Having had the perfect martini in Washington DC, we decided to search for a close approximation in Greenville. Our search took us to Sharkey’s Pub, on Main Street in Greenville. It was as we feared. Bars in Greenville are limited to mini-bottle quantities, and therefore cannot mix drinks appropriately. According to the majority of recipes we found, the perfect martini consists of a 4-to-0.5 ratio of gin or vodka to vermouth. That would require eight mini-bottles of vodka for each mini-bottle of vermouth – a ratio not likely found for a reasonable price around here. Our martinis therefore tasted – strange.
So, today we decided to remedy that problem. We spent a couple of gallons of precious gasoline to visit Pier One and purchase a drink shaker and four martini glasses. We also updated our drink supplies with fresh vodka and vermouth, as well as a small bottle of Absolut Citron for some alternate recipes. Our first attempt turned out quite well. However, I think we are going to prefer a slightly citric flavor over the olives.
I kept thinking about the phrase "shaken, not stirred." My first inclination was, "Who in their right mind stirs a martini?" However, I came across an old Bartender’s Standard Manual that has been gathering dust in our kitchen. It’s recipes do, in fact, call for the drink to be stirred. The website wiki.ehow.com tells everything you need to know about martinis, including the debate over shaking. Shaking creates a colder drink, but a more dilute drink. The martini is also cloudy, as opposed to the classic look. James Bond was an iconoclast, and insisted on having things his way, even if it was not the "classic" method. In the years that followed, the shaken martini has become the standard, largely due to the famous phrase.