In my [very own & very personal] opinion, when you’ve had a hard week at work there is no better way to end it than with a Martini. There are flavors and different decorations, but I lean towards the traditional. With one olive or two if the week was terribly harsh.
Right now there is a discussion about the correct way to prepare the martini. Specifically whether to mix or stir.
Mixed or stirred? For me, it’s a matter of personal preference. Some Martini drinkers prefer to stir it, objecting that when the drink that is mixed it becomes cloudy, and claiming that mixing it hurts the gin and creates a more acidic taste. Other connoisseurs claim that mixing releases the taste of gin, and they point out that the turbidity induced by the shaking quickly disappears.
There is an article published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) which states that shaken Martinis contain more antioxidants than the stirred ones, therefore, are healthier.
James Bond prefers his Martinis shaken, not stirred. So I lean for that option.
Where I have decided to risk is in the garnishing. Olive and onion are both undoubtedly classic variations of the traditional Martini.
However I have risked enough inventing with stuffed olives – peppers, blue cheese, jalapeno, onions, almonds, citrus, capers and even anchovy. By simply incorporating a stuffed olive you really can change the taste of the traditional martini, surprising the guests a lot.
If you prefer to stick to the tradition, add a touch of extra authenticity, adding a pinch of lemon. For a dirty Martini add a few drops of olive juice and extra olives to decorate. Try adding a piece of brine from the jar, or you can buy specially-prepared “Martini Juice for Dirty Martinis”.
If you still think you can go even further, smoke your Martini by following the same recipe for a dirty Martini but adding a dash of Single Malt Scotch. You’ll see how your Martini will now have a smoky flavor 😉
No matter how you prefer your Martini (mind or stirred, with olives, onions, or scotch), what you should never stop doing is to cool the glass cups in the freezer before making it.
The next time you have guests, dare to prepare this delicate appetizer!