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Chrisposted 5 years ago
Keith: the bitters is a pre-prohibition practice that is regaining popularity. I personally use Plymouth, orange bitters & a couple of drops of absinthe in mine, but I would never teach that as the 'standard' (a mythical beast, that) recipe.
As to being able to make a drink as cold by stirring as by shaking, there have actually been experiments about that, with conclusive results (I don't think you're going to like them):
Sue: the ratio of vermouth to gin is much disputed, but you are correct that the trend over the last 50 years has been to use less & less. This is a vicious circle: the less vermouth people use in their gin, the longer it sits open behind the bar, degrading with each passing day; by the time someone drinks their 1st martini in a bar, the experience is unpleasant due to the old vermouth, so they assume they don't like vermouth. Add to this the reformulation of the classic Noilly Prat for American tastes in the late 20th century (a decision they recently reversed, huzzah!) and the 'received' idea (of recent origins in terms of how long the martini has been around) that martinis should contain little, if any, vermouth, and it's no wonder most people shun what is arguably, a key ingredient in any martini. No vermouth = straight gin, not a martini. I'm looking at you, Winston Churchill.
Question: have most of you anti-vermouth people ever actually tried the drink with more (fresh, good quality) vermouth than you are used to? You might be pleasantly surprised.
Hard to find, but great vermouths: Vya, Dolin Blanc. For the Vesper, use Lillet Blanc (but see my link to Dave Wondrich's recipe).
Keith Purdyposted 5 years ago
I have been bartending for 35 years and consider myself a purist when it comes to making some of the cocktails featured in your tutorials. I don't believe you should shake a martini unless James Bond walks up to the bar and orders one. I gently stir my martinis and can make them just as cold as shaking them. When a bartender shakes one it does come out cloudy like milk. I don't like them that way. Sorry. But if someone asks for their Martini shaken, I'm more than willing to accommodate. Also I don't agree with your recipe for a Mint Julep. Never have I seen someone put bitters in one. That goes in an Old Fashion.
Bondposted 5 years ago
Nobody makes a proper Gimlet with anything other than Rose's Lime Cordial, its original and most important ingredient with a long and storied history of making preserved lime juice for the British Navy. (Not to be confused with Rose's Lime Juice, which is undrinkable.)
I'm afraid I have to agree with Chris above: anyone who uses the phrase "bruises the gin" is an amateur with little knowledge other than a quick read on Wikipedia.
Please find a real, knowledgeable alcohol historian. When people like David Wondrich exist, there's really no excuse to have this lightweight.
Sueposted 5 years ago
WAY TOO much Vermouth in that Martini---certainly not today's standard.
Jack Lunsfordposted 5 years ago
I am an amature, at home bartender who loves to make drinks for friends at my home tiki bar in Kailua-Kona Hawaii. I must say that adding these great video clips by Simon Ford to you site is the best thing you have done to engage and educate your subscribers.
Mahalo....let's see more.
Mike Rposted 5 years ago
Poorly done. Simon is definitely NOT one of the most talented teachers on the planet. He doesn't tell the proportions in two of the drinks, he uses way too much Lillet in the Vesper, he doesn't mention that traditionally the Gimlet is made with preserved lime juice, and he shakes drinks that shouldn't be shaken. That's probably why he's known as a Mixologist instead of a good Bartender. Why don't you leave the videos to people who know what they're doing, like Jeff Morgenthaler?
Chrisposted 5 years ago
Clearly, these videos were sponsored by Plymouth distillery; while I usually make my martinis with their gin, that's not the usual course of action (London Dry being the standard for the gimlet and the martini).
More egregiously, the vesper strays pretty far from the Bond original: for a much more historically accurate recipe, see Dave Wondrich's take at Esquire: http://www.esquire.com/features/ESQ1106DRINKS_84
Chrisposted 5 years ago
I was fine with the martini tutorial until I heard "bruises the gin". It's high time someone put an end to this pernicious canard. You cannot 'bruise' gin. Someone out there, please tell me the characteristics of 'bruised' gin.
Having said that, you should stir your martini, unless you are dead set on having the coldest possible drink. Why? Because a shaken aromatic cocktail will be cloudy and have shards of ice in it. One of the appealing aesthetic elements of the martini is that, properly made, it is crystal clear and ice-free.
Try adding a few drops of absinthe to the basic recipe in the video; you can thank me later (I usually use Lillet Blanc in mine, but recently acquired some Dolin Blanc, so will be experimenting with that soon).