Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Time For a Coffee Break! => Topic started by: jpcher on April 01, 2013, 06:50:18 PM

Title: How do you order a martini?
Post by: jpcher on April 01, 2013, 06:50:18 PM
Couldn't decide whether to put this in "Stupid Questions" or not, but thought it might be worthy of it's own thread simply because I don't know if I was being stupid or if my waiter was just clueless.

It's probably been 10 years since I've had a martini. I know that there are martini bars out there with all sorts of flavors.

I went to a piano bar with a friend the other night and decided to order a martini (seemed like a martini type of place ;))

Me: I'd like a martini, please.

Waiter: What kind would you like?

Me (somewhat unsure): A plain old fashioned martini? With onions instead of olives, please. (was I off base here? I remember cocktail onions served with martinis instead of olives.)

Waiter (looking a bit confused): So you would like an old fashioned with onions?

Me: No. I would like a plain old martini, please.

Waiter: Okaaay, what flavor would you like?

Me: You know, where you pour the vermouth over ice -- shaken, not stirred (still smiling, trying to make a joke) and serve it with gin.

Waiter: Okay, gotcha.


What I was served was a martini glass chock full of ice and I'm not sure if there was any gin or vermouth in it. No onion. No olive. I may as well have ordered a glass of ice water in a martini glass. ::)

To be honest, after wine with dinner and an after-dinner Irish coffee, I really didn't need a full-blown martini, so this sat just fine with me. Plus I really didn't want to be an overly fussy guest KWIM?


So . . . how do you order a martini? You know, with the 30-odd flavors on the menu when you want the plain old-fashioned regular straight up martini?

What did I do wrong here?
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: afbluebelle on April 01, 2013, 07:02:28 PM
You got Starbucks'd.

I imagine it is the same as when Denis Leary got all ticked trying to order a plain coffee at a Starbuck's. I'd order a Tangueray, dry, with extra olive. Or I'd order it dirty... if the bartender were cute ;D



Okay, in all honesty I would just get a chocolate martini. I like booze, and I like chocolate!
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: #borecore on April 01, 2013, 07:15:46 PM
If I get asked "what kind?" I change my drink order. I am really not a snob about much, but a martini is ice-cold gin and vermouth, perhaps with olives, onions or a twist. In my experience, places where the default when you just say "martini" is anything other than this are not going to make you a good martini!

There are surely exceptions, but if you order, "martini -- gin, wet, with onions" you should get what you want. I prefer mine with olives, not quite "dirty" (lots of olive juice). Wet/dry refers to whether there's much vermouth or not.

This link isn't perfect, but it does get to the heart of it:
http://porkandgin.com/drinks/dry-wet-5050-martinis/

Chocotinis or appletinis or whatever might be fine drinks, but their resemblance to a martini seems to end at the glass. Vodka martinis are OK if that's what you want, but I don't really think they're GOOD. I'd rather have vermouth and soda than vermouth and vodka, actually. What a refreshing beverage!

Sorry, like I said, this is one area where I'm a bit overly persnickety. A good martini is just such a good thing!
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: jpcher on April 01, 2013, 07:59:09 PM
You got Starbucks'd.

LOL! And that's exactly why I don't go to Starbucks. I wouldn't know how to order a plain coffee with sugar!


Sorry, like I said, this is one area where I'm a bit overly persnickety. A good martini is just such a good thing!

No need to apologize! That's all I wanted, was a good martini. Sigh. (Thanks for your post, I'm not such a bad guy after all.)
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: afbluebelle on April 01, 2013, 08:03:20 PM
You got Starbucks'd.

LOL! And that's exactly why I don't go to Starbucks. I wouldn't know how to order a plain coffee with sugar!


That I do know... order an Americano. Add an extra shot of espresso if you like your coffee strong  ;D
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: #borecore on April 01, 2013, 08:32:56 PM
You got Starbucks'd.

LOL! And that's exactly why I don't go to Starbucks. I wouldn't know how to order a plain coffee with sugar!


