It is only appropriate that the icon of the cocktail world has it's own day and this Wednesday is it, National Martini Day. It is a day to celebrate this fantastic drink in whichever way you please.
We have had many discussions about the correct or preferred way to make a Martini over the years and many of them are ongoing. The poll below continues to evolve and I find it interesting to check back every now and then to see if there are any changes in taste. It seems that shaking is preferred by the majority and over time the preference of gin or vodka remain almost equal with a few more readers opting for the gin (though a stirred gin Martini remains a close third). Although this is just a small sampling of the Martini drinking public, I think it proves one thing: the Martini is the ideal drink to adapt to your own personal preference and this is likely the reason why it remains such a popular cocktail.
For those interested in sharing and reading which gin makes it into other Martini fans' glasses, there is this discussion: Share Your Favorite Martini Gin.
Those discussions are focused on The Martini and there can be an entirely separate, and lengthy, conversation about all of those cocktails that have been developed over the years that are both similar to the gin-vermouth drink and those that resemble it in name alone.
The closely related cocktails include many classics like the Martinez, Manhattan, and Bronx along with those in the list on this page: Martini Cocktail Recipes. Then, there are the seemingly infinite number of cocktails that fill the pages of martini cocktail menus in lounges worldwide. In the mood for a fruity martini? The Cosmopolitan, Lemon Drop, or Peartini may be in order. Something sweet? There are many Chocolate Martinis and pie-like martinis (try the Key Lime Martini) to go around. We have spicy covered with the likes of the Habanero Martini and Icy Spicy Martini as well. Blue, green, pink, and orange with herbs, coffee, tea, and almost any ingredient possible (yes, even bacon), there is a 'martini' of almost every flavor, any color, and for most any occasion imaginable. It has been a fun evolution to watch and lately I have noticed that the recipes, or at least the flavor concepts, are being perfected and refined. Not every recipe is a winner or for everyone's liking, but here is my ongoing list of flavored martinis for you to explore.
A lesson the Martini and 'martinis' may be able to teach us is not to take things so seriously. There is a tendency to defend your style of cocktail as the correct way, the only way, and lately some high-end bartenders have been called out for their reportedly snooty attitudes on what they will and will not serve. The point of the adult beverage scene is to have fun and enjoy whatever is in the glass in front of you, whether it be exploring something new or enjoying an old favorite. Point being: if you like it, drink it. Enjoy your martinis!
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