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TO SHAKE OR NOT TO SHAKE? THAT IS THE QUESTION!

There is a big debate between the shakers and stirrers when it comes to martinis. The stirrers are proponents of the "no bruise" rule and are generally Classic Gin Martini drinkers. You see, the reason you don't shake a gin martini is you don't want to "bruise" the gin and destroy the juniper berry flavor of a high quality gin!

Vodka is not so delicate an alcohol and shaking a vodka martini is favored over stirring. Why? Because you want a very cold martini but not a watered down one! Shaking your martini allows for a quickly chilled martini with the least amount of dilution from the ice, and therefore the least amount of watered down flavors!

CHILLAXIN' WITH YOUR MARTINIS

You want to stay cool when making most martinis. Why? Because the colder all the elements the colder and more pure the flavor of the martini. Warm anything makes your martini watered down. The exception to this rule is a Classic Gin Martini or Dirty Martini where the ingredients are poured at room temperature,

Want to Change Things Up? Why Not EAT YOUR COCKTAILS?
To aid in chilling your martini and keeping it chilled remember to chill your martini shaker and your martini glass. It helps to chill the ingredients as well. I like to keep my vodkas in the freezer. Alcohol does not freeze at normal home freezer temperatures and the alcohol stays really cold but still liquid!

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OH, SMIDGEON - PIDGEON!

Measurements are not just there as a guideline in most cases. There is a balance to a cocktail just as there is a balance to food flavors. But like cooking and unlike baking, you can adjust most recipes to your personal tastes. For those who prefer a martini with less of a punch it is acceptable in most cases to lower the alcohol level. Just remember every adjustment you make alters the final flavor profile of the original recipe!

WHAT IS A DASH?

No, it's not a race! A dash is a little bigger than a pinch! Oh, okay a dash is about 1/8 of a teaspoon or .02 fluid ounces!

THEN WHAT'S A PINCH?

Exactly what it says it is! A pinch of the amount of a dry ingredient that you can pinch between your forefinger and your thumb!

WHAT IS A SPLASH?

The Mac Daddy of "ishes" - about 1/4 to 1/2 ounce, usually based on personal preferences.






TOOLS, TIPS, TRICKS for TERRIFIC TIPPLING

I WANT TO SAVE MONEY !

Of course, you do, we all want to save money BUT there are just some things you don't do on the cheap. One of those is in the ingredients of your martinis. You don't have to buy the most expensive booze out there - especially if you're blending with juices and mixers but don't buy Acme Rot Gut Twofers either!

Remember your martini is only as good as the ingredients you put in it. The general rule of thumb is use the highest quality vodka or gin for the Classic Martinis and Dirty Martinis, use good vodka for your mixed martinis and save the Rot Gut to clean off paint!

Please use fresh, ripe fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices! Frozen things wilt and old herbs and spices are about the same as using dust!

WHAT KIND OF ICE?

Either cubed or cracked ice will do, but do not use crushed ice as it will melt too quickly and dilute your drink. And please use filtered water to make your ice! Get those nasty tap water chemicals out of your martini!

WHAT KIND OF SHAKER SHOULD I USE?

Glass or stainless steel because they do not absorb flavors and won't taint your next martini. Plastic and aluminum will absorb small amounts of the elements mixed in them and will eventually come to add flavors to your cocktails you didn't intend to add!

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HOW LONG DO YOU SHAKE A MARTINI?

Just a few seconds - long enough to chill the martini but not dilute the ingredients - watch for the shaker to frost up on the outside.

MY FREEZER'S TOO SMALL! HOW DO I CHILL MY GLASSES?

Simple - fill the martini glass with a few ice cubes and add some cold water and let that sit in your glass while you mix your martini. Be sure to pour this out and shake the glass to get out any extra water.

WHAT'S A DRUNKEN OLIVE - AN OLIVE LOOKING FOR A 501?

No, a drunken olive isn't going to get a D.U.I. - can your olives drive? But it is a wonderful taste sensation because it's been sitting in your drink soaking up all the nice alcohol - just like you! A wonderful end to a wonderful refreshing martini.

