bartending, is at least as important as how the Martini is constructed. That begins with making you feel welcome and comfortable and the object of the server's caring attention.

                                                            If you order a Martini, you must be asked the critical questions: dryness; type of gin, vermouth, and garnish; bitters or no; rocks or up. Obviously the question of dryness is important, but there is no "correct" ratio of gin to vermouth, merely fashions of the times, and the prevailing fashion is currently somewhere between 10:1 and ∞:1, i.e, no vermouth at all.

                                                            So if you're one of those classicists that prefers 1:1 or 3:1, bravo to you -- I favor 3:1 myself -- but unless the cocktail menu differentiates between Martini styles (thanks to the last Bond flick, you can now order a properly-made Vesper in a lot of places), you'll have to speak up, and loudly -- your preference hasn't been in vogue for at least 70 years. You may still shave with a straight razor, too, but try finding a strop at Target. Again, in a bar with great hospitality, your now-novel preference will heard and your instructions followed precisely.

                                                            Along with great atmosphere (you'll notice a lot of very old hotel bars in my list), it's the accompanying hospitality that makes the difference in my memories of particularly excellent Martinis. The mixing really isn't the hard part.

                                                            1. In the Christmas spirit, I wanted to give a recipe to the discerning folks here.

                                                              I like a classic martini-- 4 to 7 parts good gin to 1 part good dry vermouth, shaken up very cold. Often I use onions and make it a Gibson.

                                                              I also like vodka martinis sometimes. Anyway, to cut to the recipe-here's a unorthodox martini version I make at home. It's the personal recipe of the late billionaire Paul Mellon, who actually included the recipe in his autobiography. Good stuff. It's kind of a reverse sideways Vesper.

                                                              You make it by the batch-In a 1 qt. glass decanter, bottle, etc, put in 14 oz. good vodka, 7 oz good gin, and 3 oz. dry vermouth. Stir well, and let "ripen" in the refrigirator for a couple of days.

                                                              I usually store it in the freezer an hour or so before serving. I then shake it up with ice in a chilled shaker and pour it in a chilled glass with two cocktail onions and maybe 1/4 tsp onion juice. Delicious.

                                                              Obviously, you can increase this recipe, keeping the ratio the same (2x more vodka than gin) then take the total no. of ounces of the two, divide that total by 6 or 7 and that's the amount of vermouth to put in. You can also skip the two -day "ripening" if you want as well. After a couple of these babies, it won't matter. You'll be invisible, bulletproof, and irresistable to everybody. Merry Christmas to all.

                                                              1. This is such a loaded question (no pun intended). It all depends on the gin you prefer and the bartender. I used to get a great martini (Beefeater, up, dry, olive) at a chain restaurant in a mall. Then they changed bartenders. My drink came out with olive water in it! Never went back.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: deepo

                                                                  i've been really enjoying Hendricks martinis up with a cucumber garnish. I like mine dry, but not the bone dry, flick of the bottle mumbo jumbo. So i've been ordering mine dry, but not too dry. My question is: Is there a better way to order this; as mine doesnt exactly roll off of the tounge?

                                                                  Also, what vermouth would you recommend for constructing my libation at home?

                                                                  I believe i have been using Martini & Rossi Extra Dry, which i have seen referred to here with some disdain. I am pretty ignorant when it comes to quality/type of vermouth, which I blame on growing up in the bone-dry 90s martini era.

                                                                  Thanks.

                                                                  1. re: ingramcol

                                                                    My favorite, ever since I first tasted it is VYA. of course, there aren't many bars that carry it, so when it's not available, my fall back position is Noilly Pratt.

                                                                2. Interesting discussion.... I know it's late in the day, but I thought I'd add my thoughts.... I mix what I consider to be the perfect Martini. Clearly gins and vermouth types come down to personal preference, but I find Tanqueray and Noilly Pratt to be the perfect combination in a ratio of 3 to 1. Tanqueray No.10 is even better if you want to spoil yourself. I've never really understood the ice stirring/shaking issue.... I always keep my Martini/G&T gins in the freezer at -18ish degrees C. I've never had a problem with cloudyness. I only use ice to chill my glass. My Vermouth is kept in the fridge. I get an ice cold Martini with no dilution problems. Always 2 drops of Fee Brothers Orange Bitters and two olives.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: galewis

                                                                    Your devotion is admirable, but it isn't just chilling that the ice does. Gin is an infused spirit. the ice dilutes it just a little and releases some of the botanicals that flavor it. When you use freezer kept gin and refrigerated vermouth, without any stirring or shaking, you are keeping it closed up and are missing some of the flavor. Do a little experiment. do one your way, one stirred and one shaken. sip on all three and see the difference. I think you'll get more fom the stirred and shaken ones. Shaking dilutes more, so you might find it too much, but try it and let me know what you decide..

                                                                  2. My house. I make them 4:1, stir for 40 seconds and serve with an olive. Smooth and delicious.

                                                                    1. The best martini I have had was at the Arizona Inn in Tucson. What made it good was a number of factors. First is that the Airizona Inn was where the likes of Clarke Gable etc went back in the day for some winter sun and warmth. Second, you drink in the library room which is maintained as it was back in the day with first editions of the Great Gatsby etc. Third and as important - the martini. Served in a smaller glass than the standard martini bucket. But on the side the rest of the mix is waitiing in a tiny decanter, which in turn sits in a large whiskey tumbler filled with cracked ice. The brew itself is perfect. Location, ambience and quality of drink. Magnificent.

                                                                      Any tips for the best Martini in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong much appreciated.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Steve Gross

                                                                        I love the Arizona Inn as well, but sadly, the Manhattan I had there last month was mediocre. Next time I will try a martini. I agree that the presentation was lovely.