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"Martini Madness" indeed :(

c oliver Feb 22, 2014 10:00 AM

We went to a high-end, casino steakhouse last night for a free dinner. Attached is a picture of what THEY consider martinis. Why do people drink that stuff? Well, I guess they drink them or they wouldn't be on the menu would they? Just sharing cause I thought it was funny and ugh-y :)

  1. b
    brandygirl Feb 22, 2014 11:15 AM

    This kind of thing just pisses me off. People use the word "martini" to mean "cocktail." An old boss kept bragging about her martinis. So, when she threw a party, I was looking forward to one. She proudly handed me an overly-sweet apple "martini."

    1 Reply
    1. re: brandygirl
      c oliver Feb 22, 2014 11:19 AM

      Oh, I didn't pay attention to the fact that NOT A ONE of them has gin in it :)

    2. Phil Ogelos Feb 22, 2014 11:46 AM

      Just like free advice, c, a free dinner is worth what you pay for it, but I certainly agree that the drink menu you've shown is an abomination.

      On the same topic, and for those of you who may have missed it, check out this martini recipe (labour intensive, but worth it):

      3 Replies
      1. re: Phil Ogelos
        c oliver Feb 22, 2014 11:56 AM

        The dinner was really quite good. With a comprehensive wine list. I call that "martini" menu LCD - lowest common denominator.

        1. re: c oliver
          Phil Ogelos Feb 22, 2014 12:00 PM

          I can see the name of your home-distilled, boutique gin now: LCD.

          (and I've made you rich; you're welcome!)

        2. re: Phil Ogelos
          JMF Feb 23, 2014 02:56 PM

          Naren does some good, and interesting, stuff with cocktails. I've sat across from him many times enjoying his craft. I've also run into him all over the country and we've sat together ordering drinks from someone else. This has happened in NOLA, Chicago, etc. Just out of the blue that we happened to be in the same place at the same time. In NOLA I expect to run into folks like that, but other towns?

        3. r
          Raffles Feb 22, 2014 11:56 AM

          Looking forward to a Dry Beefeater Martini in about an hour,oh, up with a twist thank you! I'll fill the mixing glass with ice, as well as the martini glass, then pour an ounce or so of Noilly Pratt Dry into mixing glass, shake that up a bit, then drain and add 3 shots of Gin, stir , pour into drained chilled martini glass, rub lemon twist on rim ...enjoy

          Did I get it correct?

          4 Replies
          1. re: Raffles
            cobpdx Feb 22, 2014 12:11 PM

            You should drink what you like, as others have pointed out, but no, you didn't get it correct. The original recipe leaves the vermouth in the cocktail, not down the drain.

            1. re: cobpdx
              c oliver Feb 22, 2014 12:36 PM

              I wasn't sure if I read that 'recipe' right. Throw out the vermouth? Nope. I find it hard to believe that there's even a whisper of the vermouth flavor that way. Might as well just go with the straight gin.

              1. re: c oliver
                Raffles Feb 22, 2014 01:14 PM

                Well it a moot point, I poured a few fingers of Wild Turkey on the rocks! Cheers!

              2. re: cobpdx
                Will Owen Mar 3, 2014 04:35 PM

                Any bartender who throws my vermouth down the drain had better replace it, or he's lost a customer. As the late, great Lucius Beebe put it, "Anything drier than five to one is just iced gin!"

            2. linguafood Feb 22, 2014 12:01 PM

              I'm of the opinion that people should order and drink whatever the fuck makes them happy.

              That said, I blame the bartender's plain intellectual laziness for not being able to come up with names for these concoctions other than "something something-tini."

              2 Replies
              1. re: linguafood
                c oliver Feb 22, 2014 12:06 PM

                I WAS rather harsh in judging people who drink those things.

                1. re: c oliver
                  JMF Feb 26, 2014 06:30 AM

                  No, not really.

              2. JMF Feb 23, 2014 02:47 PM

                That's a bar caught in the '90's. Typical menu for then. but definitely becoming much rarer nowadays as LCD bars catch up to what is happening in the high end cocktail bars.

