20210930

The HISTORY of the MARTINI GLASS


The martini glass is a subset of bar glasses designed for specific purposes. Despite common belief, the martini glass is not the same as the cocktail glass. The cocktail glass is smaller, more rounded with a narrower rim and a narrower and shorter stem. It also predates the martini glass by about fifty years.


Though the martini glass design may look arbitrary and somewhat of a balance challenge, there is a true function to this elegant and unique drinking vessel. The long stem is a design element that allows for holding the cocktail so the heat of the hand doesn't cup the bowl and warm the drink. This feature keeps the martini cold so there is no need to add ice which would dilute the drink.

The conical bowl is a functional element that aids in the enjoyment of the gin. There is a tale that the wide mouth was designed to allow for quicker dumping of the “illegal” alcohol in the event of a raid on the speakeasy during the Prohibition era, but it’s more likely that the wide mouth allows for more surface tension which enhances the natural bouquet of the juniper berries in the gin.

Though larger than the cocktail glass, the traditional martini glass was originally designed to hold a two to five ounce cocktail, (about the same volume as the cocktail glass). A martini is all liquor and totals only 2 to 4 or 5 ounces of liquid*, it is meant to be sipped not gulped, so the advantage of the smaller volume glass is it keeps your martini cold while you drink it. These days "designer" martinis require a larger capacity because of the addition of juices and mixers.  It’s not uncommon to see "martini" glasses that will serve a six or even eight ounce cocktail.

Some of my hand painted martini glasses.

Martini glasses now come in all sizes and shapes and configurations.  There are hand blown glasses with imaginative stems, etched crystal glasses and fun, colorful hand painted glasses available today.  There are “inverted” glasses and even martini bowls without the stems that come nestled in a larger fishbowl shape you can fill with ice. I have a giant martini glass that I use for chips, flowers and party favors on my buffet table and there's even a cat tree in the shape of a martini glass, but the one common design element is that distinctive conical bowl with the wide mouth.

National Martini Day is June 17th.

THE HISTORY OF THE MARTINI

My recipe for
THE GIN MARTINI


* The volume of a cocktail will change depending on how much is poured but the method of mixing and how long the cocktail is mixed will also affect volume. A shaken cocktail will end up higher in volume than a stirred or thrown drink. The longer you stir or shake a cocktail the more dilution, thus more volume, occurs. The amount of ice in the mixing vessel will also affect end results.

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20210928

The NICK & NORA MARTINI aka the 3:1 Martini

Nick & Nora Martini aka the 3 to 1 Martini

Growing up I spent a lot of time with my mom watching old movies on TV and amongst our very favorites was The Thin Man Series of comedic detective stories featuring William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles, with Skippy as Asta their scene stealing fox terrier. Nick and Nora were sophisticated, witty and rarely without a cocktail in hand, usually a martini. Definitely one of my first and earliest inspirations for my happy hour obsession as an adult.


The original and only book, written by Dashiell Hammett, spawned not only the six successful movies with Powell and Loy from 1934 to 1947 but:
  1. a 1941 to 1950 radio show voiced by various Nick's and Claudia Morgan as Nora
  2. a television show during the fifties starring Peter Lawford and Phyllis Kirk
  3. a television movie in 1975 with Craig Steven's and Jo Ann Plug and
  4. a Broadway musical in 1991 starring Barry Bostwick and Joanna Gleason


Nick and Nora pretty much ruled the light mystery genre with booze fueled witty repartee and screwball couple antics from the thirties through the fifties and set the bar for later detective couplings like Hart to Hart and Remington Steele and Laura Holt. Nick and Nora helped escort America gracefully out of Prohibition, Nora was a vanguard for Women's Lib and together they entertained a country rebounding from a depression. And they both had a healthy respect for cocktails, despite the fact Nick called his 3 to 1 martini "dry" and advocated shaking a gin martini. No matter how he made them, they could both certainly put them away!


I say that calls for trying out the cocktail named for them.
Below is the recipe for the classic 3 to 1 Martini also known as

3 to 1 Martini  aka Nick & Nora Martini

The
NICK & NORA
MARTINI

INGREDIENTS
1-1/2 Oz. Dry Gin
1/2 Oz. Dry Vermouth

Glass: Nick & Nora

Garnish:  Spanish Olive (no pimento)

DIRECTIONS
Add ice to a cocktail pitcher, pour in the ingredients, stir (sorry, Nick) until chilled, strain into your chilled glass, garnish and serve.

