Martinis For Life
Hemingway drank them because it made him feel civilized. All courtesies aside, we just fucking love gin
By Trevor Kallies
Martinis are cool. They’ve always been cool. They are so cool that most people don’t order them, ever. If you look at any old movie, even back to the days of silent films, if someone had a martini in their hand, it was to show their importance compared to the schmuck holding the bottle of beer. Think of the last time you ordered a beer and the last time you ordered a martini. Which role in that film are you playing?
It can be a complicated drink, there seems to be a lexicon of order terms that no one seems to know how to use or combine properly. Most of the time people elaborate on their order to the point of simply receiving a glass of diluted cold gin or vodka.
With martinis slowly working their way into obscurity in this world of creative cocktails it is important that the next generation of bartenders understands the complexities of this iconic drink, how to make it, how to order it, and what ratio to rely on when all else fails.
When we started planning the drink menu for The Ivory Room in Walrus Pub & Beer Hall we looked long and hard at the current state of affairs of the martini. We found most people will order martinis if a— you’re in a fancy hotel lobby bar, b— you’re at a classic steak house*, or c— someone’s simply ordered it for you.
*No, The Keg does not count.
The martini is too delicious to limit to this so we compiled a menu of over 20 martini and martini variations. This isn’t the 2000s method of combining fruit juice, vodka and pouring it into a v-shaped glass – this is a celebration of a stirred, strong drink served up with the right ratio of spirit to vermouth. There was thought in this, there was trial, there was error and there was product testing.
We found our ratio; every bartender stirs their martini at 3:1 spirit to vermouth. We found our olive; we only garnish with 3 pitted castelvetrano olives. Or one. But never two. We found our glass; a modern remake of a classic Marie Antoinette champagne coupe (that V glass is merely suggested a serving vessel).
The thousands of martinis we’ve served at Walrus since February prove that we might be onto something here and the martini might still be as cool as we think it is.