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The Ultimate (in my opinion of course) Martini garnish.......

Here is my beverage of choice.......Stoli Martini Up (No Vermouth so just stoli chilled) Bond style (shaken not stirred) with the ultimate garnish in my opinion Tomolives!!

Few if any bars that I know of serve these delectable little pickled cherry tomatoes. You have to look in the mixers section of your liquor store to find the small discrete bottle of this pickled wonderfulness. Obviously I’m normally an olive garnish person but since finding Tomolives I’m surprised they haven’t become more main stream. How many of my fellow martini people out there have had the pleasure of enjoying this as a garnish? I find them to be far superior flavoring match to the vodka than just the brine/salt combination of olives. I wish more bar’s / lounges would catch on to this and start carrying them. Enough with the blue cheese stuffed olives and give us some Tomolives!

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  1. It's been said a million times... But that isn't a Martini. Just vodka shaken and strained. It's not even a Kangaroo, which is the proper name for a vodka and vermouth cocktail, what is commonly referred to incorrectly as a vodka martini. As for the garnish, use whatever you like in you shaken vodka.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JMF

      Agreed. I love martinis. I don't like cold gin in a cocktail glass with olives, nor do I care to sip a shot of cold vodka with pickled veggies floating in it. Again, I love a martini, which is a gin cocktail, not a shot of cold vodka.

      That said, the garnish sounds fine for a Bloody Mary.

    2. I had them for the first time at one of Emeril's restaurants in New Orleans. I had never had them before and love them as well.

      I bought a few jars (online) to have for cocktails/etc and turns out my friends don't particularly like them. I have no idea why - I think they are just unexpected.

      But you're right, very tasty.

      4 Replies
      1. re: thimes

        Here's what you do. Go to a farmers market or the grocery store and find a pickling recipe you like (may have to experiment) and then can it in pints. After doing this, keep some for home and the go to you 2-3 favorite bars/Speakesies and tip the bartender a pint of tomatoes and tell him or her how you use them. This may lead to you getting your order as you like it. Try so Gin sometimes too, for it has Flavor and is the original.

        1. re: thimes

          Your friends didn't like them because they taste just like dill pickles. No one wants a dill pickle in their Martini, might be ok in a Bloody Mary. It's back to Gibsons for me, I'll use the Tomolives as a garnish for sandwiches.

          1. re: BeefeaterRocks

            I don't think they taste like pickles at all - much more olive than pickle in my opinion.

            1. re: thimes

              One time I was at my friend's BBQ take out joint and he offered to make me a martini. There is no bar there and he didn't have any green, or even black, olives; the closest thing I could find was sweet relish. We still laugh about it, it really didn't taste bad at all until you got down to the bottom.

        2. Agree that is not a martini. I'll take a Bombay and Vya 5:1, thank you. But if you are into great garnishes, have a Marthibodeaux, using pickled okra. My wife loves them. You might have guessed, I am going with a plump olive with the brine rinsed off.

          7 Replies
          1. re: tim irvine

            Put me down on the "What makes you think a shot of vodka is a Martini?" side.

            Is that regular Bombay or Sapphire. I use and prefer the regular.

            1. re: FrankJBN

              I, too, am a fan of Bombay Original for martinis ....

              1. re: hawkeyeui93

                2.5 oz. of Plymouth, .75 oz of Dolin Dry, 2 dashes of orange bitters, lemon twist to garnish. Perfection :)

              2. re: FrankJBN

                Plymouth Gin 3X1 to Noly Prat with cocktail onions.

                1. re: FrankJBN

                  Original, of course, but I just found a new one I like, made here in Austim, Waterloo. Sharply juniper with a little pepper and grapefruit. Still going with Vya although I am fine with Noilly, M & R, or Dolin, just not as fine.

                  1. re: tim irvine

                    I LOVE this thread.

                    I am a Hendricks fan (straight up with a twist) but will definitely give Waterloo a look see...or should I say a drink see. Mr. Pooch is a Ketal One man and loves his olives, so we will be trying out the Tomolives.

                    I am not familiar with Vya. It looks like there is a range of dryness. Which one do y'all use?

                    Our beloved bartender has on to bigger and better things so we not up to speed on the goodness that Austin has to offer.

                    1. re: Poochinator

                      I have only tried the regular Extra Dry. Their Whisper Dry is relatively new, and I believe more mildly-flavored. I'm not sure how the sweetness compares between the two.

