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Bars That Don't Put Vermouth In Martinis


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#31 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 03:50 PM

So let me get this straight? You guys think it is perfectly reasonable that when you order a martini you must specify not only Gin or Vodka (where I would agree that boat has sailed long ago, and it doesn't bother me in the least) but that you should also need to specify you would like vermouth included in your martini. Not degrees of wetness or dryness (perfectly reasonable - like ordering cheddar or swiss on a burger to continue an analogy) but the actual presence of vermouth. I mean then you are basically saying that "Martini" is a pseudonym for "clear spirit served up in a particular glass"

Do you specify Vermouth in a Manhattan?
Why not mayo?

#32 Stone

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 03:51 PM

When I said in some other thread that I always specify gin martinis very wet, Bonner made fun of me. Waaaaahhhh.

People made fun of you for saying, "I'd like a martini, and that is a drink made with vermouth."

#33 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 03:52 PM


When I said in some other thread that I always specify gin martinis very wet, Bonner made fun of me. Waaaaahhhh.

People made fun of you for saying, "I'd like a martini, and that is a drink made with vermouth."


ETA: Oh yeah I totally would make fun of someone for saying that.
Why not mayo?

#34 Stone

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 03:52 PM

I agree with mitchells on this one. People like to make a big fuss about martinis. On previous threads, we've seen that vodka in martinis goes back at least to the 1950s. Serving martinis essentially without vermouth goes back at least as far. I like plenty of vermouth, and I am willing to ask for it.

An extra-dry martini is simply gin, without the vermouth, or the slightest drops. Experienced bartenders keep an atomizer of vermouth to lightly spray the glass. Some people enjoy drinking ice-cold gin or vodka, poured in the shadow of a vermouth bottle. Technically, extra-dry means anywhere from 8 to 15 parts of gin or vodka to 1 part vermouth, depending on the bartender and individual taste.

Sir Winston Churchill helps us remember the term Extra-Dry with his interesting recipe for a Winston Churchill Martini.

Vodka martinis were popularized by Ian Fleming in his James Bond spy novels. Fleming, who drank extra-dry martinis, wrote into Bond's first novel, Casino Royale, a drink called the Vesper.


link

Lucius Beebe wrote an article complaining that the martini had been reduced to nothing but cold gin. In 1955.

Well, color me purple.

#35 Lex

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 03:54 PM

So let me get this straight? You guys think it is perfectly reasonable that when you order a martini you must specify not only Gin or Vodka (where I would agree that boat has sailed long ago, and it doesn't bother me in the least) but that you should also need to specify you would like vermouth included in your martini. Not degrees of wetness or dryness (perfectly reasonable - like ordering cheddar or swiss on a burger to continue an analogy) but the actual presence of vermouth. I mean then you are basically saying that "Martini" is a pseudonym for "clear spirit served up in a particular glass"

Do you specify Vermouth in a Manhattan?

If you mention the degree of dryness it's understood you're talking about vermouth. Try it and see.

(This is reminding me of discussions on Chowhound about what you have to say to get your food spicy.)

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#36 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 03:57 PM

Using Churchill as an example makes me laugh. Give me five minutes down in the subway and I'll find a guy who calls purell in a dixie cup a martini
Why not mayo?

#37 Daisy

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 04:19 PM

If you are ordering your martini from a guy with ironic facial hair who is wearing a vest and fob chain (tatoos optional), instead of saying you want your martini 'wet' you can say 'pre-prohibition'. Makes the dear fellows' eyes light up.
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#38 SeaGal

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 04:46 PM

If you are ordering your martini from a guy with ironic facial hair who is wearing a vest and fob chain (tatoos optional), instead of saying you want your martini 'wet' you can say 'pre-prohibition'. Makes the dear fellows' eyes light up.

