Martinis

I just made the most outrageous martini ever. But before we get to that, a bit of background. As you may know, martinis were originally made from gin, with a hint of vermouth. In modern times, as gin fell out of favour, it came to be replaced with vodka. So basically, a “martini” to most people these days is just a vehicle to consume a large amount of vodka in a fancy glass. Boring.

Not being a huge fan of either plain gin or vodka, I experimented with olives, olive juice, and various other garnishes. But it was still basically just a shot of booze, in a fancy glass. Then my former cow-worker Scott made me his version, and it was a revelatory experience. He used a regular low-ball glass, with large hand-cracked ice cubes, with a jigger each of vodka and gin, and a twist of lemon peel. Smooth, silky, elegant, and refreshing, and easier to handle than those stupid top-heavy fancy glasses. Who’s idea was that anyway?

I took his idea, and ran with it. Thus was born the Aardtini:

Aardtini

    Ingredients

3/4 oz dry vermouth
1-1/4 oz Tanqueray gin
1-1/4 oz Crystal Skull vodka (or preferred brand)
2 pimento stuffed manzanilla olives
A splash of olive juice (about 1/2 tsp)
A twist of lemon peel

    Directions

Chill a martini glass by filling with ice cubes and cold water.
In a cocktail shaker, add the booze and olive juice, then fill with ice.
Shake well, until frosty on outside.
Strain into chilled martini glass, garnish with olives and lemon peel

This has been my standard martini, and still my favourite. The best I ever had was at a club in Baltimore, prepared by an actual bartender per my directions. I guess it helps to know what you’re doing.

My friend Dawne (handle Tree, mine is Aardvark hence the “Aardtini”) makes a martreeni:
“Ice, splash of vermouth, vodka to the top, 3 olives. I recommend tito’s”
I’ve never actually tried it that way, but figured that she might be on to something.

So I just made a hybrid between the Aardtini and the martreeni, with the goal of being the best of all possible worlds. I came pretty damn close.

Aardtreeni

    Ingredients

3/4 oz dry vermouth
1-1/4 oz tanqueray gin
2-1/2 oz Tito’s vodka
3 green olives, stuffed with feta or blue cheese
A dash of olive juice (about 1/4 tsp)
A twist of lemon peel

    Directions

Chill a martini glass by filling with ice cubes and cold water.
In a cocktail shaker, add the booze and olive juice, then fill with ice.
Shake well, until frosty on outside.
Strain into chilled martini glass, garnish with olives and lemon peel

Warning: This is a lot of alcohol, and will render you numb. Do not attempt to drive, or operate any heavy machinery, or text your ex, at any time after or during consumption.

The verdict: the cheese stuffed olives were novel, and the salt from the cheese helped balance the flavour, but so does olive juice, which is more evenly distributed. Not to mention the hassle of cramming crumbly cheese into a non-cooperative olive. The extra shot of vodka went straight to my head, and just seemed to dilute the flavours. Fun eperiment, but I think I’ll stick to my Aardtinis.

Aardtreeni:

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