Voiceover Video with Ingredients and Directions:

I prefer my usual London Dry Gin with Noilly Pratt stirred but we all know every martini drinker goes their own way.
Cheers!



I'VE ADAPTED THIS GRAPHIC & PUT IT ON FUN MERCHANDISE!
Check out the 3 to 1 Martini Cocktail Recipe Design on Tees & Clothing, Party Supplies, Posters & Art, Decor & Gifts.


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20210923

The Perfect PERFECT MARTINI Cocktail Recipe.

Perfect Martini Cocktail Recipe

Tucked in a corner of the Times Square Subway Station by the 42nd Street shuttle is an unobtrusive door with a sign overhead that says Knickerbocker.


At the turn of the 20th century that door took subway riders directly into the bar at John Jacob Astor's famous Knickerbocker Hotel. Referred to as the 42nd Street [Country] Club because it was located in the old Knickerbocker Hotel on the corner of 42nd Street and Broadway smack dab in the middle of Times Square, it was a popular pre Prohibition hang out for the glitterati of the Edwardian age.


The "Knick" was built in 1906 and closed in 1921, a short 15 years after opening, most likely a victim of Prohibition. Yet in those 15 years the Knick was host to many of the day's rich and famous notables and the name still carries an unmatched aura of lavish luxury and entertainment. Stories abound of over-the-top parties, elegantly attired guests, flowing Champagne and the elite of the era's high society stopping by for a vacation or just popping in for a cocktail or a gathering. The history, guests and stories are legend. Enrico Caruso lived there with his family because it was close to the Met. On Armistice Day he went out on his balcony and led the cheering crowds below in the Star Spangled Banner. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote "This Side of Paradise" and courted Zelda there and he would make it rain twenties for the Knickerbocker staff during his stay.

But the story that piqued my interest the most was the Knickerbocker's claim to the invention of the the Martini. According to their website history page, John D. Rockefeller supposedly bragged to his friends about the great new "martini" cocktail created for him over at the Knick. Of course that claim post-dates the first printed recipe for the cocktail in an 1888 bar guide making the claim somewhat dubious.

Harry Johnson's New and Improved Bartender's Manual 1888

What bartender Martini di Arma di Taggia most likely made for Doc Rockefeller was not today's gin and dry vermouth cocktail but the Perfect Martini, a cocktail that employed gin with dry and sweet vermouth. It's much closer to the original martini recipes of the late 1800s than today's drier gin and vermouth iteration. Note that the present day Knickerbocker Martini Recipe uses Tanqueray 10 Gin, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Cocchi Torino Vermouth, orange and citrus bitters with a lemon twist; these are similar to the ingredients and flavor profile of Johnson's recipe above. The Knickerbocker recipe is almost like a martini recipe time-bridge from the sweet gin and vermouth cocktails from bygone days to the very dry gin and vermouth drink of the modern era.

I find the vintage version is a less harsh, warmer and friendlier cocktail that makes me feel like I've just been cuddled by Mrs. Doubtfire, it's a pretty color too. When I make mine I use a London Dry Gin, Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth and Martini & Rosso Sweet Vermouth.

Perfect Martini Recipe with Ingredients and Instructions

The 
PERFECT
MARTINI

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Dry Gin
1/2 Oz. Dry Vermouth
1/2 Oz. Sweet Vermouth
Dash Orange Bitters

Garnish
Orange Twist

DIRECTIONS
Stir ingredients with ice, double strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish then serve.

VOICEOVER VIDEO WITH INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS:

You might want to check out my History of The Martini for more information on this classic cocktail.

GET THIS COCKTAIL RECIPE DESIGN ON TEES & CLOTHING, POSTERS, PARTY ACCESSORIES, STICKERS & CARDS:
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20210915

CHERRY MARGARITA Cocktail Recipe

CHERRY MARGARITA RECIPE

I have a thing for cherries, always have. If it's cherry let me at it. So, yes, cherries in my margarita!

CHERRY MARGARITA Cocktail Recipe with Ingredients and Instructions

The
CHERRY
MARGARITA

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Blanco Tequila
1/2 Oz. Maraschino Liqueur
1 Oz. Fresh Cherry Puree
1 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1 Tbsp. Agave Syrup

Garnish
Lime Slice
Cocktail Cherry 

DIRECTIONS
Frozen
Blend ingredients with half a cup of ice until smooth, pour into a margarita glass, garnish and serve.

