Monday, September 13, 2010

How To Make A Delicious Girly Martini

Have you ever noticed how much testosterone surrounds the making of dry martinis? Why? James Bond? A man is made a man by slugging gin almost straight? Here's the High WASP way. If you like gin, just drink it. We say, "I'll have my gin now." We don't pretend to be doing anything else.

I myself love a good martini. But I like it good and wet. Girly, if you will. I spent enough years in sales to feel quite comfortable with my testosterone levels, thank you very much.

Here's the thing. Girly martinis are much better for entertaining than the Sean Connery variety. We decorate our martinis - and drink decor makes a great conversation starter. Additional vermouth means lower alcohol content, which means the conversation can, in fact, continue.

How do you make a girly martini? First, you need whimsical toothpicks. If you think this makes your martini into a Cosmo I can't help you. I got my toothpicks from our very own Muffy Martini's Etsy shop, Beachy Baubles.


Then you need olives. Anything called Santa Barbara is my friend.

I like to spear 3 and chomp them as I drink. If you think this makes your martini into dinner I can't help you.

As far as chilling, stirring, and the other martini athleticism? Keep the gin and vermouth in your fridge,

and freezer.

TO make a girly martini, pour gin into your glass. Tuxedo jacket optional. Junipero tastes like berries. And yes, OK, they're juniper, but a berry is a berry. Add some vermouth. I like at least a tablespoon. Then I wave toothpicked olives through the mixture. It's good enough. At my age I've learned to cherish good enough. It's another friend.


Estrogen-dependent perhaps, but delicious. And how cute is that little shell, peeping out of its chilled cocktail bath? I know it's only Monday. Let's say this is something to look forward to.

Me. Glass from Riedel.
Toothpicks from Beachy Baubles.
No compensation anywhere to be found.
No alcohol was consumed in the production of this post. I did eat the missing olive.

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Blogger see you there! said...

I do like the occasional martini. We use Bombay Sapphire gin but I'm going to try your recommendation. Now where do I find those olives. Cured in vermouth? How perfect is that?


September 13, 2010 at 7:09 AM  
Blogger Deja Pseu said...

I'm with you on the vermouth, but after one bad night in my early 20's involving too much Bombay, I can no longer drink gin. Vodka martinis for me, up with olives.

September 13, 2010 at 7:19 AM  
Anonymous Jan said...

I'm afraid if I'm going to drink a gin martini, I drink 'em dry. With a twist - I don't care for olives. Hendricks is my favorite gin; it has the subtle undertones of cucumber, so we generally garnish them with such.

Now, if I'm going to do a really girlie martini, which as you might know I'm rather partial to, I go the fruity frou-frou route and tell my somewhat metrosexual husband to make me something "fun." There's no telling what I'll be handed, or what, for that matter, will be floating in it for a garnish.

September 13, 2010 at 7:29 AM  
Blogger JMW said...

Yeah, I'm with you on dreaming of cocktail hour already. :) That looks very good - those toothpicks are adorable. Great addition to an already fabulous drink.

September 13, 2010 at 7:31 AM  
Blogger materfamilias said...

I'll echo those who've declared for Bombay Sapphire -- I'm absolutely with you on dispensing with the machismo and simply storing the bottles in the fridge/freezer. This always seems like a no-brainer to me, altho' I'll still use the shaker on occasion (keep that in the freezer as well and keep away from the need for ice, straining, etc.,)

This summer, I kept the makings of a Negroni on hand, but sadly, only found one op for sharing them out with friends. Hmmm, maybe I need to grab some cute toothpicks and plan a visit or two!

September 13, 2010 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

ahhhh. this looks simple and very cool.
Riedel, good choice!
Last year, in the Italian Alps, not far from Torino/Piemont we rubbed the small plants between our fingers, they grew all around us. Days later we found out, it was Vermouth.
Mentioning testosteron, here we have it:

I don't know why, but ladies who drink Gin on an evening out impress me. Girly I am ...

September 13, 2010 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger Genuine Lustre said...

I love a dirty martini, and like my drinks cold as well. Maybe it's us sturdy girls who love the olives. That toothpick is too cute to throw away.

September 13, 2010 at 7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's the coolest drink/glass but I just find it way too strong, the olives are all I can manage.

September 13, 2010 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger Muffy said...

Well, now I'm terribly thirsty!!! I'm so glad you are enjoying the toothpicks-- and that they are going to good use! I love Hendricks, some vermouth and a few Santa Barbara & Co olives in my own martini. Well done on your part! MUST try Junipero. Now....where's mine?

September 13, 2010 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger Susan Tiner said...

Ditto Tabitha's comment.

September 13, 2010 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger hostess of the humble bungalow said...

I haven't had a martini for ages...I'll suggest this to my bartender Mr. HB.
He does the drinks here in the Bungalow...I am hopeless in this area!
I have never tried Junipero,
I will look and see if it is available here in Canada...
and I do like 3 stuffed Queen olives.

