The first time I tasted a martini, I hated it. I thought I'd sooner drink battery acid. Actually, I thought maybe I was drinking battery acid. But there are so many ways to make a standard martini that you have to experiment a little to find out what works for you... gin, vodka, shaken, stirred, dry, dirty. Mine is a shaken, very dirty, very dry gin martini. Let's go over a couple of points.
Why shaken? I feel that the martini is colder when it's shaken with ice. I shake mine so long that my fingers are in danger of frost nip and there are shards of ice in the drink. The die hard stirrers claim that shaking bruises the gin. The way I shake, my gin is beaten to a pulp.
Why very dry? Vermouth, or lack thereof, makes the martini dry. I'm not a big fan of vermouth, so I pour some in the martini glass, swirl it around to coat it and pour it back into the bottle. I'd like a fancy vermouth mister, but I haven't found one yet. Some say you should merely introduce the gin, very politely, of course. "Mr. Gin, meet Mr. Vermouth."
Why very dirty? Because I LOVE the taste of olives. Olive juice is what makes it dirty. This really makes the drink for me. I usually run out of juice in the olive bottle before the olives are gone even though I use three olives for garnish. (I sometimes stuff my olives with blue cheese.) When we were vacationing in St. Petersburg, Florida, I found a big bottle of Dirty Martini Juice in a liquor store. I packed it in my suitcase surrounded by clothes and hoped it survived the baggage handlers. It did.
A friend of mine told me that I could be a totally despicable person (which I'm not) and he'd still want to spend time with me because I make such a good martini. Here's my not-so-secret recipe...
Swirl dry vermouth in the glass and pour out.
In a cocktail shaker half filled with ice, combine 2 1/2 ounces of gin and a healthy splash of olive juice to taste. Shake well. Strain into glass with three olives.
Martinis are like women; one isn't enough and three is too many. - Len Goodman