You can also serve drunken olives as an appetizer - yum! Just toss a few of your favorite olives in a nice, sterilized jar, pour your vodka or gin over them and let them sit for a day or two! Here's more olive fun and tips!

BTW - you can make drunken fruits too and they're wonderful as garnish in my designer martinis as well as perfect toppings for pound cake and ice creams!

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THE ICE MAN COMETH - HOW MUCH ICE SHOULD I USE?

What is ice for? To make things cold! So the more ice, the quicker your martini chills and the less watered down it gets! I usually put in enough ice to fill my ice cold shaker about 2/3's full.

WHY DO THEY CALL IT A "DRY" MARTINI WHEN IT'S ALL LIQUID?

The less vermouth used the "drier" the martini - why? Because vermouth is somewhat sweet and the less sweet the more "dry" a drink is considered. It's sort of like dry humor - some people like it and some don't.

"Y" ARE MARTINI GLASSES SHAPED LIKE A BIG "Y"?

Because this shape allows the drinker to hold the glass in two different places without warming the martini - by the stem or at the rim, that's "Y". Martinis are always best served ice cold - like revenge!

The wide brim also allows for the release of the "bouquet" of your martini. (It wafts right up there and tickles your nose and gets your mouth ready!) Read more about martini glasses here.


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WHY CAN'T I ORDER A PITCHER OF MARTINIS?

Because, my flophouse friend, martinis are best served ice cold - serving them in a pitcher would allow them to warm up much too much and defeat all that hard work of chilling, mixing, shaking or stirring them to perfection! Pitchers are for beer and those tawdry margaritas!

Unless, or course, you think you can drink a 48 ounce martini in half an hour??? And if you can and if you do - please switch back to beer. Martinis are to be sipped and savored not guzzled. We be sophisticated boozers, ya know!

Oh, OK! YOU CAN BATCH MARTINIS
for a party in your own home without risk of dilution if you absolutely must -- here's how to Batch cocktails or martinis for a party.

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HOW TO MAKE NON ALCOHOLIC MARTINIS!

I've been asked by several people if my martinis can be converted to cocktails without alcohol. In many cases this is quite possible so I've come up with some tips for doing it:
  • To maintain the essence of the martini's flavor use syrups, juices or sodas with the same flavoring.
  • Look for the flavors the liquors impart and try to replace them with non-alcoholic alternatives. Did you know there was a non-alcoholic Rum Flavoring? It's in the baking aisle of your grocery store!
  • Replace the plain vodka with club soda or a non-alcoholic wine.
  • There are many already prepared drink mixes available where you add the liquor so you leave out the liquor and use your club soda instead.
  • If you don't want to impart the carbonation of the soda try leaving the soda out overnight without the cap.
  • Ginger Ale can be used as a substitute for some alcohols.
  • Smoothie recipes make wonderful non-alcoholic martinis.
  • Use food coloring to impart colors that some alcohols impart.
  • Use food flavorings to mimic the flavored vodkas and rums.
  • Don't get stingy with the rimming techniques or garnishes, do exactly the same rimmer or garnish you would for the martini with booze!
Remember, anything you drink can be served in a martini glass, there are no rules and no one's going to spank you if you don't drink classic martinis or you don't drink at all! You can even serve a shrimp cocktail or another appetizer and even desserts in a martini glass! I've even floated flowers in a martini glass filled with water as a table decoration.
Here's some other fun non drinking uses for Martini Glasses!

Martinis for me are more than a particular drink; for me a martini brings to mind the elegance of days gone by where people dressed up for cocktail hour and socializing was more important than getting hammered! Satin dresses, white tie, some great swing music in the background and celebration on the air - now there's a martini atmosphere for you!













MORE MARTINI ARTICLES BY THE MARTINI DIVA:
Hangovers: Facts, Myths, Cures & Causes
How to Garnish a Martini
How to Make Flavor Infused Vodkas
How to Rim a Martini - Cocktail Glass
How to Throw a Martini Party
The History of the Martini
Martini Jokes and Martini Joke Recipes

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Article ©2009 by TheMartiniDiva.Com, a division of PopArtDiva.com. All rights reserved. No permission is given to copy, reproduce, distribute, print or share without written permission from PopArtDiva.Com





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How to make flavor infused vodkas.