Great idea about keeping the bottles in the fridge....saves all that straining through the shaker with ice!
I'll relate this info to Mr.HB and I may just name it "The Martini According to Privilege"...I hope you won't mind!

September 13, 2010 at 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A picture of a crisp martini makes a great start to the week. The drink itself closes it off just as nicely. (Well, better.)

A dear friend always puts a spare olive or two in hers, and has christened it a Vodka Salad. Salute!

September 13, 2010 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger laparesseuse said...

You are more influential than you can imagine. Now my gin will hereafter reside in my freezer next to the vodka and the vermouth in the fridge where the milk used to be (with an empty nest, I no longer need to buy milk as I don't drink it). A word of warning: if you ask for a martini here in Paris, you are likely to be served Martini & Rossi vermouth straight up -- yuck! Also, I have those cute little shell pics (from Brittany), but never have thought to use them for martinis. Happy hour will be so much more fun chez moi! Merci beaucoup!

September 13, 2010 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger agirl said...

'If you think this makes your martini into dinner I can't help you.' - I nearly died laughing. I went to school with too many people who did think precisely that. Bless their hungry souls.

Gin and tonic is my drink of choice with this spirit, but I am *always* partial to a girly martini.

September 13, 2010 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Mix-it said...

Sounds delicious and I do not even drink Martini's but I do love the Santa Barbara Olives those are always fabulous.

September 13, 2010 at 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yum.
Noilly Pratt, Beefeater, jumbo olives. A basic food grouping, no?

September 13, 2010 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

My martini tastes mirror commenter Jan's completely. Mmmmm....

Somewhere I heard a comedian riffing on martini politics ("it's not a martini if it's not gin," etc) who was going off on the supposed bravado of James Dean's "shaken, not stirred" order: "Dude is ording a watered-down martini! The shame!" It was funnier the way he said it.

September 13, 2010 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger rosiecampbell said...

Love your post! Friday can't get here fast enough.

September 13, 2010 at 12:00 PM  
Anonymous rb said...

Oh how I love anything in a martini glass, but I don't know how you do it without a cocktail shaker. For me, that's part of the ritual. The sound of the ice cubes shaking around is part of the anticipation of the drink.

Here's another martini-glass drink

Meyer lemon sidecar:
1 oz fresh meyer lemon juice
1 oz cointreau
2 oz brandy

shake in cocktail shaker until your hand just about freezes off. Serve in chilled martini glass. Garnish with lemon peel if you're not lazy. (try to remember to get the lemon peel before you juice the lemon. that's the hard part for me.)

September 13, 2010 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger LPC said...

see you there - You can get those olives at a Whole Foods round here:).

Deja - Yeah, for me it was Southern Comfort. What was I thinking?

Jan - How cute! Are they blue?

JMW - Fridays....

Mater - Celebratory cocktails can be so much fun. I've never had a Negroni. Hmm.

September 13, 2010 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger LPC said...

Paula - That is some serious testosterone. I never knew there were plants specific to vermouth.

Lustre - Ha!. Maybe it is the sturdy gals who love the olives:).

Tabitha - Just as well, really:).

Muffy - Thank you for the inspiration!

Susan - Ditto the reply:).

September 13, 2010 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger LPC said...

Hostess - Oh I would be delighted! I hope you enjoy. Just tastes less like rubbing alcohol to me...

Anon - Salut. That is a very witty friend you have there.

laparesseuse - I'm honored. The empty nest has some benefits. I can drink Dubonnet, I can drink sherry, but vermouth straight up, eek, I don't think so.

agirl - Bless their hungry souls indeed:).

Mrs. Mix-it - Yum. Now I want some more olives.

September 13, 2010 at 3:18 PM  
Blogger LPC said...

Anon - Certainly the High WASPs think so.

Maggie - Martini politics is a pretty funny way to put it.

Rose - Thank you. To Friday.

rb - Sidecars are like grownup popsicles. I had some friends who used to serve those in the kitchen, when we first arrived, as the cooking happened. They were the most fun dinner parties - mostly because these people were so charming and traveled - but the sidecars certainly didn't hurt the festive feeling.

September 13, 2010 at 3:20 PM  
Blogger Semi Expat said...

Fabulous post - gorgeous little shell toothpicks too! Looking forward to one NOW (even though its only breakfast time here). x

September 13, 2010 at 3:25 PM  
Anonymous julia::ordinarysaturdays said...

I'll have to try Junipero. Usually Hendricks is my gin of choice. The shell picks are a nice whimsical touch, but I'm honestly surprised you don't have silver picks!

September 13, 2010 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger Duchesse said...

