Full Circle: The One Minute Martini

The One Minute Martini from Shayla Maddox on Vimeo.

(a video dedicated to Michael J. Sonntag)

[Shot with my iPhone, edited in iMovie.]

Let me explain a few things about martinis.

There is no "right" way to make one.

When I turned 21, I decided that I wanted to drink martinis occasionally; because they looked cool to hold; made me feel very retro-chic; and most importantly, gave me a go-to drink to order at a bar when I was (as yet) inexperienced with ordering things in bars.

It helped that I really, really liked green olives. I could eat a jar of them. Seriously.

But! At 21, drinking what is basically straight vodka or gin in a cool looking glass takes a bit of effort. I wasn't looking to get drunk (well, a little), I was looking to enjoy the freaking martini. Like people in black and white movies seemed to.

Martinis are an acquired taste. Just watch the face of someone who hasn't tried one before when they taste it. Abject horror.

So, like the dedicated soldier that I am, I powered through and spent the subsequent 10 years perfecting my martinis. Over the course of this time I naturally developed the complete adoration of this drink exactly as I'd hoped.

The opinions and information people put out about how to make the "right" martini vary greatly. The internet is filled with nonsense about the exact steps and ingredients one must use to make a proper martini, and anything even slightly different than this is blasphemous to the martini gods who will then banish you from ever drinking with martini drinkers ever again. Puh-lease.

It's a martini.

Fortunately, I have a friend who is a bit older than me and had already perfected his martini by the time I was 21. He happily took me under his martini wing to educate me over the course of these past 10 years. I credit all my usable martini knowledge to him. In fact, the martini glasses used in this video were a wedding gift from him.

Anyway. Back to martinis.

I use vodka. Ice cold, I keep it in the freezer when we have vodka at all. I personally think gin tastes like pine trees, but as my martini mentors have told me they are starting to prefer gin, I may have to be a little more open minded.

Use as much vermouth as you want. Some people don't like it, and use less. (which is called "dry.") Some people need more. ("wet") I use about a capful.

Shaken versus stirred actually makes no difference to me as far as flavor (now that I like the taste of them) but friction with the ice is good for softening it (and necessary when you haven't pre-chilled your vodka.)

I used to drink them "dirty" (with added olive brine) but I later decided that the brine made the drink waaayyy too salty, so now I just add olives. I've also been known to add cherry tomatoes and basil. Live it up, ya know?

The one thing I have learned over this last decade is that all the mysticism over how to make martinis is just that. Make it how you want. There is no right way. The point is to make one (or two) and get on with your life. Preferably while looking all retro-chic and holding a martini glass like the badass you are.

Wearing pearls is optional.