"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have". - Frederick Koenig

Friday, March 25, 2011

Drink of the Moment: Dirty Vodka Martini, My Dirty Little Secret

What day isn't a dirty martini kind of day?  Well in my opinion, not many, but I knew today had far surpassed the beer threshold by 9am, and I was going to need my comfort cocktail (or more) before all was said and done.  The winter-like temps over the weekend make this even more appealing to curl up with like a warm blanket.  Not sure exactly why I enjoy this drink so much - I'd say it's my signature cocktail, maybe it's because of it's nice savory flavor (like an olive tapas plate or something), or maybe it's quick to make the worries melt away.  Who knows, but whatever magic it is that makes this my happy drink, I'm about to share my 'dirty little secret' with you now.

My (Favorite)Dirty Martini
(courtesy of John Barrar)

2 oz Stolichnaya Gold vodka
1 oz olive brine (preferably from a jar of olives)
1/2 oz Noilly Pratt dry vermouth
Whole olives (I prefer the extra large ones, or even stuffed ones sometimes for an added depth of flavor)

Shake extremely vigorously for about 30 seconds with ice, and pour into your favorite martini glass.  Garnish with olives, and let the day melt away.

Pretty low maintenance, huh?  I've had martinis in all sorts of places, made all sorts of ways (believe it or not, there is a lot that can go wrong with just 3 ingredients), and after actual taste tests between them, this one is the champ.  So what makes this one so different from the others?  Because there are so few flavors, it really boils down to the quality and specifics of those that are actually there.  There are 3 things to note in this recipe.  1) I am very specific about the types of ingredients that go into this cocktail - I know everyone has their favorite brands, but these are the ones that I've found combine together for my most optimal beverage experience.  I have even had die-hard fans of other vodkas (quite nice ones too) cave to the smoothness that you get with the Stoli Gold in this particular drink.  It really does make that much difference.  2) I use vermouth - I know you can make a pretty bang on dirty martini without the vermouth, and for years that was my preference as I had only tried using extra dry vermouth and found it to be horrible.  There is something about the dry vermouth that works amazingly well though, and actually compliments the cocktail instead of killing it.  I still drink martinis without it no problem; this is just my favorite way to drink them.  3) Shaking the drink hard enough is very important - no one likes a warm drink unless it's supposed to be warm.  Since this drink is served up, it's best when shaken hard enough so you get the little ice chips floating in the top of the glass. That keeps it much colder and crisper while you sip and proceed to get warmer and fuzzier. 

So, that's more than enough writing for now.  I've got places to go, people to see, and cocktails to consume!


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