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Dirty or Gibson?

Cath Shone, resident Food24 lush, reckons it's not who you know, but what you know when it comes to ordering a Martini.

by: Cathrine Shone: Food24 | 25 Mar 2009

"Shaken, not stirred" are arguably the most famous words ever strung together when ordering a drink.

For those of you who have been living in a hole, those often repeated utterings refer to the Martini. A cocktail that has never been more popular than it is right now – as is the spy who famously orders them.

If you want to know how the Martini was invented (yawn), I suggest you Google it or check out Wikipedia.

When you are out and about you don't want to bang on about ancient history with the bartender …unless of course you have an ulterior motive …in which case you still don't want to go down that road. So we've compiled some useful information to enable you to order your drink like the suave super-spy that you are.

Nowdays Martinis have been bastardised to include almost any creation that is mixed in a shaker and strained into a Martini glass. But we'll be covering the more iconic styles of the Classic Martini as you can find its more kitsch cousins the Appletini and Chocolatini lurking on just about any unimaginative cocktail menu.

Now for some need to know information ...(like that James Bond fella)

The 'Classic' Martini is made from 2 ounces of gin, or vodka, and a splash of dry vermouth. The drink comes garnished with olives or lemon twists. The Classic Martini's dryness is defined by the amount of vermouth added. The less vermouth, the drier the drink.

Winston Churchill used to famously mix his version with 2 ounces of gin and a glance at the vermouth bottle from across the room. Otherwise known as the extra, extra dry Martini.

The 'Bradford' is the version 007 drinks, mixed with vodka, and "shaken, not stirred."

The 'Dirty' Martini is quite simply the classic Martini with the olive brine from the cocktail olive bowl mixed into the drink to lend an olive flavour. But don't go overboard and ruin a potentially life-changing drink.

'The Gibson'. There are a few interesting tales as to how this version came about, but all you really need to know is that this Classic Martini comes garnished with one or three pickled onions.

And just because we all love a little good luck – I heard once, during one of my many chats with bartenders, that there exists a superstition when garnishing Martinis – whether it be lemon twists, olives or onions – always use odd numbers – ie; one or three. Never two – its bad luck.

On that note I'll leave you with another famous quote about the historically quirky drink.

"I like to have a martini
Two at the very most –
After three I'm under the table,
After four, I'm under my host."

- Dorothy Parker

How do you like yours: shaken, dirty or Gibsoned?

- None


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