That I do know... order an Americano. Add an extra shot of espresso if you like your coffee strong  ;D

An Americano is espresso with hot water added. Order a tall coffee and add sugar at the counter if you just want coffee with sugar.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: SiotehCat on April 01, 2013, 08:38:46 PM
You got Starbucks'd.

LOL! And that's exactly why I don't go to Starbucks. I wouldn't know how to order a plain coffee with sugar!


That I do know... order an Americano. Add an extra shot of espresso if you like your coffee strong  ;D

An Americano is espresso with hot water added. Order a tall coffee and add sugar at the counter if you just want coffee with sugar.

This.

I have never understood the joke that its difficult to order a regular coffee at Starbucks. I buy my coffee from Starbucks several times a week and its never been anything weird or difficult.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 01, 2013, 08:42:55 PM
I order a white lady. Classy and feminine at the same time. Taste like club soda.

Two oz of gin, one of Cointreau, one of lemon and half of sugar syrup. Shaken with ice, double strained and with a lemon twist.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: diesel_darlin on April 01, 2013, 09:17:01 PM
Shaken, not stirred.




Somebody had to.  ;D
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: CharlieBraun on April 01, 2013, 09:24:05 PM
vodka martini

straight up (no ice)

olives (four)

The only question there is, what brand of vodka.

The olives are for the vegetable content.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: gramma dishes on April 01, 2013, 09:29:54 PM
I don't drink any alcohol at all other than wine (but lots of wine  ;D) and a couple of after dinner drinks (like B&B), but my husband orders like this:  "Beefeater martini on the rocks with a twist".  He says he names the specific alcohol first (or they'll use the cheapest version they've got) and then the drink type (martini) and then any accessories (twists, olives, onions, etc.).
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Slartibartfast on April 01, 2013, 09:34:23 PM
Me ordering in general: "Yeah, something from the bar sounds good!  I don't know what I like; I don't drink much . . . something girly, maybe?  I don't really care as long as it's pink or fruity and doesn't taste too much like alcohol.  Surprise me."

So far I've never had anything I didn't like  ;D  (To be fair, "so far" is the three or four times in ten years that I've ever actually ordered alcohol, so it's not a long track record . . .)
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: WillyNilly on April 01, 2013, 09:37:39 PM
There are two kinds of martinis: gin or vodka. They are never served with ice! (Nor should they be shaken, at least not much, lest you bruise the vermouth). They can be garnished with olive, onion or lemon peel.

Your bartender should have been taken out back and drawn and quartered for what you got!

Next time ask for "a gin martini, straight up, with onion". If the waiter questions that ask for a manager, its seriously *not* ok for a cocktail waitperson or a bartender to not know the basics. A martini is like a burger - sure there are some variations, and some hot sandwiches that look like burgers that aren't actually burgers, but a line cook needs to know the original!
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: jayhawk on April 01, 2013, 09:39:17 PM
Vodka martini with those yummy stuffed olives. I don't know much about vodka, just so it's not too rot gut.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: MummySweet on April 01, 2013, 10:17:58 PM
There are two kinds of martinis: gin or vodka. They are never served with ice! (Nor should they be shaken, at least not much, lest you bruise the vermouth). They can be garnished with olive, onion or lemon peel.

Your bartender should have been taken out back and drawn and quartered for what you got!

Next time ask for "a gin martini, straight up, with onion". If the waiter questions that ask for a manager, its seriously *not* ok for a cocktail waitperson or a bartender to not know the basics. A martini is like a burger - sure there are some variations, and some hot sandwiches that look like burgers that aren't actually burgers, but a line cook needs to know the original!

This!   (bolding is mine)

I order mine "very dry, dirty."
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: mrs_deb on April 01, 2013, 10:24:57 PM
I ask for "a Tanqueray martini, straight up, ice back, multiple olives".

