007 Steps to the Perfect Martini
You’re the bartender at this weekend’s Quantum of Solace bash in exotic CollegeTown, USA, when suddenly, you spot the notorious secret agent himself undercover among the young folk. “The name’s Bond, James Bond,” he says, as he hits you up for his favorite drink. Are you prepared? Didn’t think so. Well, read on because mixing the perfect martini isn’t as complicated as picking a lock or passing a polygraph test.
1. The Ingredients First, infiltrate the liquor cabinet. Be resourceful, you can make a martini out of anything as long as it’s not rubbing alcohol, although a whiskey martini probably won’t get you in bed with Denise Richards. Traditionally, martinis are made with gin or vodka. You definitely need dry vermouth though. Using sweet vermouth is like wielding a replica Airsoft gun when only a Walther PPK will do. But if all you’ve got is gin, check out the variation below.
2. The Gadgets Pull together the necessary utensils. You can fair without any of this stuff, but Q would be disappointed. You’ll need a shaker, a strainer and a bar spoon. Many shakers come with strainers built in, but the true professional is ornamented with a separate strainer.
3. The Liquor Now it’s decision time – what kind of martini are you in the mood for? We did all of the espionage for you:
- Traditional Martini: Gin is the chief alcohol in the double agent of all martinis.
- Vodka Martini: I think you can figure this one out. If you’re too drunk, try replacing the gin with vodka and voila!
- Tequila Martini (Tequini): …
- The Vesper (True Bond-style): In the first official James Bond book, Casino Royale, Ian Flemming is very specific about Bond’s unique take on the martini: he asks for his martini with half vodka and half gin, an unusual request.
4. The Vermouth Martini drinkers are very fussy, so let’s diffuse the bomb of mixing ratios, shall we? A normal martini is one part dry vermouth to six to eight parts gin and a “dry martini” is 10 to 12 parts gin to one part dry vermouth. A “50/50 martini” is half gin and half vermouth. If you’re looking for style points on the 50/50, double-fist your speed-pouring-equipped bottles for a three-count. If your client is hardcore or you have no vermouth, an “extra, extra dry martini” is three ounces of straight, chilled gin.
5. The Mix Martinis are traditionally a stirred drink, but if you’re serving our secret agent’s favorite, you know this is not always the case. There are three ways to mix a martini: straight up, on the rocks or shaken. Straight up and on the rocks are both of the stirred variety; straight up is stirred with ice, then strained. If you’re shaking the martini, things can get difficult. Fill the shaker two-thirds with ice, then add your liquor. Place the cover on top and start shaking with both hands. If you do it perfectly, the frostiness of the drink-to-be and ice will seal the shaker shut. After shaking six to eight times, tap the shaker with the side of your hand like you’re breaking the neck of an expendable henchmen. As a general rule for cocktails, you want a total of three ounces of liquid so you’ll need to account for the ice melting a little bit during this part of the preparation process.
6. The Garnish Pour the shaken elegance into a martini glass, technically a four-ounce cocktail glass, through the strainer. The stem on a cocktail glass allows the agent to sip the martini without warming its contents. Garnish a martini with two olives, pitted and without pimentos. If you are preparing a “Gibson martini,” a cocktail onion should rappel its way into the glass. If it’s a tequila martini, it gets a lemon twist.
7. The Interrogation Chances are he’s in the bar and ordering this specific because he’s getting to the bottom of his dossier. You’re the first step in his surveillance. Hopefully you’ve been paying attention to your clients’ favorite baccarat tables and not just staring at their chests. Congratulations, you’ve evaded smoke screens, dodged tire spikes and lost your tail: James Bond is officially as well-oiled as a brand new Aston Martin. He fits right in at your party and gives everyone massages. James Bond will return in…