                1. jrvedivici Feb 23, 2014 03:52 PM

                  That's actually a rather modest "martini" menu by greater NY area standards. I know several places with 2 dozen + "Martini's" on their menu. With the latest flavored vodka craze there is unlimited potential and serving it in a martini glass automatically qualifies it as a martini.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jrvedivici
                    JMF Feb 26, 2014 06:27 AM

                    jr, you really shouldn't use the term "greater NY area" because some parts of that area have moved into the modern era for cocktails. Could you please say where (town, county, state) you are talking about?

                    1. re: JMF
                      jrvedivici Feb 26, 2014 08:19 AM

                      I live in Monmouth County NJ, near the Jersey Shore. I do the majority of my dining from here north into Manhattan. As we have discussed I'm not a fancy drink guy, but over the years with the advent of the Martini bar, starting around 2000, I noticed extensive martini menu's. These could easily have 2 dozen plus martini's or mixed drinks, chilled and served in a martini glass. Along with this craze came people like Martini Mark and dozens of other "mixologists" throwing together any number of alcohol's (mostly flavored Vodka's) to create these new martini's.

                      Again, I'm not one of these drinkers, my info might be dated in which case you can just call me an old fogey.

                  2. a
                    A_Gonzalez Feb 25, 2014 08:13 PM

                    At least the Cosmopolitan looks like a Cosmopolitan.

                    21 Replies
                    1. re: A_Gonzalez
                      c oliver Feb 25, 2014 08:54 PM

                      Except they call it a martini.

                      1. re: c oliver
                        JMF Feb 26, 2014 06:35 AM

                        Their Cosmo is the only one not called a martini on the menu. But why do they use Skyy vodka instead of Skyy citrus vodka? Maybe a typo? I think that Skyy citrus vodka actually makes the best Cosmopolitan I have ever adapted. Although I don't understand their calling it a "Crystal Cosmo."

                        Here's my adaptation for the Cosmopolitan

                        Cosmopolitan (adapted by JMForester)
                        1-1/2 oz. Skyy Citrus vodka
                        3/4 oz. Cointreau
                        3/4 oz. lime juice
                        1 oz. cranberry juice cocktail

                        Shake on ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with flamed orange peel.

                        1. re: JMF
                          c oliver Feb 26, 2014 07:56 AM

                          I only made the distinction cause the title of the menu was "martini." That drink sounds terrific.

                          1. re: c oliver
                            JMF Feb 26, 2014 08:20 AM

                            It's just a slight change in the ratios of a standard Cosmopolitan. I up the amounts of both Cointreau and lime juice, making for a much brighter, bigger, and I feel a more balanced cocktail. I also think that Skyy Citrus brings the drink together much more than Absolut Citron. This is one of those drinks that I think brand matters.

                            Cosmopolitan as per Dale DeGroff
                            1 1/2 oz. Citrus Vodka (Usually Absolut Citron)
                            1/2 oz. Cointreau
                            1/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
                            1 oz. Cranberry Juice

                            Shake on ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

                            Cosmopolitan circa 1934
                            'Pioneers of Mixing Gin at Elite Bars 1903-1933," by American Traveling Mixologists, 1934"

                            Jigger Gordons Gin
                            2 Dashes Cointreau
                            Juice of one Lemon
                            Teaspoon Raspberry (syrup)

                            Glass No. 4, Shake and strain

                          2. re: JMF
                            harrism Feb 26, 2014 01:57 PM

                            Your recipe calls for cranberry juice cocktail rather than straight cranberry juice? If that isn't a typo, why?

                            1. re: harrism
                              JMF Feb 26, 2014 02:19 PM

                              All the recipes call for cranberry juice cocktail. Real, straight, cranberry juice is too bitter to use without having to add extra sweetening, and is very difficult to get. I just happen to be more concise in my recipe.

                              1. re: JMF
                                ncyankee101 Feb 27, 2014 12:35 AM

                                If I wanted to substitute Pama pomegranate liqueur for cranberry juice cocktail (because I have it), how would I adjust the ratio? (If at all).

