When it comes to the Martini - I have conversations that evolve around the purism (is that a word?) of the drink itself. I appreciate the Martini's return to popularity, and can acknowledge this is in large part due to the new twists introduced 7 or 8 years ago like the Apple-tini, the Chocola-tini, etc. A company called Stirrings has made a fortune recently selling mixers to make all sorts of variations - Espresso Martinis, Pear Martinis, Chocolate Peppermintini, and well, you get the picture.

To me, a true Martini is the simplest of drinks, but the steps must be performed exactly right: crushed ice about 3/4ths of the shaker - 3 parts top shelf Vodka (I like Ketel, but can settle for Grey Goose, Belvedere, etc.), 1/2 part dry vermouth. The shaker must be given a vigorous shake - NO LIMP SHAKERS PLEASE - the beverage should be as cold as the ice when done shaking. Pour into a chilled Martini Glass (again, important to have the right glass... no wine glasses or highball glasses... this is a Martini). Add 2-3 Queen olives - enjoy.

I have recently had my Martini snobbery challenged, however, by one who feels that a Gin Martini, is the ONLY pure form of this perfect cocktail. I have tried this, but enjoy the vodka version much more. What are your thoughts? Am I to sulk in the corner at my favorite lounge, feeling as inadequate drinking my Vodka Martini as one would ordering White Zinfandel at Daniel in NYC? Or can I continue to feel among the elite that enjoy a true, pure Martini?

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A gin martini is the only true original, but if you prefer vodka, drink vodka.
Vodka. I can't stand gin. And for the record, I like all the flavored versions...some are excellent. I posted a recipe a few minutes ago in the Vodka group for a kick-ass Chocolate Martini.
It absolutely must be gin to be real, but many people do prefer vodka for some reason. I think it tastes like rubbing alcohol with vodka, which is why all those girly flavors have been added in recent years -- to disguise the taste of the alcohol.

Also, stirred, please, not shaken, unless you're mixing in olive or fruit juice, It's clearer, purer, and nice and boozy.......
One of the best Gins that I have tasted is from Bend, OR from Bend Distrillery. They use real juniper berries from Central Oregon. Very tasty! Ginerally, I have Gin & Tonics!
A little vermouth, dash of olive juice, some Grey Goose, a couple of feta cheese stuffed olives....heaven!
I did a little bit of web research about your question of whether or not a gin martini is the true original. Apparently martinis started out in Italy as pure dry vermouth on the rocks about three hundred years ago. Gin and Vodka were both added throughout the evolution of the martini at about the same time, just in different parts of the world. The Gin Martini became famous in England and France somewhere toward the end of the nineteenth century, whereas the Vodka Martini first became popularized in Eastern Europe in the Austria and Hungary regions at about the same time. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking that one is better than the other or has more history, it's just that they are both different branches of the same tree. Their evolution has much to do with the particular tastes of the ruling class of each country in question. I hope that helped you out a little. I'm a bit of a nerd and love an excuse to do some research...
Gin is considered the authentic and original -- but I think that vodka martinis have gained legitimacy (and a lot of fans)over the past couple of years. I prefer vodka martinis myself.

I know a lot of people are gin haters -- but I think those people just haven't had the right gin for them yet. Lately I've been drinking Plymouth and liking it quite a bit. I'm not a big fan of gin martinis -- but I love a good Aviation (gin, fresh lemon, marachino liqueur, and sometimes creme de violette). So maybe those gin haters haven't had the right gin cocktail yet either.
This isn't really a Coke vs. Pepsi discussion. It's like an apples vs. oranges discussion. As a Gin enthusiast, I prefer a Bombay (not Sapphire) Gin Martini, on the rocks, with Gorgonzola stuffed olives. Am I going to snub you because you prefer a Vodka Martini up? Hell no. I will give out the stinkeye with no questions asked if you order a Peppermintini though.
Cheers to the lovely research done by Brett. In reference to your comments about -tini's and how the word has been heavily misused. Frilly beverages served up are cocktails. They are to be referred to as 'Lemon-drop served up in a cocktail glass'.
I also cannot resist suggesting that many of you should also have some sips of some of the Oregon Distilleries Spirits, its booming and certainly needs connoisseurs like you.

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