                      You might enjoy reading this, although I Martin doesn't address the specifics of the Vya variants. www.vermouth101.com

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

              3. I guess I should clarify…..I do actually agree with all or most of you. What I drink is not actually a martini however I do refer to it as such for this one reason…….you would be amazed how many times when I order a Stoli Straight up with olives I get a glass of room temperature vodka with olives. Even when I specify Stoli Chilled Straight up with Olives….half of the time I would receive my drink in a room temp rocks glass.

                It seems using the term Martini gets it served in a chilled Martini glass which is my preference. This is why I refer to it as a Martini which as several of you pointed out is factually incorrect.

                Regardless of that point….for those martini drinkers who enjoy olives I suggest the Tomolive as a tasty alternative.

                Cheers !!

                5 Replies
                1. re: jrvedivici

                  pardon my ignorance, and i promise im not trying to be sarcastic; but what is the reason for having it shaken, (or even stirred for that matter) since it isnt being mixed with anything?

                  1. re: charles_sills

                    - Stirring with ice results in chilling (to below 32*) and dilution (40% to about 30%), plus a velvety texture (no aeration).

                    - Shaking with ice results in chilling (faster than stirring, but to about the same temp) and dilution (ditto), plus a light texture (dissolved air and tiny bubbles) and possibly a raft of tiny ice chips (unless double-strained out with a fine sieve).

                    - Neat would be room temp, with no dilution or aeration.

                    - Directly from freezer would be freezer temp (say 0 to 10*F), with no dilution or aeration.

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

                    1. re: EvergreenDan

                      thanks for the thorough answer.

                      how long does the aeration last in a shaken drink? ive always just shook a drink that needed an emulsion. a drink that contained liquids of wildly different viscosity. esp. of it has fat in it. (milk, cream, yadda yadda)

                      1. re: charles_sills

                        The aeration lasts long enough that you would/should consume the cocktail before it totally fades, lest the cocktail become warm and possible diluted (if on the rocks) from sitting too long.

                        This is easy to demonstrate. Make two Manhattans, one stirred and one shaken. Note the difference in the color, opacity, and mouth feel.

                        The rule-of-thumb is to shake drinks that contain something other than clear ingredients, such as dairy, egg, citrus juice. Stir drinks containing only clear ingredients (e.g. spirits, non-cream liqueurs, wine (including vermouth and other aromatized wines).

                        There are exceptions and personal preference. For example. some people enjoy shaken Martinis because they like the aeration and/or the raft of ice chips.

                        1. re: EvergreenDan

                          I love the layer of ice on top, but heard here is is frowned upon by the cognoscenti? Not that it stops me from enjoying.

                2. jrv, you're local and I enjoy you thoughts on things here in NJ, but there is nothing in your "ultimate" martini that appeals to me. Give me gin, give me vermouth, give me a twist - hell, maybe even a dash of bitters. I will agree, however, that cheese stuffed olives are an abomination.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: MGZ

                    The title of this post was ultimate Martini garnish, not ultimate martini.

                    1. re: TroyTempest

                      I'm aware. Nevertheless, taking the garnish outside the drink is like taking a word out of a sentence and assuming you can still get the meaning.

                    2. re: MGZ

                      Oh MGZ......thank you for the kind words regarding my posts on the NJ board. Now pour yourself a BIG glass of gin (Saffire?...what is your Gin preference?).....topped with an ample amount of vermouth.....and drop in a Tomolive or two and try them out and stop splitting hairs regarding my drink of choice!! Cheers!! lol

                      1. re: jrvedivici

                        I have tried tomolives add cannot say they were welcome in the bottom of my glass. Honestly, I've sort of graduated from briney flavors in my cocktails and no longer even use olives (unless that's all that's available as a garnish - an undressed glass of chilled gin is so uncouth), preferring instead a twist, or on some occasions, a cocktail onion or two.

                        That being said, I hope you took no great offensive to my having a bit of fun (albeit gently at your expense). And, to answer your question, my gin preferences tend to be in the Bluecoat, Beefeater, or even, Gordon's, class, though, should you feel it incumbent upon yourself to bring me a bottle, Anchor's Junipero is my (current) favorite (http://www.anchordistilling.com/spiri...).

                        1. re: MGZ

                          Very interesting.......I could never get over the "gin burn" as I call it. One sip of Gin and I get an instant case of "agita" as my people call it.

                          Vodka especially good vodka is very smooth and almost tasteless except for that slight after burn in your mouth after swallowing. That is why I like the tomolive or olive as the case may be to add just a hint of a salty flavor. I do actually enjoy the taste of the tomolive as well........my vodka of choice is Stoli.....not considered a true premium vodka by today's standards (Outside of Stoli Elite) but it is the one that pleases my taste buds the most.

