Random Martini Quote of 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


Those of you with good memory may wonder if this is a repeat.  It is, way back in June this was the very first Random Martini Quote for the Day.  This is one of my very favorite Martini Quotes.

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

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The Perfect Martini Process, V1.0

Since this blog has existed I’ve advocated and supported the concept that your Perfect Martini is just that, yours.  My Perfect Martini is mine.  And the two may not be identical.   What is important is that we find that which works for each of us.

Having said that, I thought it time to share what I believe works best for me.  Interestingly over the course of the last year researching for this blog and writing about Martinis and Martini preparation my taste has ‘evolved’.  My preference has moved a bit drier and I’m garnishing with a twist much more often.  Lime if available.

Anyway, here is my process.  Note that I say ‘process’, not recipe.  The recipe is pretty simple:  3 ounces of chilled Bombay Sapphire Gin, a capful of Vermouth, and a twist.  But it is the process of putting that together that really makes the Perfect Martini.

The process starts with advanced preparation.  Put the bottle of Gin and your Martini stem in the freezer and the vermouth in the refrigerator.   IF you use a massive shaker, that should go in the freezer too.  This should be done well before you need to prepare the Martini.  (I just leave my gin in the freezer and vermouth in the fridge permanently.)

Then make the twist.  I always prepare the twist before the martini so that the martini doesn’t wait, and get warm, if I make the twist at the end of the process.  No, the twist will not wilt or dry out in the 90 seconds you make the Martini…. it will be just fine waiting for its grand entry at the end of the process.   This goes for olives, if you prefer them…. spear them before the martini.

Finally we start making the Martini proper.  Fill the shaker with about a cup of cold ice.   (See Cold Ice Please! for comments and description of “Cold Ice”).  Take the cap off the Vermouth bottle, fill it with Vermouth and put that in the shaker with the cold ice.  Swirl or shake the Vermouth and ice briefly and then drain the Vermouth.  Keep the ice, of course.

Next put 3 ounces of Bombay Sapphire Gin into the shaker.  (That’s 6 tablespoons or a 3/8 cup if you don’t have a jigger.)  Shake the shaker vigorously for about 10 seconds.   10 seconds is all you need to chill the liquid, any more and your just working your biceps, triceps, and delts.

Now, quickly remove the Martini stem from the freezer and pour the Martini from the shaker into the Stem.  Take the twist and lightly run the rind around the edge of the stem, squeeze a bit of the oils into the liquid, and drop it gently into the Martini.

Finally take the Martini out to the porch, sit comfortable, look at the sunset over the beach, and enjoy the Perfect Martini.


Random Martini Quote of the Day

See, in mixing the important thing is the rhythm.  Always have a rhythm in your shaking.  Now a Manhattan, you shake to fox-trot time, a Bronx to two-step time.  But a Martini, you always shake to waltz time.
Nick Charles, The Thin Man


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

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Bar Review: P.F. Chang’s, Atlanta Airport

As you know, I don’t usually review chain restaurants.  Even those as nice as P.F. Chang’s.  You also might have noticed that I review a lot of bars on the two coasts.  Traveling back and forth I pass through Atlanta’s airport quite often.  Very Often!

Finding a place to eat and grab a Martini while transferring in an airport is rough.  Historically airport food has been mediocre, at best.  Thankfully times change and the options today are much better.  Atlanta Airport is certainly right there with “One Flew South” and others.

But I’m looking for a Martini, or two, between my flights and my choice is P.F. Chang’s. Which is located in the center of concourse A, upstairs.

There are several reasons.  First, the Martinis are good.  Not super, not great, but well chilled, abundant, and reasonably priced.  Second, I can sit at the bar and look out over the airport and watch the planes roll slowly by.  Well part of the airport anyway, ATL is pretty huge.

Third, the staff knows that people are in transit and they get your order to you quickly; food and drink.  Fouth, there is a power outlet between every other seat at the bar.  Perfect for charging your phone/iPad/Nexus or whatever.  Finally, the people there are really very friendly.

So P.F. Chang’s Atlanta Airport gets an ‘Honorable Mention’ in my review collection.  And one stem:  Martini Glass Upright

*****   Rating Definitions   ****

Random Martini Quote of the Day

“… all my life I’ve been terrible at remembering people’s names. I once introduced a friend of mine as Martini. Her name was actually Olive.”
Tallulah Bankhead


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

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Random Martini Quote of the Day

“A perfect martini should be made by filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy.”
Noël Coward


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.  😉

Bar Review: The Ranch Restaurant, Anaheim, CA

The Ranch Martini

The Ranch in Anaheim is a relatively new and excellent restaurant.   Definitely worth a visit, if you can find it!  Not that the address is hard to find, you just don’t believe you’re there as you approach.  The restaurant is cleverly hidden in the first floor of a multistory working office building.  As you approach all you see is the plain, function, nondescript 6 story office.  But that’s the place!  Drive around off the entry road and you’ll see the doors to the facility.

Yes, ‘doors’, plural.  There are two sides to The Ranch experience; the Restaurant on the left and the Saloon on the right.   While I’m sure that the martinis are the same on both sides, I’m reviewing the restaurant’s bar and Martini.

