In honour of Sex And The City – The Movie

…I present the following:

From a room-temperature bottle, measure two and one-half ounces of good gin.

From a room-temperature bottle, measure one-half ounce of good dry, white, French vermouth.

Throw a handful of ice-cubes into a cocktail mixer, then gently pour in the gin and the vermouth. Stir — do not shake* — two to three times, place the strainer over the mouth and gently pour into a cocktail glass.

Take one fresh lemon, hold it over the glass and — using a garnisher — firmly strip a curl of lemon peel, allowing the volatile lemon oils to drift onto the surface of the drink. Drop the peel into the glass.

Voila! A martini.

Note, do, that in that recipe there is no mention of chocolate, cranberries, tomato juice, sour apple mix, Campari, melon liqueur, blackberry brandy, mint drops, saki, vanilla beans, Curacao liqueur or anything else.

It’s a martini. Crisp. Dry. Clear. Classic.

“[The martini is] the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet.”
–H.L. Mencken

“[The martini is] the supreme American gift to world culture.”
–Bernard DeVoto


*If you want a Bradford, order a Bradford — not a martini.

I wonder if Coeur d'Alene needs cops?
Astra Inclinant, Non Necessitant

24 thoughts on “In honour of Sex And The City – The Movie

  1. Mencken and DeVoto obviously never had a serious mint julep.

  2. i notice you make no mention of an olive, while i prefer tullamore dew straight to mixed drinks your lemon sounds better than the olive i’ve heard of being used in a martini, but then i’ve never been fond of olives with anything.

  3. Sounds like my recipe, except I rinse the glass with the vermouth instead of adding it to the shaker.

    Gin Martini is much superior to vodka because of the herbs and aromatics distilled into the better gins.

    Another good twist is a habanero stuffed olive added at the end.

  4. Well said!

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ll happily down my fair share of girly drinks in the hot summer sun (well, in the shade laying in a hammock as the hot sun beats – elsewhere) but give me the simple clean alchemy of a true martini if martinis are whats to be drunk. Nothing pink, no foams, no silliness.

    ‘Course… its far easier to simply give this Irish lass a taste of the best and let her sip her whisky in peace as a fire crackles, but to be socialable I suppose a martini would suffice.

  5. Gah! Why would you drown good gin with all that vermouth?

    I can no longer recall the source (possibly Alan King?) who recommended keeping the gin in a locked cabinet, and once per week to walk by the cabinet, holding the bottle of vermouth, and then to smile at the picture of Martini & Rossi.

  6. Is that drink to help you get thru the movie?? (not a sex and the city fan here)


  7. I prefer vodka martinis with lots of olives, but your recipe sounds like one I should try.

    We usually drink mimosas at polo… maybe we should change it up a little…

    Join us at polo? You bring the martinis – we’ll bring the food.

  8. My recipe is pretty much the same as Hammer’s, only with an olive instead of the lemon. Occasionally I’ll add a splash of the liquid from the olive jar for a dirty martini. As a general rule, though, I prefer Gin & Tonics or Gimlets.

  9. Lawdog,

    I am with LawMom on this one. She is on the money.

    Best Regards

  10. I have memories-some, anyway-of a couple of stoneware jugs of Tullamore Dew, a drinking contest, a game of conkers with boiled eggs-at least as I recall, they were boiled-, and a horse carriage race down the Istaklal…
    And obviously gunner has never had Maltese olives.

  11. I agree with Lawdog’s recipe. I stir a little longer though. You want the drink to come out ice cold. Yes, this dilutes it slightly with the melted ice, but that’s how it should be. Check out for more info.

    I vastly prefer the lemon twist to an olive. Why would I want to dump all that salt in my drink? If you don’t have a lemon handy, a few drops of orange bitters also works well.

  12. It gets VERY tiresome having to explain to snot-nosed kids who pour drinks at bars (I refuse to call them bartenders because they don’t know how to make a basic damn drink) that when I order a Martini, I want a Martini, not a Vodka Martini. And Shiva (wink) forbid I should order a Gibson. A blank look is the first thing I get, then when I say “That’s a Martini with an onion instead of an olive.” comes the standard question, “D’you want Stoli or Skyy (or whatever the trendy vodka brand is)?”, at which point I grit my teeth and explain the difference between what I ordered and what he thinks I ordered.

    Mostly I just stay home and make them myself, and save the aggravation.

  13. You can not have a “vodka Martini”, nor a Martini with vodka. You may have a vodka martini style but unless you’re James Bond, you’re a cad for ordering one.

    Strike that. You’re a cad even if you ARE James Bond.

  14. Glad to see I’m not the complete drink snob I was beginning to think I was! 😉

    If I can’t call a vodka martini a martini then what is it? Every drink book I have calls it a vodka martini…

    While I appreciate good beverages in all their variety, and mix many through the course of a month, I happen to prefer the mixture of vodka, vermouth and olive juice myself. And, yes, I shake it.

  15. Cyberluddite speaks for me 95% of the time…but when making my ‘dirty’ martini I add one dash of worchestershire sauce. Savory goodness. Lots of olives for fiber.

    But Lawdog could pour me one of his martini’s anytime, I like them that way, too. I just don’t have fresh lemons handy, and seldom order them when I’m out. I’ve learned not to let youngster’s make my martini’s.

    For Irish, give me Black label Bushmills and a Guiness, back. I like a Sazerac well enough, but prefer my Rye in a Manhattan. Good Manhattans are the moral equivalent to Martinis. Liguor + vermouth (bitters and garnish variations abound)

  16. I drink rum myself, so have no dog in this fight. But….

    I’m told that back in the ’40s the Manhattan Project developed a viable alternative.

  17. Walk barefooted to the refrigerator (or ice box if you’re old enough to call it that!), open the door and peer inside while scratching your butt, reach deep and snag a Bud Light. Twist off the cap and take a chug, go back to easy chair and pray the Astros can pull one more out of their bag of tricks. Butt scratching is optional.

  18. How about a few suggestions for good quality gin and vermouth?

    I’m reminded that my father drank martinis, so naturally I took up the habit. After work I’d accompany my brother to a college bar, where he and his friends were going to teach me about drinking. The first round was on me…

  19. Lemon?



    Everyone knows the proper number of olives in a martini is two – one for me and one for the prettiest dame in the joint.

    Mad Jack – I like Bombay Sapphire. Tanqueray would be my second choice. Beefeater, Gordon’s, and Boodles aren’t bad but they all taste just like pure gin to me – Bombay and Tanqueray both have the herbs and aromatics hammer talks about, and they accent the taste nicely.


  20. I’ve yet to taste a gin that I liked. Spoiling vodka with juniper berries, IMHO.

    That said, I’ve never had one of LawDog’s martinis. I think I would have to attend a decent bar to do so (doubtful that I’ll keep gin in the house), and I’m not much on drinking in public places, or driving after doing so.

    According to popular legend, Sir Winston Churchill would mix his martinis by pouring his gin over ice while glaring briefly at a bottle of vermouth from across the room, before pouring his strained “extra dry” martini.

  21. My taste in martini-like beverages mimics the “Churchhill martini.” My choice of gin for said refreshing drink is Bombay Sapphire.

    The sulfite allergy I endure notwithstanding, I have never been a fan of vermouth as a bitter, I prefer campari.

    As far as vodka goes, it should be consumed by the bottle, with a group of friends, and a relish tray of olives, pickles, rye bread, and other strongly flavored food stuffs, over the coarse of many hours and without the need to drive anywhere.

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