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MARTINI or COCKTAIL?Just to clarify matters. . . .
There is a great debate going on about martinis these days. On one hand you have the classicists who claim a "martini" is only gin and vermouth, on the other hand you have the uppity renegades who will call any cocktail served in a martini glass a "martini".
I'm an uppity renegade. I specialize in what I call "designer martinis" which is pretty much any cocktail I like or create that fits in a martini glass! I have a thing for martini glasses which is what started my whole obsession with "designer martinis" and martini art in the first place.
A cocktail these days is considered anything with booze in it but the true definition is any wine or distilled liquor mixed with flavoring ingredients. A martini these days is not so easily defined.
According to the I.B.A., a classic "Martini" is GIN (not vodka): vermouth (generally dry) in a 5:1 ratio with either an olive or a lemon twist. It is stirred with ice not shaken as shaking bruises the gin, and it should be served in the classic conical bowl martini glass, "up" which means no ice in the glass.
A "martini" made with vodka is called a "vodka martini" or alternately, a Kangaroo. A "martini" garnished with a cocktail onion is a Gibson, a "martini" that includes olive juice is a "Dirty Martini", and a "martini" made with Rose's Lime Juice instead of vermouth is a Gimlet. James Bond drank a Vesper and the girls on Sex and the City drank Cosmos and Flirtinis. If you want to get really classic and drink the original "martini" then maybe you should be tipping up a Martinez!
If you want a little more info on the whole shebang read my History of The Martini and History of the Cocktail.
As for me, I'm sticking with my renegade ways and enjoying my cocktails in a martini glass and calling them a "martini". Argue all you want, debate until the sun goes nova, it's a free country (sorta, still) and when the sun starts to set (as long as it's still there) and the clock nears five I will be happily sipping my martini...one way or another.
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