The Martini is the greatest cocktail ever conceived, and should only be made with gin. Under no circumstances should it ever be made with vodka!
Gin is the key ingredient to any good martini, and gin gets its unique taste from juniper berries. The most common style is London Dry Gin.
London dry gin is made by taking a neutral grain spirt and redistilling after botanicals are added. In addition to juniper, a good gin might contain lemon, orange peel, anise, licorice root, cinnamon, saffron, cassia bark and frankincense.
I know what you are thinking....did he just say frankincense? Yes, indeed. An ingredient good enough to make Jesus's baby shower is used for making gin. Hence, the heavenly taste.
"What do you mean you forgot the olives? Balthasar, you're a shithead!"
A great debate has raged over the proper way to make a martini. While James Bond made "shaken, not stirred" one of the most famous quotes in movie history, a true aficionado says things like shaking "bruises the gin" and that only stirring will allow the flavors "to layer and interact perfectly." Let's face it, as long as it is cold and made with gin, who gives a damn.
Remember, a Martini is NEVER made with vodka. Who started that crap anyway? Oh, yeah....
James Bond is one of the coolest characters in the history of books and films. However, he gave the gin industry a gigantic wedgie by convincing the world that a "vodka martini, shaken not stirred" was the shiznit.
Did James Bond really drink vodka? Please tell me he was just trying to bed a hot Russian double agent....please tell me he was a raging alcoholic who chose vodka only because the smell was easier to mask...please tell me, at the very least, he sold out to the evil vodka empire and made a buttload of cash?
The first Bond movie, 1962's "Dr. No," experimented with the relatively little-known practice of product placement. The Smirnoff family was more than happy to cough up some cash provided the gin drinking Bond of Ian Fleming's novels became a vodka sipping wanker. The Smirnoff bottle was prominently displayed and the rest is history.
This lunacy continued throughout the Bond franchise until Pierce Brosnan switched to Finlandia vodka in "Die Another Day." A British super-agent knocking back fermented potato juice from Helsinki? I would rather drink moonshine gin distilled through Sean Connery's mildewed toupee, poured over George Lazenby's taint, and served in one of Roger Moore's old shoes. But that's just me.
The gin world got a partial boost when Daniel Craig was named the new James Bond. In "Casino Royale," Bond orders a "Vesper Martini" which is 3 parts gin, 1 part vodka and 1/2 part Lillet Blanc. The drink was first seen in the 1952 novel Casino Royale, and eventhough Bond requested that it be served in a champagne flute, it is still a kick ass cocktail. A few of those and you would barely be able to feel your fuzzy bean bag being whacked with a knotted rope all-night long.
"So, Mr. Bond. You think you have the balls to order a drink without any vodka in it?"
Few things in life are timeless. But the Martini, the black tuxedo and a perfectly shaped badonkadonk belong to an elite class of things that will never go out of style.
However, a virus has infected the martini world, and it is spreading faster than Madonna's legs at a Boy Scout Jamboree. I am speaking, of course, of the vodka-based martini. Using vodka (i.e. Putin's Piss) is a sacrilege that must be stopped. So the next time a bartender asks "vodka or gin" when you order a Martini, you know what to do....
"I'd rather lick my butt than drink a vodka martini."