The Perfect Martini

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The Perfect Martini

Instructions

  • Fill a metal shaker with cracked ice.
  • Pour in the dry vermouth (we prefer Noilly Prat),
  • stir briefly
  • strain out (this may be discarded).
  • Add 4 ounces gin (we prefer Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, Beefeater) — you want it around 94-proof.
  • Stir briskly for about 10 seconds, strain into chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with an olive.

This technique used to be known as the “in and out” martini, or — if you were one of Ed McMahon’s fellow USMC fighter pilots in Korea, the “McTini.” (Yes, that Ed McMahon.) However you make it, if you garnish your martini with a cocktail onion, it becomes a Gibson (although this was originally made with Plymouth gin; try it, the stuff is still around). If you should happen to have some excess absinthe on hand, a couple of drops will transform that Gibson into a Third Degree (the driest of the traditional martini variants, with a ratio of 7:1). And if you do find that Plymouth gin, mix it 2-to-1 with French vermouth, tip in a couple dashes of orange bitters, and you’ve got a Hoffman House — with a twist, please. (New York’s Hoffman House, on Twenty-fourth Street across from Madison Square, was famous for the stupendous nakedness of its bar nude and the superlative quality of its drinks; in fact, this is our favorite martini variant, although we make ours about 5-to-1.) If you like to live dangerously, there exists the Italian vermouth alternative; for that, see the Hearst.