Those foofy drinks are not martinis.  Mr_Deb rolls his eyes when I go off on a "that's not a martini, that's a cocktail in a martini glass!" rant.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: 2doglady on April 01, 2013, 10:25:25 PM
There are two kinds of martinis: gin or vodka. They are never served with ice! (Nor should they be shaken, at least not much, lest you bruise the vermouth). They can be garnished with olive, onion or lemon peel.

Your bartender should have been taken out back and drawn and quartered for what you got!

Next time ask for "a gin martini, straight up, with onion". If the waiter questions that ask for a manager, its seriously *not* ok for a cocktail waitperson or a bartender to not know the basics. A martini is like a burger - sure there are some variations, and some hot sandwiches that look like burgers that aren't actually burgers, but a line cook needs to know the original!
Willy Nilly knows what she is talking about.  You go Girl!
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: PastryGoddess on April 01, 2013, 11:39:55 PM
There are two kinds of martinis: gin or vodka. They are never served with ice! (Nor should they be shaken, at least not much, lest you bruise the vermouth). They can be garnished with olive, onion or lemon peel.

Your bartender should have been taken out back and drawn and quartered for what you got!

Next time ask for "a gin martini, straight up, with onion". If the waiter questions that ask for a manager, its seriously *not* ok for a cocktail waitperson or a bartender to not know the basics. A martini is like a burger - sure there are some variations, and some hot sandwiches that look like burgers that aren't actually burgers, but a line cook needs to know the original!

What she said ^^^

I order an Dirty or Extra Dirty Bombay Sapphire Martini with olives NOT onions. If Sapphire is too expensive I'll drink Tanquery.  Rail gin in my experience tastes like gasoline and burns holes in my digestive tract.

Me and vodka don't get along anymore.  There was an *ahem* incident.  I drink gin because I can feel it going down.

Dirty means to add olive juice to the mix.  Extra dirty is just extra olive juice.  I like the salty tangy mix of the olive juice and gin mixture
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 02, 2013, 02:07:27 AM
Shaking it is not just about cruising the vermouth (or gin if you ask some people) it's about chipping the ice. Chipping the ice dilutes it. Which is why Bond asks for it shaken, he doesn't want I get too drunk.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Nikko-chan on April 02, 2013, 02:24:35 AM
I am not a bartender. I am not even a drinker. I couldn't tell you what was in a martini until this thread, though I do know that it usually has an olive in it. At least that was how my Papa drank them. However: if there is one thing that I do know about martini's it is this: You do not put ICE in the GLASS!

I agree with Willy Nilly. Taken out back and drawn and quartered. Barring that: get him retrained! If that is ineffective, get him away from the bar!
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 02, 2013, 02:47:24 AM
Ice doesn't go in a martini at all. That's why you chill the glass and its double strained.

It is acceptable to have a cocktail onion or a garnishnessless martini. A martini I made for DH once has bitters floated on top to create a nice effect.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: StarDrifter on April 02, 2013, 04:36:59 AM
Tanqueray martini, straight up, no garnish. Olives make me gag, unfortunately, and only a couple of the bars we go to have twists available readily. Sometimes I'll ask for a wedge of lemon if I know it's available.

As a former bar manager I would have been appalled if a staff member of mine did not know how to make a decent dry martini! I mean, a new kid might have to refer to a cheat sheet for dimensions (our bar called for three parts gin, one part vermouth, in a cocktail shaker and swirled a bit so as not to bruise the vermouth or chip the ice, strained into a chilled glass and then a speared olive/onion/twist of lemon or orange peel as per customer request) but honestly. If you're unsure, ask your manager or if you really have no idea, ask the customer to step it out for you.

When I was first bartending, almost 10 years ago, now, I had a guy ask for a Rusty Nail (incidentally one of Husband's favourite drinks!) and I had no idea what it was, and it wasn't on our list for some reason. So I just asked - how do I make you one of those? I've never heard of it! The guy was more than happy to explain how to make it (double of Jack Daniels Single Barrel, single of Drambuie, over ice with a glace cherry dropped in) and complimented me on asking rather than risking screwing up a customers' order and wasting valuable booze.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Thipu1 on April 02, 2013, 05:53:16 AM
We have a family story about martinis.