                                1. re: ncyankee101
                                  JMF Feb 27, 2014 05:05 AM

                                  In what type of cocktail? If you use it in a Cosmopolitan it creates a new variant, actually with the adaptation it would be a different cocktail.

                                  Pama is a great liqueur, very intense, but not very sweet. I would say that in any cocktail calling for 2 oz. or less of cranberry juice you could replace it with 1/2-3/4 as much Pama liqueur.

                                  Lay out the other ingredients and proportions and we can fine tune it.

                                  I have a couple of bottles of Pama in my private stock and might be able to do an actual taste test at one of the bars I work with over the weekend.

                                  1. re: JMF
                                    ncyankee101 Feb 27, 2014 11:24 AM

                                    I was actually referring to using it in your cosmo recipe.

                                  2. re: ncyankee101
                                    EvergreenDan Feb 27, 2014 07:42 AM

                                    @ncyankee101 -- If you have cachaca, an agricole, or (probably) a blanco tequila, try 2:1:0.75 spirit : Pama : lime juice. Adjust the lime to your desired sweetness. I use 0.5 for my sweet-tooth friend. Very accessible.

                                    Also, around here, the 375ml bottles of Pama are cheaper per oz than the 750ml. This is good because I don't think it keeps forever.

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

                                  3. re: JMF
                                    harrism Feb 27, 2014 09:14 AM

                                    I didn't realize that. I haven't used it much, but I use it with vodka, with ginger ale, with gin - all basic long drinks. I always felt like the cocktail tasted too much like the grape or apple juice that usually is the main component.

                                    I get straight cranberry pretty cheap at Trader Joes, never have any trouble finding it. Thanks for clearing up the recipe issue though.

                              2. re: c oliver
                                MplsM ary Mar 4, 2014 08:53 AM

                                Yes, it is annoying that Martini has been co-opted. Rather than get PO'd every time I see it, I simply insert the word glass where they've been too lazy to include it. Thus, 'Martini (glass) Madness.' See? Feel better? Little calming mind tricks (call it self delusion if you prefer) in a world gone mad keeps me from blowing a gasket.

                                Sadly, with that particular menu, the ruse stretches to breaking as they've tini'd so many drinks. So, yeah, with this martini (glass) menu, you've done the right thing: report it to those who care about such things so we can rip it apart. Thanks!

                                1. re: MplsM ary
                                  c oliver Mar 4, 2014 09:06 AM

                                  It was just plain silly to me. And really, aren't they "cocktail" glass rather than "martini" glasses?

                                  1. re: c oliver
                                    A_Gonzalez Mar 4, 2014 09:44 AM

                                    I feel like "Martini glass" is the stemmed equivalent of saying things like "Old-Fashioned glass" and "Collins glass" to refer to different kinds of tumblers. You don't use them only for those kinds of drinks, but it's clear shorthand.

                                    I think it's especially convenient now that it's fashionable to use champagne coupes as cocktail glasses. "Martini glass" is less ambiguous in reference to shape than "cocktail glass."

                                    1. re: A_Gonzalez
                                      JMF Mar 4, 2014 10:22 AM

                                      Using coupes for cocktails isn't just fashionable now, it was 100-150 years ago as well. The coupe was first designed in 1663 in England. Way before cocktails were invented in the late 1700's. And way, way before the forerunner of the martini, the martinez, was invented some time in the mid to late 1800's.

                                      The cocktail glass called the martini glass was probably invented in the 1920's.

                                      A wee tidbit of useless information: An actual "Martini glass" is fully cone shaped on the inside, while a cocktail glass has a round or flattened bottom on the inside of the glass. Also martini glasses have a wider brim. Traditional cocktail glasses are 4.5 oz. Larger cocktail glasses of 6 oz. or more are "over size cocktail glasses".

                                      I think that this cone shaped glass was designed by a cruel and sadistic cocktail hater. They spill even if filled a half inch from the rim, have such a wide surface area that the drink gets warm very quickly. Also most have very thick glass, which unless the glass is thoroughly chilled in a glass froster, have so much mass they warm the cocktail as well. Even if the glass is filled with ice & water, unless it sits chilling for at least 4 minutes, it doesn't actually chill the glass fully, since glass is a great insulator.

