After my recent post on Eggnog Martini (Egg Nog Martini??? Really?) in which I generally described my amusement, if not disdain, of various cocktails described as “Martinis”… or more typically, ‘somthing‘tini a person very close to me asked “OK, what makes a Martini a Martini”.
To answer that I’ll ask, “What makes a chocolate chip cookie a chocolate chip cookie”? Bear with me here and all will be clear.
There are a lot of ‘-tinis’ out there that are, or have been, popular, even trendy; Appletini, Chocotini, Cranberrytini, Peachtini, Watermellontini, Peppermintini, Bacontini, etc. These cocktails may indeed be delicious, fun, and frivolous. The common element in these cocktails is that they are served in a martini stem and usually made with vodka.
But a martini stem does not a Martini make. Similarly a small baked bit of batter alone does not a Chocolate Chip Cookie make.
A Martini has a definite recipe. It is composed of Gin, Vermouth, and a garnish. Vodka is an acceptable, if not traditional, substitute for Gin. The garnish may be an olive or twist. And it’s traditionally served in a martini stem, but that does not make it a Martini.
A Chocolate Chip Cookie has a definite recipe with very few variations. It is a cookie made with Chocolate Chips. And maybe some walnuts and / or marshmallows. It is not a biscotti, or bagel, or muffin. It is a cookie. And it must have Chocolate Chips.
A Martini does not have apple, chocolate, peach, peppermint, or Eggnog. A Chocolate Chip Cookie does not have raisins, lemon peel, oatmeal, cranberries, or peanuts.
Oatmeal raisin cookies are delicious and a personal favorite. The look very similar to Chocolate Chip cookies, but they are not a “Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip cookie”. And an Appletini maybe fun and tasty, but it is not a Martini.
So what makes a Martini a Martini? Gin, Vermouth (proportions to personal taste) and a garnish; olive or twist. Preferably served chilled in a chilled martini stem.