Some years ago, FIL was in Germany and ordered a dry martini.  He was served three vermouths. 
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Nikko-chan on April 02, 2013, 08:34:34 AM
We have a family story about martinis.

Some years ago, FIL was in Germany and ordered a dry martini.  He was served three vermouths.

I don't understand... like you mean... straight up glasses of vermouth? or vermouth shots (do people even do those?)
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Thipu1 on April 02, 2013, 08:44:29 AM
We have a family story about martinis.

Some years ago, FIL was in Germany and ordered a dry martini.  He was served three vermouths.

I don't understand... like you mean... straight up glasses of vermouth? or vermouth shots (do people even do those?)

This was in the 1960s when American cocktails weren't well understood in continental Europe.  In many places, vermouth was a common order.  It was served in the same sort of glasses as sherry and Martini was a popular brand.  Also, in Germany, 'dry' was understood as 'drei'.  It was a reasonable mistake under the circumstances. 
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: lowspark on April 02, 2013, 08:47:32 AM
I'm one of those who likes the foo-foo "martinis" which, I agree, only resemble a real martini in that they are served in a martini glass. However! I still do know what an actual martini is, and would be appalled if I ordered one and got the response you got.

What I would have done would be to ask for the drink menu. Places which serve a lot of foo-foo martinis are bound to have one. And usually, the first item, right at the top of the list, is a regular ol' normal gin & vermouth martini. So if you'd been able to obtain a drink menu, 99% chance you could have just pointed to the top item and said, "martini". I then would have flashed a smile and possibly made a comment regarding how it might behoove the waiter to learn what's on his menu. After I'd had a martini or two, that is.  >:D
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: WillyNilly on April 02, 2013, 10:54:12 AM
When I was first bartending, almost 10 years ago, now, I had a guy ask for a Rusty Nail (incidentally one of Husband's favourite drinks!) and I had no idea what it was, and it wasn't on our list for some reason. So I just asked - how do I make you one of those? I've never heard of it! The guy was more than happy to explain how to make it (double of Jack Daniels Single Barrel, single of Drambuie, over ice with a glace cherry dropped in) and complimented me on asking rather than risking screwing up a customers' order and wasting valuable booze.

The rusty nail was one of the first 'non-bartending school' drinks I learned.  Rusty Nail = Don't Step, D for Drambuie, S for scotch  :D

Ice doesn't go in a martini at all. That's why you chill the glass and its double strained.

Exactly.  A customer knows if they getting a good martini before the first drop of alcohol is poured, because the first step in making a martini, is to ice the martini glass.  Then one goes on to mix the cocktail, dump the ice from the glass, then serve. (Although I do think its ok to mix a bit of ice into the drink then strain it into the glass, to get it super cold - so long as you are quick about it, it should not be a problem.)


On another note, any bar that can't make you a margarita is seriously lacking as well. Martini's and margaritas (real, classic margaritas not strawberry-mango slushie things) are the two basic cocktails every bartender should know and be able to make (well that and a "[liquor] and [mixer, like soda or juice]"). They are representative of the classic mixed cocktail recipes - almost all cocktails follow the same basic ratios of ingredients. Once you know the 5 or 6 basics, you can mix & match from categories and always make a good drink from thousands of combinations.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: wheeitsme on April 02, 2013, 11:09:23 AM
My husband likes "Ketel One, show the vermouth bottle the shaker, with a tomolive".

I can understand if you prefer a particular gin or vodka, olive or tomolive, dirty or dry, but other than that - what kind?  It is a classic, very basic drink. 