                                      That said, a cocktail should be drunk relatively quickly. There is a great quote by the famous bartender, Harry Craddock, “The way to drink a cocktail is quickly, while it’s still laughing at you. Wines, of course, merely smile.”

                                      For those who don't know who Craddock was, here's a bit from wiki. "Harry Craddock was a United States citizen who left during Prohibition and joined the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel, London, in 1920. Craddock was one of the most famous cocktail barmen of the 1920s and 1930s. Craddock’s “The Savoy Cocktail Book” was published in 1930, and is still in print today. Craddock invented a number of classic cocktails, including the famous Corpse Reviver #2 and possibly including the White Lady, and popularised the Dry Martini."

                                      1. re: JMF
                                        MplsM ary Mar 4, 2014 11:11 AM

                                        Thanks for all that great information. I have all manner of cocktail glassware, though thanks to your post I went looking around the 'net and it seems I have a few holes in my glassware collection. I also looked up the cocktails you mention - because who wouldn't want to know more about Corpse Reviver #2? Very fun.

                                        That led me to Imbibe Magazine https://imbibemagazine.com/ where I found a boatload of cocktail recipes that seem authentic, but again they have embraced the loosening of the word martini for use with more than said gin classic.

                                        1. re: MplsM ary
                                          JMF Mar 4, 2014 12:06 PM

                                          You should also check out two fellow chowhounds cocktail sites.
                                          Mr. Yarm's http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/ (He also has a book out on the Boston cocktail scene.
                                          )Evergreen Dan's http://www.kindredcocktails.com/

                                      2. re: A_Gonzalez
                                        JMF Mar 4, 2014 12:09 PM

                                        Do you know that the cocktail glass was originally called the cocktail tumbler?

                                      3. re: c oliver
                                        JMF Mar 4, 2014 09:48 AM

                                        Calling a cocktail glass a "martini" glass is akin to calling all those crappy cocktails "martinis". It's an easy way out that requires no thought.

                                        1. re: JMF
                                          A_Gonzalez Mar 4, 2014 10:07 AM

                                          I'm not sure what one would so desperately need a way out of, when calling a glass by a name, that they'd need a shortcut.

                                          Like, a Martini is an actual cocktail, calling another cocktail a Martini is confusing. Glassware is routinely named after common drinks that are served in them, and calling a cone-shaped stemmed glass a "Martini glass" is less ambiguous than "cocktail glass."

                                          Isn't being able to name a kind of glass without requiring too much thought a good thing?

                                          1. re: A_Gonzalez
                                            JMF Mar 4, 2014 12:08 PM

                                            I'm all for calling that conical glass a martini glass, and then never, ever, serving a martini in one...

                                            But some of the cocktail glasses that are conical, with a slight curve in near the rim, can be very nice.

                                2. Boston_Otter Mar 5, 2014 06:29 AM

                                  Somewhere around '98-'99 or so, when the martini craze started to hit, I started to see "cocktails" disappear from menus, gradually replaced by "martinis". Thankfully that trend has largely died out, but every once in awhile I still get a menu like this with manhattans, old fashioneds, sidecars, and negronis listed as "martinis".... because it's somehow classier?

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Boston_Otter
                                    JMF Mar 5, 2014 03:19 PM

                                    Where are you that the "martini" thing hit in the late 90's? In NYC it was the late 80's.

                                    1. re: JMF
                                      linguafood Mar 5, 2014 03:31 PM

                                      Not everybody lives in NYC. I know -- hard to believe '-D

                                      1. re: linguafood
                                        JMF Mar 5, 2014 03:38 PM

                                        I'm just trying to figure how long it takes for trends to get in from the coasts...

                                      2. re: JMF
                                        Boston_Otter Mar 5, 2014 06:16 PM

                                        In Cincinnati. So, yeah, it took a bit.

                                        Plus I was a teenager in the late '80s, so I probably wouldn't have noticed the martinis very much.

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