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Jan 10, 2012 06:08 PM

So what should we call a Non-Martini

Like all good cocktail snobs, I know that a "martini" is gin and vermouth, not the green, blue and chocolate things they dish out on "martini menus".

But there's a problem. There clearly is a class of cocktails which are served straight up in a martini glass.


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    1. Technically, if it has bitters in it, is a Cocktail. If it has citrus and sugar, a Sour. Citrus and a liqueur or syrup, a Daisy. Etc.

      However, if it's in a cocktail glass, "mixed drink" or "cocktail" would probably work. Cocktail no longer refers to spirit+bitters+sugar+water/ice if you asked a bartender for it. Martini still means a gin and vermouth drink (with vodka substitution, no vermouth at all, olive brine addition changes accepted). I would gather that people associate "mixed drink" with the Highball style though.

      And if you stop calling them "martini glasses" and "martini menus" and start calling them "cocktail glasses" and "cocktail menus", the problem goes away somewhat. I have only seen a few true martini menus with a wide variety of styles of gin and vodka martinis.

      2 Replies
      1. re: yarm

        Actually, I think this is a battle that's just been lost. Most people don't even know what a cocktail glass is until I explain that I'm referring to a martini glass.

        1. re: yarm

          Absolutely! Cocktail glasses and cocktail menus. Thank you, yarm.

        2. To be honest, I don't really think being served straight up is an important/inclusive enough distinction to warrant a separate category. At least, it would make no more sense to have a unique name for a drinks served straight up than it would to have one for drinks served on the rocks.

          So I'd just go with "cocktail," or "mixed drink," or one of the other all-inclusive names. Not that I can think of any others.

          7 Replies
          1. re: sanjacinto

            The problem with "cocktail" or "mixed drink" in this scenario is that Apple Cocktail and Chocolate Cocktail sound even worse than Apple Martini and Chocolate Martini. Apple Sour and Chocolate Daisy (or equivalent appropriate term) sound fine to me, but the chances of getting the places that serve these (aka applebee's) to use such distinct terms is slim.

            1. re: LabLady

              I think "chocolate daisy" sounds delicious, like one of those little flavored chocolate candies shaped like flowers. Although at the same time, if memory serves correct, a daisy is a sour, which sounds a bit less appealing. Hmm...

              I think the problem is that if you look at the few cocktails that have actually adopted "Martini" as part of their name, they don't actually fall into any specific category, even individually. An "apple martini," or a "chocolate martini," as far as I can tell, doesn't actually have a more descriptive name it could use. So perhaps the solution is to start coming up with actual names for these drinks?

              A side note: I probably found the most egregious use of the word "martini" at a restaurant where I ate (I went there today, actually). Rather than doing what some establishments do, and giving a list and description of whatever drinks they cooked up themselves, and referring to them as "martinis," they actually just had the header "martinis," and a list of flavors, such as "lychee" or "passion fruit" or "French", with no description of what was actually in the drink. Don't ask what "French" meant; I opted not to find out.

              1. re: sanjacinto

                The Chocolate Daisy already exists. Brandy, port, raspberry syrup (or grenadine), and lemon juice. Not chocolatey at all but in that "looks like chocolate" or "looks like coffee" family of drinks from the mid- to late-1800s (and no, the Coffee Cocktail has no coffee products in it either).

                  1. re: yarm

                    Sounds delicious, will have to try.

                1. re: LabLady

                  Good. The more unappealing drinks with Apple Pucker and such are, the better.

                  1. re: EvergreenDan

                    Although only from the 60's, I remember Golden Cadillac, Pink Lady, Grasshopper, Side Car and other such fanciful names for drinks that were not called Martinis and were served in "champagne" glasses. Seems the easiest thing for the new guard to do is call it a martini with a flavor. Lazy...

              2. I like the martiNO but probably would've gone with nini. My wife likes gin with vermouth (5:1 with regular Bombay from the freezer and Dolin, if anyone cares) and a pickled okra. She calls it a Marthibodeaux.