The martini is one of history’s most iconic cocktails, from its humble beginnings as a vermouth heavy drink in the 1860s, through the Bond era, into the ‘tini’ madness of the 80s and 90s, and up to present day, where elegance and simplicity rule the day.
Drinking a martini is a very individual experience, and although the ingredients are few, the possibilities are endless.
While asking for a martini might seem like a daunting task, embarrassing if the bartender knows too much, and frustrating if the bartender knows too little, it doesn’t have to be, provided that you know your martini. Belvedere is revisiting the classics to celebrate the iconic martini on its global appreciation day of June 19th. In preparation for World Martini Day, the companion guide below from the world’s original luxury vodka, serves as an inspiration when ordering a martini that suits your palate and mood, enhancing your experience with the classic cocktail.
The process to select your individualized martini is best approached with confidence using these four simple steps:
Step 1: Vermouth or Aromatized Wine
Consumption of aromatized wine dates back to before the year 1000 BC when herbs, roots, and spices were added to ‘fortify’ wine for medicinal purposes. One popular ingredient was wormwood, which was thought to aid indigestion and cure stomach ailments. In fact, the word ‘vermouth’ is merely the French pronunciation of the German word Wermut, for wormwood, so named because of the ubiquity of this ingredient in the libation. Historically, there have been two main types of vermouth, sweet or dry, but nowadays there are a plethora of options. So what makes an aromatized wine a vermouth and vice versa? Vermouth must contain a botanical from the wormwood family in order to be called as such. So, while all vermouths are technically aromatized wines, not all aromatized wines are actually vermouths.
Step 2: Shaken or Stirred
Although often debated, enjoying a martini either stirred or shaken are both acceptable. Stirring or shaking produce the same amount of dilution and chilly temperature, however stirring simply takes longer to get there. While the shaking method introduces air into the spirit and alters the texture, stirring gently leaves the spirit undisturbed in its frosty state, leading to a silkier consistency.
Step 3: Wet or Dry
As for the next step, a martini can be ordered wet or dry, the terminology used to describe the amount of vermouth added to the cocktail. Essentially, the wetter a martini is, the more vermouth it has. A dry martini has less added, perhaps just a splash if ordered extra dry.
Step 4: Olive or Twist
Choosing a garnish is the final step in completing your perfected martini. The common green olive is the ideal salty accompaniment, while a lemon twist adds a refreshing aroma. Another fragrant option is the addition of bitters, just a dash is needed to enhance your martini.
CLASSIC BELVEDERE MARTINI RECIPE:
The Classic Belvedere martini combines Belvedere Vodka with aromatized wine and a refreshing twist of pink grapefruit. Crisp, elegant and perfectly balanced, the Classic Belvedere martini is silky smooth with every sip.
- 60ml / 2 oz Belvedere Vodka
- 10ml / ¼ oz Lillet Blanc
- Twist of pink grapefruit
Combine Belvedere and the aromatized wine in mixing glass and stir over ice until very cold. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a twist of pink grapefruit.