While the martini as a cocktail is supposed to exemplify simplicity in how they are made, it’s amazing how easily the martini can actually be goofed up if a person doesn’t know what they doing with the preparation.
So, many are scared by the drink and only enjoy the martini in a bar or restaurant prepared by professional staff. That said, the martini isn’t overly complicated, and a vodka martini is a great way to start understanding how to prepare a home cocktail that is both powerful and enjoyable as well.
The difference between the vodka martini comes from finding the right balance in the mixture of the drink as well as how it is prepared.
Historically, the better martini drinks have been around for quite a while. Whether shaken or stirred, balance is the key factor in the drink’s end product, which, of course, is ultimately judged by the drinker and how it tastes, not the preparer’s notion of following the steps exactly perfectly. Sometimes, a slight variation or goof ends up being just the difference needed to make a martini taste even better.
The fact is, even professional bartenders take some time to perfect their art of martini drink-making, so no one should feel insulted or threatened by the idea that making the ideal vodka martini takes some practice.
Putting in a few rounds and practicing is actually a really good idea because it allows experimenting to find the right amounts and how they affect the taste and body of the drink when finished. In some respects, the maker of the vodka martini is a bit of a chemist.
You’re trying out different variations and making small adjustments from a generic starting point. As those changes happen, the taste changes and the drink incrementally gets better as a result.
The vodka martini allows for subtle variations as well. There is a truth to the idea of being shaken or stirred. Either way, the vodka is mixed with ice to chill it and lower the temperature dramatically. Doing so also gives the vodka martini a cool, crisp effect as well.
Getting started with a vodka martini recipe follows a fairly direct path. First off, the ingredients are a combination of dry vermouth, premium vodka, and ice. The ratio is essentially ½ of an ounce of dry vermouth to 3 ounces of premium vodka. All of the ingredients are put into a shaker or container to then shake for mixing or to stir and combine.
Then the result is poured through a strainer into a chilled martini glass. This allows for the separation of the ice which is no longer needed. Finally, the drink is garnished with an olive on a toothpick or a lemon peel.
One of the best ways to get started with practice is to simply go to the grocery store with a list of the above ingredients and purchase brand-new stock. The effects will be the strongest and easiest to understand the differences between variations. And it’s through experience that we learn best, even if it’s the subtleties of a vodka martini.