Over
Shake ingredients with ice until chilled then pour into a chilled margarita glass, garnish and serve.

Voiceover Video with Ingredients and Directions:

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20210910

The Pusser's Rum PAINKILLER COCKTAIL Recipe

Painkiller Cocktail Recipe

September is National Pain Awareness Month and, being a cocktail lover, my mind went right to the Painkiller Cocktail. Created in the 1970s at the Soggy Dollar Bar in the British Virgin Islands, the Painkiller is basically an orange Piña Colada.

Technically, if you make this with anything other than Pusser's Rum, you can't call it a Painkiller because Pusser's trademarked the drink in 1989 with their rum in the recipe. Pusser's, by the way, was named after the purser (or pusser) who gave out the Royal Navy's daily daily tot (aka rum ration)

Painkiller Cocktail Recipe with Ingredients and Instructions

The
PAINKILLER

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Pusser’s Rum
4 Oz. Fresh Pineapple Juice
1 Oz. Fresh Orange Juice
1 Oz. Cream of Coconut

GARNISH:
Wedge of Pineapple
Orange Slice
Optional Cocktail Cherry

DIRECTIONS
Blend ingredients with a cup of ice until smooth and creamy.
Pour into a chilled Tiki glass.
Garnish and serve. 

VOICEOVER VIDEO WITH INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS:

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20210901

PINK CADILLAC MARGARITA Cocktail Recipe

PINK CADILLAC MARGARITA COCKTAIL RECIPE

The Pink Cadillac Margarita is a riff on a Cadillac Margarita. Why is it called a Cadillac Margarita? Because it's made with "top shelf" ingredients like Grand Marnier instead of Triple Sec and employs a pricier tequila. In fact, a few folks claim Patron invented the Cadillac version to promote their newly launched "premium" tequila.

As for the beginnings of the Pink Cadillac, who knows?? Maybe it was even inspired by Elvis' famous 1955 Pink Cadillac. I'm going with that because it's cool and makes me happy. But it would also be cool if it was named after the 1989 Clint Eastwood movie, Pink Cadillac where he drove around bounty-hunting Bernadette Peters in his vintage pink Cadillac. Seriously, you can't get much cooler than Elvis and Clint Eastwood.

PINK CADILLAC MARGARITA RECIPE WITH INGREDIENTS AND INSTRUCTIONS

The
PINK CADILLAC
MARGARITA

INGREDIENTS
2 Oz. Tequila Reposado
1 Oz. Grand Marnier
1 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 Oz. Agave Nectar
2 Oz. Fresh Cranberry Juice
2 Drops Angostura Orange Bitters

Garnish
Pink Himalayan Salt Mix Rim & a Sugar Dipped Lime Slice

DIRECTIONS
Rim a cocktail glass with lime then dip in the Himalayan salt.
Shake the ingredients with ice to chill then pour into an ice filled lowball glass.
Garnish and serve.

VOICEOVER VIDEO WITH INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS:

There are versions of this recipe that use Chambord in place of the cranberry juice but those recipes are all over the board and most sound way too sweet. The tartness of fresh cranberry juice seems a better balance with the Grand Marnier.

Pink Cadillac Day is celebrated every September 1st.

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20210831

The Classic MONTE CARLO Cocktail Recipe

Monte Carlo Whiskey Cocktail Recipe

The Monte Carlo is basically a Manhattan that replaces the Manhattan's sweet vermouth with Bénédictine. Bénédictine* is a spiced herbal liqueur with additional flavor notes of honey and licorice. It's the big daddy to the more familiar B&B, a drier version mixed with brandy.

I usually make this with Rittenhouse 100. The nice thing about these classic whiskey cocktails is they can be easily tailored to personal tastes without sacrificing balanced flavor. I happen to enjoy a little spice in my cocktails and the spice notes of the Rittenhouse emphasize the spices of the Bénédictine.

Monte Carlo Cocktail Recipe with Ingredients and Instructions

The
MONTE CARLO
Cocktail 

Ingredients
2 Oz. Rye Whiskey
1/2 Oz. Bénédictine
Dash Angostura Bitters
Dash Peychaud's Bitters

Garnish
Cocktail Cherry

Directions
Add the ingredients to an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice.
Stir for about 30 seconds until well-chilled.
Garnish and serve.

VOICEOVER VIDEO WITH INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS:



* INTERESTING HISTORICAL FACTOID:
Simone Beck, who co-wrote Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volumes I and II with Julia Child, was part of the Bénédictine family.

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