...then again, my husband once ordered a Manhattan (at a dive casino - long story) and it arrived clear. 
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 02, 2013, 11:16:46 AM
Well, I guess I am going to be the voice of dissent.  While I don't drink a Martini on the rocks I do know it is a legitimate and recognized drink, but no bartender should ever assume to serve it that way as a default.  I had a friend who liked them on the rocks. She liked the strong flavor for the first sip and then to have the ice slowly dilute the drink as she nursed it.

Here's a summary of basic martini's.  Your bartender's only questions to you was he should have confirmed you wanted a martini and not a vodka martini and what type of garnish you wanted. He might have also asked if you wanted it a little dirty.  Or if it a martini bar that specializes in things like appletinis, lemon drops, or other types, he should have handed you a menu. (I always ask for 3 olives... one to eat right away and the other two to continue to "marinate" until I'm finished with my drink.

Martini, Standard
4 parts Gin (3 ounces)
1 part Dry Vermouth (.75 ounce)

Shake on ice until cold and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with 1 or 2 stuffed green olives. A dash of orange bitters is optional. The quantities in ( ) will nicely fill a 4 ounce cocktail glass.

If you serve the above recipe in an old fashioned glass with ice, it is a "Martini on the rocks."

Martini, Dry6 parts Gin (3 ounces)
1 part Dry Vermouth (.5 ounce)

Shake on ice until cold and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with 1 or 2 stuffed green olives. The quantities in ( ) will nicely fill a 4 ounce cocktail glass.

Martini, Extra Dry100% Gin (3.5 ounces)
A trace of Dry Vermouth

Shake 2 ounces of dry vermouth on ice, discard vermouth, save ice. Pour gin into shaker with vermouth coated ice, shake until cold and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with 1 or 2 stuffed green olives.

Martini, Quickie or Bachelor100% Gin
A trace of Dry Vermouth

Put 1 ice cube in an old fashioned glass (a cheese glass will do in a pinch). Pour in about 1 ounce of dry vermouth, slosh it around and dump it out. Add about 2 ounces of gin and a stuffed green olive. Cheers!

Martini, Vodka (Vodkatini)
4 parts Vodka (3 ounces)
1 part Dry Vermouth (.75 ounce)

Mix just like a standard Martini (above) except vodka is substituted for gin. Can also be ordered "dry" or "extra dry," just like a real Martini, which a Vodkatini is NOT. A true Martini only has three ingredients (counting the olive), and vodka isn't one of them. So, to avoid confusing your bartender, please call this latecomer a "Vodkatini" (its original name) or a "Vodka Martini," but never a "Martini."

I judge a bartender on his ability to make a good Sidecar. The glass rimmed in sugar after being well chilled and the drink shaken long enough to create lots of floating ice bits on top. Wish it wasn't 11am because I'd love to go make one now.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: agentsmith on April 02, 2013, 11:31:24 AM
I thought a martini with an onion is a Gibson?
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: WillyNilly on April 02, 2013, 11:43:05 AM
Well, I guess I am going to be the voice of dissent.  While I don't drink a Martini on the rocks I do know it is a legitimate and recognized drink, but no bartender should ever assume to serve it that way as a default.  I had a friend who liked them on the rocks. She liked the strong flavor for the first sip and then to have the ice slowly dilute the drink as she nursed it.

Yes a martini can be served on the rocks (which is why I advised she ask for hers "straight up") but not if its being served in a martini glass, which the OP's was. Under no circumstances should a rocks drink ever be served in a martini glass. Ever.

I also agree one should call a vodka martini a vodka martini, but I disagree anyone looking for an actual martini (even if vodka based) should ever utter the word "vodkatini" - in fact I think its words like that that are the root cause of the OP's problem. A cutesie name with "tini" on the end created the monster of cutesie drinks like appletinis and chocolatinis. I would think if our OP asked for a "vodkatini" she almost certainly would have gotten something pink and/or fruity - because its a made up name, bartenders are able to make up their own version of what they think a vodkatini should be.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 02, 2013, 11:54:30 AM
Well, I guess I am going to be the voice of dissent.  While I don't drink a Martini on the rocks I do know it is a legitimate and recognized drink, but no bartender should ever assume to serve it that way as a default.  I had a friend who liked them on the rocks. She liked the strong flavor for the first sip and then to have the ice slowly dilute the drink as she nursed it.

