The Perfect Martini “How To”s Collected

martini-with-twist

Over the course of the almost two years that I’ve been writing this blog I’ve posted many random martini quotes, several reviews of restaurant and bars, made opinionated comments about stemware, and expounded on my pet peeves.  And, of course, I’ve also written extensively on what I believe makes a great Martini.  But these “How To” posts are scattered throughout this website and are hard to find.   No Longer!

Here, finally, is a compendium of links to the “How To” articles of Martini Making.  These describe my thoughts and beliefs of making the “Perfect Martini”.  Or to be most precise, my perfect martini.   The posts describe more than just the recipe and process of assembling the finest cocktail, but give some of the technical background of ‘what’ and ‘why’.

So here below for the first time are assembled the heart of Martini Magic…..

Here’s where we start, the art of creation:
The Perfect Martini Process

This link will help you find the answer to the age old question that keeps us awake at nights …. is Shaken really better than Stirred?   And why?
Shaken vs. Stirred Revisited: Conclusion.

If you just want to really know what they mean when some Gin snob warns you about ‘Bruising’, here’s the real deal.  (Hint; its not what you think.  But then, it’s not what they think either!)
Shaken vs. Stirred Revisited : Bruising

Are there really differences between Shaking and Stirring??? Yes!  And here are the two most significant differences.
Shaken vs. Stirred Revisited: Dilution
Shaken vs. Stirred Revisited: Temperature.

Finally, does Shaking taste better?  Read below to find out.
Shaken vs. Stirred Revisited: Taste

Cold Ice is critical to making the perfect Martini.  If you’re confused about the difference between warm and cold ice, check this out.
Cold Ice Please!

Of course a great Martini needs a suitable container from which to sip this marvelous beverage.   Here are a few thoughts on stemware.
Thoughts on Stemware, Part One
Thoughts on Stemware, Part Two
Thoughts on Stemware, Part Three
And even…..
To Stem or Not to Stem

As always, comments are very welcome.  Please let me know what you think especially if you disagree with my comments.

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King George II Inn, Bristol, PA

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The King George II Inn is known to be the oldest continuously operated Inn in America!  Founded in 1681, it sits on the Delaware river in the quiet town of Bristol, PA.  The Inn no longer offers overnight accommodations but the restaurant and lounge are in full operation.  There are several dining rooms, some of which overlook the river and park just along the river, a historic tavern, and an outdoor riverfront patio for al fresco dining.

I’ve been to the King George many times over the years and it has always been a great experience.  The place exudes history, the food is consistently very good, the views from the upstairs dining room are beautiful, and the people have always been friendly and professional.

The tavern area doesn’t have the great river views, but it has a gorgeous huge mirrored bar which is almost as impressive.  There is lots of dark wood accents through out the room, and whole inn, to keep it warm and inviting.

Sadly my simple photos do not do it full justice.

king-george-ii-inn-b         king-george-ii-inn-c         king-george-ii-inn-a

The Martini?   They are pretty good.  They’re served in a rather massive stem, which is great for keeping the drink cold.  The stems are not pre-chilled in the refrigerator so it will only get cool from the ice and water applied prior to the barkeep mixing your Martini.  But the drink is very well shaken, ample, and ultimately was served nicely chilled.  (They also use ‘crooked’ stems and you all know my thoughts on that, but that’s a minor nit.)

Overall the King George II Inn’s Tavern feels like a perfect neighborhood watering hole.  Not a dive bar by any means but a very comfortable, clean, and classy place to hang out during the week watching the game du jour.

Overall I give the King George II Inn one stem.

Martini Glass Upright

As for selection, the King George II Inn gets a C-.   The gin choices are limited to only Bombay, Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray, Hendricks, and Beefeater.  Hopefully they will expand their selection in the future.

For additional information on the Inn’s history or menus:  http://www.kginn.com

king-george-ii-inn-e

June 11 is World Gin Day!!

World Gin Day Slide

Saturday June 11 is World Gin Day this year!   That is just 10 days from now!    😉  Celebrate with a G&T or a Martini!  Or even straight!

I hope to do another round of Gin Tastings, similar to last years.  IF anyone has a gin they’d like tested & tasted, please let me know by commenting on this post.

If you want to check out last year’s World Gin Day tastings, you can find it here:  World Gin Day Sampling Results & Opinions

Happy World Cocktail Day

World-Cocktail-Day

Happy World Cocktail!  My suggestion is to celebrate with a Martini, or three!

Which ever way you choose to celebrate, Celebrate Safely.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

St Patricks 4

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to one and all.

Enjoy an “Irish” Martini …. one with green garnish and decoration.  But please leave the drink clean clear and pure.

 

My thanks to PortGirl for the photo!

One Year Anniversary!

One Year
December 24 marks the one year anniversary of my second first post*!

I want to take a moment to thank all those who have read through my posts and especially those who have provided a comment or three.  Thank you.

Its been an amazing year really.  I’ve actually posted 146 items and received 123 comments, collected almost 70 Martini / Cocktail quotes, and 6 Martini jokes (I need more!!!).

When I started I was worried that I’d run out of things to say.  Fortunately, being of the opinionated sort, I found more about which to opine that I originally thought I would.

And the scope of blog has grown a bit.  Originally I believed I’d sporadically comment about Martinis with an occasional Bar review.  Then more bar reviews came along and became more extensive.  Somewhere I started adding Random Martini Quotes and that was a lot of fun.   Finally I started reviewing not just a bar’s Martini capabilities but also providing a grade on their Gin selection.

