The Ritual:
Preparation Tips & Suggestions

 

First and Foremost
The primary liquor must be kept in the freezer. All mixers, garnishes, glasses, etc. should be kept chilled in the refrigerator. We Americans like some things cold, very cold. To prepare and serve a martini any other way betrays the heritage of this uniquely American drink.

Second
Top shelf ingredients are best served in high-stemmed, "up" glasses. But this is a free country and if someone wants their drink served "on the rocks," by golly, chill out. Let them pursue happiness and have it any way they want.

Third
These are all potent drinks. They are like certain parts of human anatomy ­ one's enough and three are too many, especially if they're made well. The whole idea is to lighten up, kick back a little, slow down and enjoy the evening, even if the company you're enjoying is your own.

Fourth
Opening ceremonies are very important, and a fine cocktail depends in large part on how you set the stage. To start, never make the drinks in private. Gather your party wherever you plan to mix, shake and pour.

After taking drink orders, serve your teetotalers first. Their drinks are usually the easiest and the quickest. Make it easy not to drink. Remember, some folks shouldn't partake and that's OK. Now assemble your ingredients and tools, and ask your guests for a few brief moments of silence. This is a great time to crank up the sound system and set the mood. (Harry Connick, Jr.'s music from the movie When Harry Met Sally works for me, and I've been married over 20 years.)

If you're graceful, nonchalantly toss off a couple quick dance steps, then consider adding a few more a bit later when you're actually shaking the ingredients. Throughout the process, anyone talking is similar to those rude people who can't shut up at the movies. See which guests understand what you're about to do. Some will have to be politely reminded that a ritual is about to begin. If there's no way around it, some quiet whispers are acceptable.

Fifth
Shaking brings out the aroma and taste of the drink. One way to describe it is to think of how orange juice tastes first thing in the morning when you take it out of the refrigerator. Doesn't it taste better shaken?

We at the Classic Shaker Company are always open to additional tips and suggestions. Please send them to:


200 Meyer Farm Drive
11 Middlebury Road
Pinehurst, NC 28374
 
phone: 910-692-9150
fax: 203-238-7155
www.cocktailshaker.com 

  

 
The Martini Recipe

The Ingredients
The Gin Martini (for two)

Bombay Sapphire, Plymouth, Citadel...

Silver Serving Tray

Dry Vermouth [any premium brand]

Small Serving Dish

Martini Olives and Opie's Mustard Onions

Classic Shaker [room temperature]

Fresh Lemon

Good bar Towel

Chilled Glasses

Ice-Filled Ice Bucket

Small Cutting Board with Knife to Cut Twists

Cocktail Napkins

Toothpicks for garnish

 

 

The Ritual

1. Assemble ingredients. Gather your thoughts. Prepare for The Ritual. (Talking is acceptable.)

2. Get your guest(s) together wherever you're going to shake and pour. Ask for quiet as The Ritual is about to begin. Turn up the music a bit. Begin to assess the prospects for the evening.

3. Cut your lemon twists about 1/4-inch wide and 2 inches long. Don't get any pulp, just the peel. Take out your chilled mushrooms and olives, and put them in a small dish. Pierce several with picks.

4. Take your Classic Shaker, and add ice until it's about two-thirds full. While you're in the freezer, get out your Gin. Pour slightly more than a quarter of the bottle (fifth size) into your Classic Shaker.

5. Pour a quick splash of refrigerator-chilled Dry Vermouth into the shaker. Make sure the spout cap is screwed on (very important). With a bar towel in one hand, hold the tap cap on (also very important). With the other hand, hold the handle. Shake vigorously for 5 to 10 seconds. This is where a graceful dance step could be used.

6. Place your Classic Shaker on a silver serving tray. Step back and watch the glow turn into mist on the shaker. Savor the moment, the music and all the possibilities that await as the evening progresses.

7. Now finish the glasses by rubbing the lemon twist around the rim. With the picks, put as many olives and onions in the bottom of the glass as you and your guests like. Set the glasses on the tray.

8. Unscrew the spout cap from your Classic Shaker. Pour into glasses with one hand on the handle and the other lightly on the top cap with the bar towel. Use a gentle side-to-side shaking motion. Fill the glasses about half to three-quarters full, going back and forth several times to make sure each glass is filled equally. You might get a second drink from this batch.

9. Turn the music back down, and propose a short toast. Depending on your mood and having now assessed your prospects for the evening here are two options:

"Do you love me, or do you not? I think you told me once.
Please tell me ___. I've forgot."

"Here's to a clear conscience! ... Or a poor memory!"

"Here's to all our friends! We know you well and like you just the same."

"Here's to my ____! Who thinks that all I think about is ____,____, and ___! Little does (she/he) know, there's a second thought too: When do we eat!"

"Here's to woman's faults... There are very many!
Here's to man's faults... They have only two:
Everything they say and everything they do!"

Here's to me...! I tip-toed in last night with my shoes in my hands
Thinking how courteously quiet I should be...
When in the dark night, What do I see? But a few steps in front of me
My wife/husband doing the same damned thing!

"I have known many, Liked just a few, Loved just one (pause) ____ here's to you!"

(For those of you not used to performing this ritual, the entire process should take less than five minutes. If you get your ingredients together beforehand, which any martini lover takes care of as they would any of life's necessities, the ritual takes just a few moments.)

 

 

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Updated May 8, 2012