Yes a martini can be served on the rocks (which is why I advised she ask for hers "straight up") but not if its being served in a martini glass, which the OP's was. Under no circumstances should a rocks drink ever be served in a martini glass. Ever.

I also agree one should call a vodka martini a vodka martini, but I disagree anyone looking for an actual martini (even if vodka based) should ever utter the word "vodkatini" - in fact I think its words like that that are the root cause of the OP's problem. A cutesie name with "tini" on the end created the monster of cutesie drinks like appletinis and chocolatinis. I would think if our OP asked for a "vodkatini" she almost certainly would have gotten something pink and/or fruity - because its a made up name, bartenders are able to make up their own version of what they think a vodkatini should be.
I misunderstood your meaning then that "they are never served over ice" but completely agree that they shouldn't be served on the rocks in a martini glass. 

I also agree on the vodkatini word, but after appletinis became so popular I started seeing all sorts of "tinis".
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Cat-Fu on April 02, 2013, 12:02:34 PM
There's also perfect martinis, which use sweet & dry vermouth. It's nice when you want a little sweetness but don't want to go all out on the frou frou drinks.

But I like my martinis wet and dirty on the rocks.  >:D
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: audrey1962 on April 02, 2013, 12:19:55 PM
Dirty martini, straight up, Grey Goose.

And if I'm feeling especially adventurous, I order it extra dirty.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: WillyNilly on April 02, 2013, 12:22:23 PM
Well, I guess I am going to be the voice of dissent.  While I don't drink a Martini on the rocks I do know it is a legitimate and recognized drink, but no bartender should ever assume to serve it that way as a default.  I had a friend who liked them on the rocks. She liked the strong flavor for the first sip and then to have the ice slowly dilute the drink as she nursed it.

Yes a martini can be served on the rocks (which is why I advised she ask for hers "straight up") but not if its being served in a martini glass, which the OP's was. Under no circumstances should a rocks drink ever be served in a martini glass. Ever.

I also agree one should call a vodka martini a vodka martini, but I disagree anyone looking for an actual martini (even if vodka based) should ever utter the word "vodkatini" - in fact I think its words like that that are the root cause of the OP's problem. A cutesie name with "tini" on the end created the monster of cutesie drinks like appletinis and chocolatinis. I would think if our OP asked for a "vodkatini" she almost certainly would have gotten something pink and/or fruity - because its a made up name, bartenders are able to make up their own version of what they think a vodkatini should be.
I misunderstood your meaning then that "they are never served over ice" but completely agree that they shouldn't be served on the rocks in a martini glass. 

I also agree on the vodkatini word, but after appletinis became so popular I started seeing all sorts of "tinis".

Well a "martini" is never served with ice. Just like a "martini" is never made with vodka. So if you simply ask for a "martini" it won't be served with ice. So for me to say they are never served with ice, was sort of the same as you insisting they are not made with vodka  :)
One can of course ask for ice and/or vodka, and that's absolutely fine and within normal "martini variations that are still martinis not just cutesie 'tini' drinks" but unless specified its not the way a standard, basic martini would ever be made.

(Of course this might all make you wonder, why then say "straight up"? The answer is: servers like our OP experienced who clearly don't know their cocktails.)
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: magicdomino on April 02, 2013, 01:00:06 PM
My knowledge of cocktails is based much more on theory than experience ( I love cocktail books), but when someone mentions the word Martini, I think of gin with a bit of vermouth and an olive.  I believe a previous poster was right about a gin/vermouth cocktail with an onion being properly called a Gibson, but if the OP's waiter didn't recognize "martini," he definitely wouldn't have recognized that.  I guess with the popularity of vodka martinis, one has to specify gin now. 

