James Bond Dirty Martini
I have to admit one of the things I have been enjoying during the pandemic is a good martini, particularly a dirty martini. I have even talked myself into thinking that a martini is better for me than a glass of wine due to its lower sugar content. Whatever justification you need, I think an occasional martini is a celebration in and of itself.
Gin or Vodka?People have strong opinions as to which kind of martini they prefer -- gin or vodka. I split the difference and use both, just like James Bond's Vesper. A Vesper is mainly gin, with a little vodka and Blonde Lillet, a French cordial. I generally make my martinis with a couple ounces of vodka and a splash of gin. Although, I have been known to flip the recipe and make it with a couple ounces of gin and a little vodka too. Weirdly, I enjoy both. Try your martini both ways to see which you like best.
I am a Big Fan of a Dirty MartiniI skip the vermouth and the Lillet and give my martini's a big splash of olive juice. Some would say a dirty martini disguises the real taste of a martini, and that may be true. I, however, see no shame in adding the briny leftovers from my olive jars to my martinis. I am a big fan of both salt and olives, so it is not surprising that I like a dirty martini. I've actually been known when ordering a martini to ask for an extra side of dirty so I can personalize my drink.
Shaken Not StirredI am a fan of a shaken martini. Shaken martinis if properly shook are colder than a stirred martini, and they are also a bit more diluted, which is OK by me. I like the ritual of vigorously shaking the cocktail shaker until a solid coat of condensation appears on the outside of the shaker. While martini purists will call me out for this, I also like my martinis shaken so that there are a few tiny ice chips floating on top. Remember people, open up your hearts and minds. A good martini is personal. Make them the way you love them. I'll give you the same advice when making the perfect margarita.
Martini GlassesOnce shaken, don't dally. Immediately strain your martini into chilled glasses. I prefer stemless martini glasses like these, because as fun as a regular martini glass is, there is a good chance you will spill it, either when it is full and you are lifting it up to your lips, or because you gesticulate while telling a story and oops, there goes your precious martini!
Don't Forget to Chill Your GlassesHowever you like your martinis, the one thing everyone can agree with is that they must be served icy cold. Simply rinse your glasses in water and pop them in the freezer for 5 minutes or more. You can also make up a batch of martinis and pop them in the freezer to pour out as needed. This keeps them extra cold. You can also serve mini pours so that your martini doesn't have time to ever get warm.
GarnishHalf the fun of the martini is the garnish. I am happy to eat a pickled onion if it is offered, but for me a good martini is all about the olives. I like to skewer three different olives on one long toothpick so there is a bit of variety. I use the classic martini olive stuffed with pimento, blue cheese or feta stuffed olives and garlic stuffed olives. If olives and onions are not your thing, you may enjoy your martini with a simple twist of zested lemon.
More Information on Martinis, Dirty Martini or OtherwisePlenty has been written on how to make the perfect martini. This article by Maggie Hoffman is as informative as they get. Read through it and you will find all kinds of ways to experiment with making a martini that suits your particular palette.
James Bond Dirty Martini
- 2 ounces vodka
- 1/2 ounce gin
- 1/2 ounce olive juice
- 3 martini olives of your choice
- Chill your martini glasses at least 5 minutes before mixing your cocktail. Fill your cocktail shaker with ice. Add 2 ounces vodka, 1/2 ounce gin and 1/2 ounce olive juice. Shake vigorously over your shoulder until a solid condensation forms over the container. This should be a brisk and focused effort so the drink does not dilute.
- Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with 3 martini olives threaded onto a toothpick.