Martinis & Bikinis – The Summer Of The Martini, Which Will You Order?
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s summer editorial intern Grier Calagione. Find her on Instagram at @g_fac. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at email@example.com.
Carrie Bradshaw, Lorelai Gilmore and James Bond are all bonded by their signature beverage: the martini. And while Carrie takes hers pink, Lorelai likes gin and an olive and our good friend James is very clear about mixing methods, the iconic silhouette remains the same. This is the summer of the martini, I don’t care whether it’s dirty or neat, pink or clear, or mocha or espresso, everybody is on board. Today I’m going to be breaking down the basics of the martini and referencing the remixes (i.e. the lemon drop, the pornstar and the cosmo). Let’s find out the best summer martini for you!
There are 5 basic steps to ordering a Martini. The first is to choose your liquor of choice. Martinis are made with one of the following liquors and vermouth, a fortified wine. Your options are: gin or vodka. Martini connoisseurs may stick their noses up at vodka, but never let the haters bring you down. Gin is a spirit made of juniper botanicals that has a pine taste, whereas vodka is more neutral.
The next step is ratios, don’t worry we’re not about to get mathematical. You can order a martini dry or wet. The wetter the drink, the more vermouth it has. This also means that the drink will have a lower alcohol content, as vermouth has a much lower ABV than a liquor.
Accessories! Dirty, with a twist: the characteristics of a juicy summer read and the descriptions for your martini garnish. A dirty martini has olive juice and typically includes a few olives. A martini with a twist dawns a lemon peel that has been twisted to spritz a bit of juice into the drink.
Unless you are Mr. Bond himself, you can most likely skip right to step 5. Most people don’t specify their blending preference, as it has less of an effect on taste profile than the other instructions, but 007 set a precedent. If you want your cocktail “shaken not stirred,” that’s between you and your bartender.
The final choice: straight up or on the rocks. A martini straight up means the liquor has been chilled with ice, but strained. A martini on the rocks will have ice in the glass.
The Lemon Drop
This is a martini inspired by the sweet and sour lemon drop candy. This martini is classically made of vodka, and then mixed with lemon juice, orange liquor and simple syrup. This zingy bev is perfect for people who want some flavor, with a little bit of zest. For a bit of extra pizazz a lemon sugar rim can add some sweet to the sour.
This rendition has a huge following in Europe, and is slowly making its way onto US cocktail lists. I’m dubbing the pornstar martini THE specialty cocktail of the summer. The ingredients: 1 1/2 ounces vanilla flavored vodka, 1/2 ounce passion fruit liqueur, 1 ounce passion fruit puree, 1/2 ounce lime juice (freshly squeezed if time allows is always better), 1/2 ounce vanilla simple syrup, 2 ounces sparkling wine and a sidecar of champagne, Prosecco or sparkling wine. Try it.
The Carrie Bradshaw special, this is the hot girl drink of New York City. A Cosmopolitan is a classic take on a martini silhouette. This drink has a vodka base with 1/2 ounce triple sec, 3/4 ounce cranberry juice, some fresh lime juice and often topped with an orange peel twist.
Whether it’s a classic martini, specialty, or a cocktail of your own invention, the summer of the martini is now officially in session. The best summer martini will be whichever one you are sipping in the sunshine.
Which is the best summer martini in your eyes? Let us know the cocktail you’ll be trying in the comments!