So You Want to be a Martini Drinker? Top Five Rookie Mistakes
The Martini drinker is an enduring image. Poised over the wide rim of a Martini glass, wearing a black tie, women at his side, stirring gently the olives, puffing on a cigar. Maybe even playing roulette. It's romantic. It's sophisticated. It's manly. It's inspired an entire industry.
There are martini bars, "Martini menus", Martini parties and Martini accessories. But Martinis are a kind of accessory. And knowing how to order them is essential if you want to avoid looking like a rookie. I've skipped the gin vs. vodka, shaken vs. stirred, dry vs. wet debate. Order it however you want, just don't look like a tool when ordering it.
Here's the top five rookie mistakes I've seen from behind the bar:
"So, uh, what kind of martinis do you have?" If you're ordering a Martini, it's a Martini, not one of many Martinis. Order it with style and distinction: "I'll have a Bombay Sapphire martini wet, up with a twist."
Martini is a drink served in multiple kinds of glassware depending on your preference. Simple, I know. But the assumption is that a Martini will always be served up and anything in a "Martini glass" is a Martini. I won't touch the latter statement but the former is wrong. You can get a Martini up (chilled and strained in a wide rim glass with a stem) or on the rocks (over ice in a short glass). Hell, you can even get it in a water glass and it's still a Martini.
"Can I get my Martini shaken not stirred?" Are you serious? Even if you truly like your Martinis shaken, you should avoid the whole, uh hem, cliche. Ask for your Martini shaken (stop). If you want to be a priss about it, denote the rhythm, pace and outcome: I'd like it shaken to a Bossa Nova beat, slowly, until it's below 40 degrees farenheit. At least it's original.
You are not the first person to roll your r's on "Dirrrty Martini" or the only person who knows the true story of the Martini. Avoid acting like a jackass and just order what you want without a production. It's fun to swap stories or discuss the particulars of a drink. But sounding like a Martini know-it-all or, worse, being the 50th guy to tell the bartender they like their Martini filthy, pornographic or triple X is trifling.
"I'll take a Belvedere Martini, no vermouth." I'm not a Martini purist per se (or at least I don't get violently angry when people call a cosmopolitan a "Martini") but this shit has got to stop. What you mean to ask for is a "Belvedere up." Save yourself and your bartender time by being a little more precise.