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Glass Martini pitcher: ice or water?

I was gifted a beautiful glass martini pitcher with a glass rod stirrer for Christmas. It will certainly get good use, but the stirrer (being all glass) seems pretty fragile.

How are glass martini pitchers like this normally used? Would I add ice like a normal mixing glass and stir or are they meant to mix the spirits with water, no ice, and then put in the fridge?

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  1. Ice, booze, stir, pour.

    1. I'm not sure if you have a martini pitcher or shaker. The normal term is a shaker for the instrument used to make/mix a martini. Did it come with a lid of some sort also or just a wand?

      Normally you start with ice...then pour your ingredients such as vodka or gin then whatever you are going to mix it with vermouth or olive juice etc. You then shake (as per James Bond) or still the ingredients to chill them which makes them far more palatable to consume. At no point should refrigerating them come into the equation. That is for a martini.

      Good luck!

      3 Replies
      1. re: jrvedivici

        We are all familiar with the famous quote "shaken not stirred"
        There would be no such phrase if pitchers such as this were not used to stir martinis.

        1. re: jrvedivici

          It's bad enough that you'll drink a martini made with vodka, but to suggest shaking? Civilized people stir the gin in glass (not metal) so as not to bruise it.

          1. re: MGZ

            I'm not convinced it's possible to "bruise" gin, but shaking definitely leads to a cloudy drink, and in worst cases even includes ice shards. But then again, James Bond also called his vodka abominations "martinis," proving that he had no idea what he was talking about.

        2. Thanks for the replies. It looks like this:

          http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000...

          Treating it as a giant mixing glass for stirred drinks makes sense and will be useful. I guess I was just nervous the glass stirrer would be too delicate with ice, but I'll just be careful when I do and probably not use it later in the night.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Klunco

            As with all things glass, care is advisable. You can always switch to using a plastic stirrer or the back end of a wooden spoon as the bottle gets empty. And, remember, hand washing anything you care about is best left for the sobriety that comes with sunrise.

            Cool pitcher.

            1. re: MGZ

              I believe as the link indicates it's a "vintage" martini pitcher. That is probably for that reason you are more familiar than it than myself.

              Please excuse my uncivilized self as I prepare to badly bruise some of mother Russia's prized intoxicants.

              1. re: jrvedivici

                Yeah, well, the Russians aren't happy about you drinking it that way.

                1. re: Alcachofa

                  In Soviet Russia, the vodka drin...

          2. I would take the opposite view and say that it would generally make more sense to use your pitcher without ice. With a batch of drinks that big you don't really want the ice sitting in there and diluting the drinks unless you are planning to pour them all within a few minutes.

            So using water for the dilution and refrigerating for a few hours and then using the pitcher for service of your Martinis or Manhattans at a party makes perfect sense.

            1 Reply
            1. re: nickls

              Ice is an essential element of a proper martini, not coldness. You make the drinks and pour them. You dump the remaining ice. You don't leave a pitcher sitting out with the remaining ice melting into the dregs of the booze.

            2. Back in the sixties and seventies my Dad would make pitchers of martinis. It was a tallish, thin glass pitcher, with a glass stirrer.
              As someone else said, his were just gin, ice and vermouth. I am sure that by the third drink or so, they got watered down, but then no one cared by then.

              2 Replies
              1. re: TroyTempest

                When I have made drinks in larger scale, it is for the moment and using as large of a shaker or mixing vessel as needed. So excess dilution would not be a problem there. But if you intended to drink it all yourself with only one round of mixing, yes, this is an unfortunate consequence.

                1. re: yarm

                  Unfortunate for the taste, but perhaps not unfortunate for other reasons.

              2. I once read in an older (maybe 50's or 60's) cook book that you could make a batch of martini's and then strain the contents into the pitcher, and keep them in the freezer so that you could have it on hand as guests arrived.

                If you are making a larger batch to use all at once, stir with care, and try to stir with out really touching the sides. If no one is looking at your preparation, use a wooden spoon handle.

                Also, as TroyT pointed out, they were very often just made all at once, and no one cared that tehy were watered down at the end (hic).

                That's a very pretty pitcher! I'm green with envy.

                1. Just be careful with the stirring rod. Most are very fragile. I have that exact same pitcher. I love it, got it at a flea market, no stirring rod. That rod looks pretty solid, but I've gone through several thin ones.

                  My friend who is the Global Brand Ambassador for Tanqueray just gave me this king size, 44 oz. one. With rounded ones you don't use a stirrer. You build the cocktails, then garb at the base and swirl to mix. Makes a very silky, oily drink, even better than stirring.
                  http://www.cocktailkingdom.com/Gallon...

                  1. Broke this out for a pitcher of, appropriately enough, Martinis on Saturday. I mixed with ice and it actually felt very solid (even the stirrer) and stirred beautifully and poured them all immediately. I definitely wouldn't want them to sit in the ice.

                    Apparently, it really works as designed, but that said, washing the rod or even handling it still makes me nervous. But as far as mixing, I am impressed. I made a round of four drinks, but you could easily make six.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Klunco

                      I just realized and find it rather ironic this thread was started by someone with the handle "Clunk Oh!!!"

                      1. re: Klunco

                        I don't have that mixer, but a smaller cut glass beaker for stirred drinks. I use a metal stirring spoon, as I know after 1 or 2 I'd be breaking that glass stirrer!

                      2. Kind of funny we had guests over last night and I was opening a nice bottle of Stoli Elite for some martinis. Well we have broken a few of our daily use martini glasses and not wanting to have a mis-matched set for the guests I went into the fine china closet for the good crystal glasses. When I look in the china cabinet what do I see? A Chrystal martini pitcher and wand!! I must say I laughed when I saw it thinking of this thread, I've had one 18 years it seems and never knew it!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: jrvedivici

                          I hope you used it to make the drinks!

                          1. re: Klunco

                            No as my friend MGZ would say I prefer to bruise my alcohol by shaking it rather then gently stirring it.

                            You can see the result of my shaking though on this thread which I started.....such a shame.

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/885206

                        2. My parents also had a beautiful glass martini pitcher with a glass wand stirrer which was in use for about 60 years. I have now had it for 10 years and there has been no issue with the glass stirrer. Used with care to stir and you should have many years of lovely martinis. A great gift, indeed.