New York legend holds that the original martini (the one with gin) was created at the Knickerbocker Hotel for oil magnate John D. Rockefeller. Thanks are also due to James Bond for popularizing the vodka iteration, of which he ordered many. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, also a fan of the martini, once quipped that the best way to get the ratio of vermouth right was to stare at the vermouth bottle while pouring the gin.
Although devotees of dry martinis offer charming witticisms for the much-maligned contributions of vermouth, the subsidiary spirit does add botanical undertones that purists appreciate. Other martini variants include “wet” martinis with extra vermouth, and “dirty” martinis, with the addition of olive brine. We do like our martinis shaken, and not stirred, not because we’re spies or anything, but because it chills the drink, and aerates and oxidizes the vodka.
Vodka Martini (Bond approved)
3oz premium vodka
1oz dry vermouth
3 olives to garnish
Combine vodka and dry vermouth in a mixing glass filled with ice. Shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with three olives on a toothpick (an even number is considered bad luck).