But a quick comment on the Saloon side, for those interested.  It is built to resemble the inside of a barn and its just about as big as one.  There is a very long bar along one side of the Saloon and a secondary bar along a side wall.  Across from the main bar there is the stage where live bands play.  In between the bar and the stage, down two tiers of tables, is the dance floor.  It is large and almost always filled with dancers, either during the free dance lessons or during the shows.  Check their website below for current acts and times.

As for the restaurant, it is beautiful.  While not totally decorated with the Barn motif of the Saloon side it is still very much decorated as High End Country.  Very high end!   First let me get the food comments out of the way.  This place is fantastic; their steaks are incredible with a large set of choices.  The sides are outstanding and the service is impeccable.  Absolutely worth a special visit.

The Martinis were really very good.   The stems are kept in the refrigerator, which is always a selling point for me!   They were professionally and promptly prepared which also maintained the nice chill to the drink.  They were a just a tad on the small side and bit pricey.   But the latter was in keeping with overall ambiance of the restaurant.  The barkeep was professional,  helpful, and enthusiastic.

I say ‘were’ prepared because I had a second Martini and chose something different, the St. George Dry Rye.  Really different.  I’m still trying to decide if I liked it or not.  This Gin is powerful, really heavy flavored, with a bit of pepper accent to compliment the rye and, of course, juniper.  I had it as a Martini which I think is about the only way you could drink this, I have no idea what mixer, liquor, or garnish would go well with it.  Not everyone will like it, of course, but if you’re at all on the curious or adventurous side definitely try it.

The Ranch is absolutely worth a visit for the food, service, and the Martini.   The Martinis were really very very good, but not quite up to the ‘worth a trip just for the Martini’ level.    The Ranch gets a one stem:  Martini Glass Upright

The Ranch gets a “A-” for gin selection.  They have basics and a couple of more “unusual” gins.   Their choices are:  Bombay, Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray, Tanqueray Ten, Hendrick’s, Beefeater, Nolets, Damrak Amsterdam, Right, and St. George Dry Rye.

I would also note that their selection of wines, whiskeys, whiskys, and cognacs are excellent!

Here’s their website if you’re interested in further information: www.theranch.com

*****   Rating Definitions   ****


Random Martini Quote for the Day

“Twas a woman who drove me to drink, and I never had the courtesy to thank her for it.”
W.C. Fields


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.  😉

New Funny…..

“They found water on Mars? Big deal. Call me when they find gin.”
Bette Midler

Just saw this on Twitter and thought it was too funny and very timely.  Hope you like it too.

BTW, there is a ‘sister’ twitter site associated with this blog.  Not exactly the same comments, but you might find it amusing.  @Shkn_Nt_Strrd

Bar Review: The Cellar, Fullerton

The Cellar in Fullerton is a great cozy little romantic place that is, really, in the cellar of ‘The Villa Del Sol’ building.  This is a 1923 Spanish Colonial with its own interesting history.  The Cellar itself was created in 1969 and is designed to resemble an old world cave wine cellar.  Reportedly it was designed by the same artist who did Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean.  The results are a very romantic old world ‘cave’ feel with lots of dark wood and leather.

The lounge area is just to the right as you enter the restaurant.  It is a very tight fit, very cozy, and keeps with the cellar cave look. There are only 7 bar stools, so it gets filled up pretty quickly, but there are several scattered tables and booths available.

The bar ‘pit’ is even cozier than the lounge.  While I’ve seen three bartenders and a bar back working there, its really spaced for one.  The head barkeep, Rich, is really excellent and knowledgeable.  He advocates stirred martinis, but I’ll forgive him that minor flaw.

As my readers well know, my drink of choice for comparison would be Sapphire, dry, with a twist.  But the until recently, the Cellar didn’t carry Sapphire!  They do however have an excellent selection of different gins.  So I forced myself to improvise and try a different gin, several times.  Since then they have, happily, added Sapphire.

The Martinis here are excellent.  They are professionally, even exuberantly, prepared and well chilled.  Though, as noted, The Cellar stirs their Martinis and therefore aren’t quite as chilled as I would prefer.  None-the-less, they are really quite good.  The bar staff are very helpful, knowledgeable & informative, friendly, and do an overall great job.

In addition to enjoying many martinis at the Cellar I have also eaten there on several occasions.  The food is excellent, though a bit pricey.  The service has also always been excellent.  And the decor is, as noted, romantic.  Definitely a special occasion place.

The gin selection here is an “A”.  Their selection does change periodically, but they maintain a nice selection of styles.  The do focus on “small batch” and lesser known distilleries.  Their recent selection includes; Bombay Sapphire, Ford’s, Hayman’s Old Tom, Plymouth Navy Strength 114pf, St. George Terrior, Sipsmith, Russel Henry, Ransom Old Tom, Sipsmith V.J.O.P 115 pf., Bols Genever, Bols Barrel-Aged Genever.

For the Martini, the environment, and the Barkeep, The Cellar gets two stems. Martini Glass UprightMartini Glass Upright

For information:   www.cellardining.com

*****   Rating Definitions   ****