                          (FYI I hope you knew I was kidding with you as well on the The Avenue thread on the NJ board which seems to have been "adjusted" but the Mods on the NJ board)

                          1. re: jrvedivici

                            First of all, we agree completely on a fundamental point - Stolichnaya is a wonderful vodka. Personally, if I'm going to drink vodka - let's say there are plenty of blinis and caviar laid out - than please indulge me with a shot of Stoli that has been resting in ice. It's a favorite to this Polish palate.

                            As to your parenthetical, let me simply point out that my skin is thick enough to get into the Atlantic from May 'til November before I wash off the wetsuit. Moreover, I would gladly drink nothing but cold, rail vodka garnished with blue cheese stuffed olives for the rest of my life if they would demolish PV and put up something like Seven Presidents.

                    3. My new favorite garnish is a Lemon stuffed olive from Dirty Girl...in a gin martini

                      2 Replies
                        1. re: Rocketj100

                          I found citrus stuffed olives today at Kroger/King Sooper today @ $3.79. Private Selection brand.....anxious to try! Thanks, Rocketj100.

                        2. My husband adds a pepperocini to his martinis.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Njchicaa

                            I have to say initially I gagged a little at your post........but now I'm actually very curious. You do mean those little sweet peppers in the syrupy juice in the supermarket?

                          2. HELP I am making hazelnut martinis, shaken, not stirred. Give me some garnish suggestions, please.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: zimexlady

                              My first thought might me a lemon skewered by an herb … thyme? Rosemary?

                              1. re: thimes

                                Snowing in Boulder. Decided to make Stoli Pomegranik martinis for this evening. since I have the vodka and pom seeds frozen in the frezer already to go. Will pick up herbs on your suggestion later. Thanks!

                              2. re: zimexlady

                                This may sound kind of silly but... Have you considered dropping in a hazelnut or two?

                                1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                  Hi Jester, nothing is silly about a martini.....good idea. Thanks!

                                  1. re: zimexlady

                                    I was thinking... If you prefer a more traditional garnish, a lemon twist would be more than welcome. The two flavors pair brilliantly, as anyone who's had a chocolate cake shot (citrus vodka and Frangelico, served with a sugared lemon slice to bite) can tell you.

                              3. I bought Tomolives at World Trade.........love them, too.

                                1. Late to post on this old thread, but i like when i can find em, olives stuffed with a pickled onion, sort of a gibson/Martini hybrid.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: TroyTempest

                                    That combo would make me very happy. I will look for them. Thanks!

                                    1. re: TroyTempest

                                      Never too late to share your thoughts!

                                      1. re: TroyTempest

                                        I think I'd like to try those. Is there a brand to look for? A particular store you get them from?

                                          1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                                            Dang, those look like the basis for a new food group. BTW, in the many months since my last post on this topic and still like original Bombay with a rinsed olive. I am gravitating to lighter vermouth, like Dolin, but at about 4:1. Since I also like Gibsons, I am going to look for these olives. Also, I have dabbled with many snacks to accompany that perfect martini and have settled on white cheddar Cheez-Its or jalapeño potato chips.

                                            1. re: tim irvine

                                              Hi Tim.......you are on the right track as I am. i opt for horseradish cheddar......these strong nibbles will arouse tingles which echo right back at the first sip of a robust martini. Good eatin'. I have not been able to find the onion stuffed olives for the Gibson. Perhaps Troy Tempest, the blogger who told us about them will chime in with a source. HEADS UP, TROY.

                                              1. re: zimexlady

                                                They are hard to find. In fact, when i have found them it was in the Olive bar of a local HEB (or maybe Central Market). I can always find the ones stuffed with a garlic clove, but they aren't the same.
                                                Of course, you can make your own fairly easily, which I think i will do next time.
                                                I see BeefeaterRocks found some in a jar. I'll look for those.

                                      2. Thank you OP for your Tomolive love! For a vegetal gin martini I prefer them for a garnish over oily olives. My fave martini is 3 parts Beefeater to 1 part fresh Noilly Prat (lovin' the new style) with a dash of celery bitters and that lovely, tasty Tomolive. To me one of this martini stirred to an utter chill is an ideal preprandial.

                                        1. I really like the Lehmann Farms Marinated mushrooms in my Martini. I use a little of the juice (dirty) as well. Trader Joes also makes there own at a much more ressonable price.