I do love my marts, but drink vodka, like Pseu- Bond's were vodka for what it's worth. And what for me is unconscionable is all those chocolate, lichee, pomegranate and butterscotch abominations in a martini glass called "martinis". You have omitted my favourite part, a silver shaker, a sound I respond to with a certain brightening of mood.

I've found though that liquor kills my palate for wine.

September 13, 2010 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger Average Girl said...

LOL... that is the cutest...I am a complete martini girl, and I pick ones with frou frou names! Nicely done!


September 13, 2010 at 4:12 PM  
Blogger the gardeners cottage said...

hi lpc,

i'm not a big martini fan but if i do have one it has to be dirty. really freaking dirty.


September 13, 2010 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Town and Country Mom said...

I'm sticking with my G&T (it's like sipping a cold Christmas tree!), but those olives and toothpicks would be nice in a dish near some almonds--on Friday, that is!

September 13, 2010 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Faux Fuchsia said...

Love those little shells. I like to make a 9 olive martini with either vodka or gin and call it a "meal". I forget to say about my parents- their dog of choice is a dalmatian. What's your dog of choice? Is there such a thing as a waspy dog?

September 13, 2010 at 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Pam @ Cooking world said...

I never knew one could make a girly martini! Way to go, yes too many James Bond movies has made me think this way!

This is neat and I surely like it as I am girl!

September 13, 2010 at 10:27 PM  
Blogger Cate Subrosa said...

I loved the "I can't help you" bits the most.

September 13, 2010 at 10:46 PM  
Blogger Sydney Shop Girl said...

Love the shell toothpicks!

The Gin sounds delicious too.

SSG xxx

September 14, 2010 at 12:41 AM  
Blogger SPLENDEROSA said...

Exactly the way I like them, only Bombay Gin.
So elegant, so pretty. xx's

September 14, 2010 at 1:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The untouchable Dorothy Parker (oh, to loiter/linger at an Algonquin Roundtable meeting......imagine!! ) sums it best:

I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host.

She's genius....Cheers from WI

September 14, 2010 at 4:13 AM  
Blogger LPC said...

Semi - I was happy to note that I had no desire to drink the one I photographed, at noon:).

Julia - I have two silver baby oatmeal bowls, does that count?

Duchesse - I've never understood vodka. Not quite sure why. And butterscotch? I agree. Aaargh.

Tracy - Why thank you!

Janet - Ha!

Town and Country - I agree. The shells don't have to wind up in gin to be useful.

September 14, 2010 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger LPC said...

FF - There are such things as waspy dogs. Usually dogs that bear some relationship to hunting...spaniels, hounds, retrievers, labs, terriers...

Pam - Thank you so much!

Cate - :)

Sydney - I can imagine Australia has its own kind of toothpicks?

Splenderosa - Thanks. Have you tried any of the boutique gins?

Anon - My favorite Parkerism is, of course, "What fresh hell is this?"

September 14, 2010 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger Patsy said...

I'm with Janet on the dirtier the better. I usually tell the bartender that I don't care for vodka, I'm in it for the olive juice.

To quote Dorothy Parker, most people think that: "This wasn't just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it."


September 14, 2010 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger tintin said...

For years I kept Beefeater in the freezer until I was taught by a bartender that freezing gin increased its viscosity. Not what you want in a bright and clean martini. I was doubtful but gave it a try.

Off the shelf gin either shaken or pounded with a spoon to dilute the ice. To my tatse, it's the clear winner. I try to to have only two. Like a woman's breasts - - one's not enough and three's too many.

September 16, 2010 at 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm definitely "sturdy" and I like mine gin, I like my olives stuffed with blue cheese and my martini dirty..nicely dirty. My mom always had a little pitcher of them in the fridge when my dad got home from work. Martinis were the "first illegal sips" I ever had. Yum. Good memories and a good drink. I still have a couple sets of my mom's martini glasses and shakers. Such "petite" glasses they used back in those days.

September 16, 2010 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger Audi said...

Now here is a girly martini for you: pour a small amount of Chartreuse into the glass, swirl to coat it, and dump. Then make your gin martini as usual. The hint of Chartreuse makes it herbal and extra delicious.

September 25, 2010 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger LPC said...

Patsy - I'm going to say terrible with raisins in it from now on.

Anon - Stuffed with blue cheese sounds surprisingly appealing.

Audi - Oooh. Herbal. I'm gong to try that.

September 25, 2010 at 10:23 AM  
Anonymous The Ancient said...

Hayman's Old Tom Gin*, Dolin Dry Vermouth*, three large olives, and a secret ingredient. Stirred, not shaken. Very dry, straight up, and cold as a Republican heart. And crucially, a glass small enough that it almost disappears into your hand.
*If unavailable, use Plymouth. It was good enough for FDR.
**A couple years ago, Noilly changed the recipe for what's distributed in the US, and it's no longer really suitable.

September 30, 2010 at 5:51 AM  

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