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How to make a martini

Posted by Mike Catalini at 10:00 AM | | Comments (15)


John McIntyre, you are a brilliant, wise, and lovely man. This is a public service indeed.

Even as a beer drinker, I find this the greatest blog post ever.

This is marvelous. Features of this nature are all too rare in newspapers nowadays. Thank you kindly.

That was awesome. Thanks. I'm a beer drinker as well, but I am ready to make a martini now.

I think I'm ready for my first real martini.

Thank you. THANK YOU! For years I have had to endure guys in power ties turning the classic martini into a cocktail glass of cold gin in order to prove their virility. While I do prefer a drier 6:1 ratio, the Vermouth is IMPORTANT!

Bravo. I'm a shaker myself (if not a Quaker), seeing the tiny shards of ice as lagniappe, and maybe I'm the problem patron who asks for olive (perhaps olives plural) AND twist, but I'm with you in overall spirit, especially on the vermouth question. Applause, also, for your deft handling of the vodka question. A vodka martini is fine, if not something I'd choose, but it's a vodka martini, not a martini martini, a point I think you made with wonderful subtlety by omission.

This gets us into the thorny gray (Grey Goose?) issue of WHICH vodka is preferable ....

John, I'll quote you this week in my children's literature class when I have to defend the limerick as a classic poetic form...

I am so glad that I happened upon this posting. I have been a martini drinker for over thirty years. The whole fruit punch pseudo foolishness has caused me such pain. It was wonderful to see the whole issue addressed so eruditely. Love the bow tie. Bravo!

Good thinking, John! Never hurts to keep your skills sharp in a second trade just in case you need to fall back on it someday.

OK, you're right, boss. I had a martini named "pineapple upside-down cake" last Saturday, and it was just plain gross.

I have ordered a few martinis (very dry) in my day. As noted above, the bartender will usually make some display of minimizing the vermouth. At one bar, they used a little spray bottle to just mist the glass with vermouth.

On one memorable occasion, the bartender rinsed the glass with Scotch whiskey, dumped it out, and then poured the martini. When asked, he said that the rinse made the martini "exceptionally dry." I thought it made it taste a bit like Scotch.

Anyone else heard of this?

I've always known McIntyre as a genius. This video just proves it. Could you do one on Jaeger Bombs?

@ Carla

The Scotch is for a Smokey Martini. Where a good Scotch (Laphroaig) would normally add a smokey flavor. This is used instead of Vermouth.

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
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