I also created a Twitter account (@Shkn_Nt_Strrd) to go along with this blog.  I thought they would mirror each other, so every time I post something I link it to @Shkn_Nt_Strrd.  But the twitter account has grown beyond just Martinis.  Its tag line is “Celebrating the finer things in life!”.

I’m not sure what the future holds but I will keep this blog going.  Perhaps I won’t post quite as much …. but who knows.  I’ve been having fun with this and I don’t see that changing.

Again, many thanks to all of my readers.

 

* For those of you wondering what ‘second first’ post means I’ll take a moment to give some ancient history.

My very first post was actually titled Welcome and occurred on August 21, 2013.  I had just bought the web address and loaded up WordPress and was eager to get going.  But I really had no idea what I was doing and ….. then I got lost into trying to create the ‘perfect’ web page.  During the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 I spent a lot of mental effort thinking about, researching ‘hot to’, and playing with the format of this blog.  I thought I needed the web page totally set up before I started writhing.   Ultimately I made very little progress either in writing or designing.

Somewhere near the end of 2014 I had an epiphany of sorts.  I realized that I wanted to write about martinis and I wasn’t doing that.  I still didn’t know what I was doing, but I started over and figured I’d jump in and learn about the visuals and formatting as I was writing and enjoying the Martinis…. and so my “second first” post occurred December 24, 2014 and was titled Introduction.

Random Martini Quote of the Day

“When I have one martini, I feel bigger, wiser, taller.  When I have the second, I feel superlative.  When I have more, there’s no holding me.”
William Faulkner

 

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

If you like these posts and want to be notified by email when they come in, please subscribe to the blog…. over on the left column.     😉

Bar Review: Kendall’s Brasserie & Bar, Los Angeles, CA

I think I have a new favorite Martini Bar!

Not long ago I was in Downtown Los Angeles looking for a place to stop in and quench my thirst.  I wasn’t really looking for a high end restaurant, more of a neighborhood bar.   However, I did end up at a very nice restaurant, stopping at Kendall’s Brasserie & Bar and I’m very glad I did.

I am familiar with Kendall’s having eaten there several times over the years before various events a that the Los Angeles Music Center.  Kendall’s is located on the ground floor below the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

I did not eat a meal at my recent visit though I can attest that their food has, in the past, always been excellent.  I have no reason to doubt that it remains so.

But I did have a Martini, in fact a couple.  I have to admit that I did not order my usual Bombay Sapphire as my ‘control’ drink.  I was impressed with the number and selection of gins they had.  So, not wanting to drink to the point of oblivion and still wanting to try some of these gins, I skipped the Sapphire.   Instead I tried the “Perry’s Tot Navy Strength” and “Dorothy Parker” from the New York Distilling Company.

They were both very good, thought I especially liked the Perry’s Tot.  As its ‘navy strength’ (114 proof) it is bold!  The taste is predominantly Juniper but with some nice citrus notes and a bit of sweetness to round it out.  Excellent for a Martini or even a G&T, if your’re so inclined.

The Dorothy Parker was more delicate.  There is still Juniper dominating the flavor but with a lot more floral elements and a touch of spice.  An excellent Martini if one prefers a more floral taste.

Not wanting to stumble around LA, I only had those two Martinis.  I will definitely return to try some of the other gin options that are available.  For that reason Kendall’s gets two Martini stems.  Martini Glass UprightMartini Glass Upright

 

For Selection Kendall’s earns an A:
Their collection of gins on the day I visited included the following:  New York Distilling Company’s “Perry’s Tot” Navy Strength and “Dorothy Parker”, Beefeater 24, Bombay, Bombay Sapphire, Plymouth, Aviation, Oxley, St. George Terroir, Tanqueray Malacca, Ford’s, Edinburgh, & Martin Miller.  Their collection does change periodically.

Their web site is:
www.patinagroup.com/kendalls-brasserie-and-bar

Random Martini Quote of the Day

Rain Cloud

“I must get out of these wet clothes and into a dry Martini…”

 

This is one of my favorite quotes and one 0f the most well known world wide.  Apparently is it also one of the most often utilized because it has been attributed, at one time or another, to all of the following:    Mae West, Clark Gable, Robert Benchley, Charles Woolcott, Billy Wilder, Charles Butterworth, and Alexander Woolcott!!

 

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

If you like these posts and want to be notified by email when they come in, please subscribe to the blog…. over on the left.  😉

Shaken, Stirred, or Smashed???

Not long ago while on travel I stopped in at a fine restaurant for a ‘nite cap’ on my way ‘home’, i.e., the current hotel.  I ordered my usual dry Sapphire martini.

The bartender took a stem from the freezer and placed in on the bar.  Next he took a metal shaker, put ice in it, and then poured in the gin.  Finally instead of putting the top on the shaker he took out a long stirring spoon.  At this point I thought he was going to stir the drink.  Not a problem, I always let the local barkeep make the Martini at his discretion.  At least the first one.  😉

To my amusement and surprise he proceed to pound the ice with the spoon.  Sort of like a muddler with mint for a Mojito, but with much more enthusiasm.

When he served the martini I jokingly asked if that was considered “Shaken or Stirred”.  He smiled and responded with “Well, more like smashed or crushed”.  He went on to explain that this establishment liked to serve their Martinis with a thin layer of crushed ice on the surface of the drink and this was the best way to achieve that effect.  I think he referred to it as the ‘ice rink’ style.

Personally I don’t mind a few ice chips floating in the martini.  Not sure about a full layer of chips though.   And I think you could easily do that with vigorously shaking the Martini as well.  Having said that, the Martini was excellent.