Random Martini Quote for the Day

He knows just how I like my martini – full of alcohol.
Homer Simpson


For more fun quotes check out the “Martini Quotes” page, or click the link:  Martini Quotes.

Shaken vs. Stirred Revisited: Dilution

This is my second “Revisited” post on ‘Shaken vs. Stirred’.   The first dealt with Temperatures.  See Shaken vs. Stirred Revisited: Temperature if you missed it.   Today I’m going to elaborate on Dilution …..

Many of my comments on temperature apply to dilution also, so some of this will sound repetitive.  But that makes sense as dilution is a function of Temperature.  (Which is why I started with Temperature.)  I’ve also expounded on Dilution in the past if you want to see my prior comments.

Shaken martinis are generally more diluted.  This is primarily due to the pulverization of the ice during shaking creating smaller pieces of ice and therefore increased ice surface area.   As with temperature, the larger the surface area, the greater the dilution.

But, again, time is also a factor.  A martini stirred for 30-45 seconds may well be more diluted that a martini shaken for 5-10 seconds.

Also, again, the initial temperature of the ice is a factor.  Using cold ice will minimize dilution as the mixing must first bring the ice up to melting temperature, 32 deg F.  It should be noted that the smaller shards of ice created by shaking very quickly come up to melting temperature.  So ‘cold ice’ is beneficial to reduce dilution, but the benefit may be minimal.

So using large, very cold ice cubes and stirring the mix for a decent, but careful, amount of time will give you the Martini with the least dilution.

Stirring, when performed optimally with cold ice.   This is not the time for amateur bartenders busy occupied pulling beer taps.  There’s a skill set required to stir efficiently to chill the Martini just to the point of the ice melting.  This takes experience, attention to the process, and time.

Random Martini Quote for the Day

I’m not talking a cup of cheap gin splashed over an ice cube.   I’m talking satin, fire and ice; Fred Astaire in a glass; surgical cleanliness, insight, comfort; redemption and absolution.  I’m talking MARTINI



For more fun quotes check out the “Martini Quotes” page, or click the link:  Martini Quotes.

Shaken vs. Stirred Revisited: Temperature

I’m baaaaack.  (Think Schwarzenegger!)  After the recent consecutive holidays (World Gin Day & National Martini Day) I took a couple of days off.  But I’m back with more thoughts and, of course, more martini reviews.

Since I’ve had this blog going, I’ve had a number of conversations on Shaken vs. Stirred.  The two camps appear to be composed of dedicated committed adherents to their particular beliefs.  But all my discussions have been lighthearted and fun.   Ultimately we are all more alike in our love for Martinis than different in our choice of technique.

Past posts detail my thoughts on this topic and I don’t want to deprive you of the pleasure of reading each one in detail.  ( Shaken or Stirred?? and Shaken or Stirred, Part Two )  But I thought I’d elaborate on the main differences between the two mixing methods.

However in an effort to keep my posts a reasonable length, I’ve found that I’m going to have to separate these thought into manageable bites.  There will be a couple more posts coming along in the same vein very shorty.  But first up:

The conventional wisdom is that shaken cocktails are colder than stirred.  This is because there is more agitation when shaken.  Furthermore, shaking the drink also causes the ice to break up, increasing ice surface area.  If the barkeep is vigorously shaking, as opposed to just sort of waving the shaker around, there will be more shards of ice created, and more surface area.   As we know, thermal energy flow is a function of surface area, so more area – more cold.

But wait, thermal energy transfer is also time dependent.  Starting with the same mass of ice at the same starting temperature and Martini mixes at the same temperature, then the colder drink might well be the one that is mixed longer.   A barkeep who nicely sirs the Martini for 30-45 seconds may produce a colder Martini than one who is very busy and just shakes the mix for 5-10 seconds.  If you keep the mixing time constant, only then will the shaken cocktail certainly be colder than the stirred.

Of course, starting temperature of the ice is also very important.  The colder ice may trump the stirring / shaking time.  You can see my comments on Cold Ice in a prior post.

Advantage?  I’d call this a draw.
The ultimate temperature of your drink is very dependent on the Barkeep and his ice.  How much time she or he puts into mixing the Martini, the starting temperature of the ice, and how vigorously the mix if shaken.

Happy Father’s Day – June 21, the Summer Solstice

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there.  I hope you enjoy it with your Perfect Martini, whatever that may be, or another favorite Cocktail.

For all the non-fathers out there looking for a good excuse to celebrate, June 21 is also the Summer Solstice!   The longest day of the year, in the Northern Hemisphere.


Happy National Martini Day

Its finally here, National Martini Day!   The perfect day to have a Perfect Martini.  Or to try a new Martini, or two?

Enjoy the day with friends, new and old, but which ever way you choose to celebrate, Celebrate Safely.

Bar Review: The Grill on the Alley, Westlake Village, CA

The Grill on the Alley is located hidden in the back of a shopping complex.  You have to drive past several other beckoning restaurants.  But don’t be distracted, the Grill is where you want to be.

I’ve been here a few times and the food it always superb, the service is excellent, and the atmosphere is friendly and open.   The roast beef was particularly noteworthy.   Definitely worth a visit for that alone.

But I’m here for the Martini.  And, as you’ve seen in past reviews, the food isn’t necessarily an indication of the Martini.

But today it is.  They serve a great martini, really excellent.  The stem was wonderfully frozen, the Martini very dry, well shaken, and served promptly before the stem started to warm up.  Matthew was engaging while staying professional.

B+ for selection: Citadelle, Nolet’s, Tanqueray, Tanqueray Ten, Bombay, Bombay Sapphire, Boodles, Hendrick’s, Beefeater.  I think just a few more selections, including something a bit ‘unusual’ or rare, would push this into the “A” category.

Martini Glass UprightMartini Glass Upright

*****   Rating Definitions   ****

Two Days to National Martini Day

Two days to go to National Martini Day.  How are you planning on celebrating?  What type(s) of Martinis are you going to enjoy?

As always, drive safe or make sure you have a Designated Driver if you’re not celebrating at home


National Martini Day Coming Up – June 19

Hot on the heels of World Gin Day, National Martini Day is June 19.  That’s only three days away.  Not that we’ve sample several gins its time to consider which would be best for our Martini celebration.   Or perhaps which ones?


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