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All About Those ‘Tinis

martini

When most people think of Martini’s they probably think of James Bond and his “shaken, not stirred” preference that increased the popularity and awareness of this cocktail infinitely. While the true origins of this beverage are unclear, one popular notion is that in 1863 an Italian vermouth maker started marketing his product under the brand name Martini, named for its director Alessandro Martini. Eventually the brand name and cocktail’s name became interchangeable.

Whatever the origin, Martini’s have seen rises and falls in popularity since its inception. The relative ease with which gin was able to be manufactured during the Prohibition led to a it becoming the predominant cocktail of its time. Around this time the most recognizable form of Martinis contained dry gin and dry vermouth, at a ratio of 2:1, stirred in a mixing glass with ice cubes and oftentimes orange or aromatic bitters, and then strained into a cocktail glass. Today the garnish really depends on the drinker’s fancy and is most commonly green olives or a twist of lemon peel.

While it is commonplace for restaurants and bars to have “martini nights,” where speciality versions of the cocktails are offered at a lower price and can include ingredients like green apple liquor or even cotton candy garnish, there is something to be said for not reinventing the wheel.

Whether you are a fan of martinis or a complete beginner, I recommend you try one of the basic, tried, tested and true recipes based on your pallet. If you tend to go for savoury flavours try a Dirty Martini:

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Ingredients: ½ oz (1 part) Dry vermouth, 3 oz (6 parts) Gin, 2 Tbsp olive juice

Directions: Pour all ingredients into mixing glass with ice cubes, stir well and strain into a martini cocktail glass. Garnish with olives.

For a Dry Martini, simply follow the recipe above without the olive juice and replace the olive garnish with a lemon twist or lemon zest oils.

If you prefer the sweeter things in life then you should try a Sweet Martini, which involves the ingredients of a Dirty Martini but swapping out Olive Juice for Maraschino Cherry juice and garnish with a cherry or two.

Once you have tried and mastered the original recipes you can decide if the “Sugar Cookie Martini with cookie crumb rim” is right for you!

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By Susannah Kiernan

@susannahkiernan

Susannah Kiernan

Susannah Kiernan is a writer, actress, singer, and comedian who currently resides in Toronto. She has worked extensively in stage, film, and television in Canada and the United States. Her female comedy duo, "L'il RasGALS", writes and performs shows across the country and regularly in Toronto, and were nominated for "Best Sketch Troupe" by Now Magazine. In the summer of 2014, Susannah sang back-up for the band Heart at some of their Canadian tour stops. She is also a graduate of the Fashion Management Program at George Brown and is acting as Managing Editor and writer at Chloe Magazine.

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