:lol:

Sometimes saying you want it "wet" works and sometimes it doesn't and it's especially dicey if you're dealing with a server instead of the bartender. I've had a server look at me with a pained expression and carefully write down "wet" next to the order. I've also found a problem, in non-serious-cocktail bars with the quality of the vermouth (Gallo, LeJohn etc) in which case it's perhaps better to let them make it dry. Of course, in places like that, it's perhaps better to just order a G & T or a beer.

I was once in the bar of a high-end restaurant where it seemed (from prior experience) the bartender would have known his cocktails and asked for a gin martini, 4 to 1, with orange bitters and what I got was 4 parts gin to one part orange bitters!

Another thing that happens often is that if I ask for the martini with orange bitters and twist, I'll end up with an orange twist.
Jan
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#39 Wilfrid

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 04:53 PM

Do you specify Vermouth in a Manhattan?


There isn't a long tradition of reducing the vermouth in a Manhattan to zero (or tantamount to zero). Does nobody remember all those hoary old jokes about rinsing the glass with vermouth and throwing it away or waving the vermouth bottle over the glass? This is nothing new.

#40 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 04:57 PM


Do you specify Vermouth in a Manhattan?


There isn't a long tradition of reducing the vermouth in a Manhattan to zero (or tantamount to zero). Does nobody remember all those hoary old jokes about rinsing the glass with vermouth and throwing it away or waving the vermouth bottle over the glass? This is nothing new.

Hmm. It certainly isn't up there with the Martini, but I know more then a few men who enjoy a drink and view the manhattan as a way to politely drink several ounces of cold whiskey w/minimal dilution.
Why not mayo?

#41 nuxvomica

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 05:06 PM

nuxvomica,

That is a standard service question. Next comes: Vodka or gin? Dry or extra dry? Shaken or stirred? Olives or twist?

Surely not measure of the quality of service, if only perceived. Tending bar certainly does not come with the practice nor discipline of mind reading to pour alcohol for a customer.

If a customer doesn't specify what is a hardworking bartender to do? It is akin to asking a server for a steak at a restaurant. (Server thinks: Could you narrow that down for me?) Cut? Temp? Garnish (Cognac reduction? Mushrooms? Onions? Composed herb butter? Blue cheese and black peppercorns?) Side dish to accompany?


martini on the rocks?

i spend a lot of time at bars (professionally! :lol:) and have never before - or after - heard a bartender ask that question of anyone ordering a martini. other questions, yes. on the rocks? never
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#42 Stone

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 05:22 PM


Do you specify Vermouth in a Manhattan?


There isn't a long tradition of reducing the vermouth in a Manhattan to zero (or tantamount to zero). Does nobody remember all those hoary old jokes about rinsing the glass with vermouth and throwing it away or waving the vermouth bottle over the glass? This is nothing new.

I suspect this is why the kids nowadays think it's cool to omit the vermouth.

Nux -- I've had a number of bartenders ask if I wanted my martini up or on the rocks.

#43 Daisy

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 05:26 PM

My godmother,who when I think of her I see with a cigarette in one hand and a martini in the other, always drank her martinis on the rocks.
Sardines aren't for sissies.---Frank Bruni
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The mistake one makes is to react to what people post rather than to what they mean.---Dr. Johnson
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I want to be the girl with the most cake.

#44 nuxvomica

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 05:37 PM

ha, thanks everyone. guess this goes under learning something new every day.

i had a fancy martini on Monday at Pegu, and by fancy i mean it was made with an Islay (i'm a sucker for smoky anything). nobody asked me how i wanted it. which kinda sucked as it turned out to have been made with vodka :lol:
“Eat me,’’ it says. “Eat me and die.’’ -- Jonathan Gold

Everything is always OK in the end. If it's not OK, then it's not the end.

#45 bigbear

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 06:07 PM

In the early '60s, when I knew everything, I walked into a NYC bar and ordered, "a VO Manhattan, up, with bitters, no fruit."

The old bartender asked me, "You want that Eastside or Westside, kid?"

I was forced to ask what that meant.

"Eastside is in a clean glass, kid," he said.
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