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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.