Any cocktail glass drink can be served on ice, but normally one would specify "on the rocks" and it would be served in an old fashioned glass.  I get Grasshoppers served that way, because they are too rich on their own (equal parts Creme de Menthe, Creme de Cacao, and cream).
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Twik on April 02, 2013, 01:17:59 PM
Ogden Nash knew all about how to make 'em:

There is something about a Martini,
Ere the dining and dancing begin,
And to tell you the truth,
It is not the vermouth--
I think that perhaps it's the gin.

Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Ms_Cellany on April 02, 2013, 01:35:46 PM
There's an apocryphal story about the dryest martini ever, made during an aboveground nuclear test:

A bottle of vermouth was placed at Ground Zero. When the bomb went off, someone held up a glass of gin.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Spring Water on Sundays on April 02, 2013, 01:44:41 PM
How I order: Gin martini, extra olives. (Some purists will tell you that specifying gin and not vodka shouldn't be necessary, because if it's made with vodka, it's not a martini. Period. But, as others in the thread are lamenting, many have taken to defining "martini" as "any cocktail served in a martini glass.")

The server or bartender should then ask if I have a gin preference and if I want it dirty. My answers are: Tanqueray and no.

Most mainstream places will have Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray and a couple of less expensive brands. I have found Bombay Sapphire to have too much of a bite to drink straight. If I'm at home I use Seagrams because I'm too cheap to pay for a bottle of Tanqueray.   

Purists, read no further: I actually prefer mine shaken because I like the little shards of ice floating in it. It's good enough for James Bond, so it's good enough for me.  8)
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Cat-Fu on April 02, 2013, 02:30:53 PM
You can always say you're trying to live a little longer—shaken martinis have more antioxidants. ;)
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: PastryGoddess on April 02, 2013, 04:42:57 PM
How I order: Gin martini, extra olives. (Some purists will tell you that specifying gin and not vodka shouldn't be necessary, because if it's made with vodka, it's not a martini. Period. But, as others in the thread are lamenting, many have taken to defining "martini" as "any cocktail served in a martini glass.")

The server or bartender should then ask if I have a gin preference and if I want it dirty. My answers are: Tanqueray and no.

Most mainstream places will have Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray and a couple of less expensive brands. I have found Bombay Sapphire to have too much of a bite to drink straight. If I'm at home I use Seagrams because I'm too cheap to pay for a bottle of Tanqueray.   

Purists, read no further: I actually prefer mine shaken because I like the little shards of ice floating in it. It's good enough for James Bond, so it's good enough for me.  8)

If you can find it, try regular Bombay.  It has a little less bite than Sapphire.  For safety reasons I like to know where my gin is at all times, hence my love of Sapphire. 8)
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: dawbs on April 02, 2013, 04:47:02 PM
Ogden Nash knew all about how to make 'em:

There is something about a Martini,
Ere the dining and dancing begin,
And to tell you the truth,
It is not the vermouth--
I think that perhaps it's the gin.


He did, but I always defer to Dorothy Parker on this one...
“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host.”
;)

I'll take a vodka martini, dry and a little dirty, thanks :)
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: jpcher on April 02, 2013, 05:28:12 PM
WOW! Quite an education on martinis! ;D


I ask for "a Tanqueray martini, straight up, ice back, multiple olives".

What is "ice back?"



Shaking it is not just about cruising the vermouth (or gin if you ask some people) it's about chipping the ice. Chipping the ice dilutes it. Which is why Bond asks for it shaken, he doesn't want I get too drunk.

Well. That certainly is interesting! I'll have to remember that for my next trivia get-together! ;D I bet most people ordering it "shaken, not stirred" don't realize this. I know I said it just to be cutsie. But that just shows how ignorant I am. :P


This was in the 1960s when American cocktails weren't well understood in continental Europe.  In many places, vermouth was a common order.  It was served in the same sort of glasses as sherry and Martini was a popular brand.  Also, in Germany, 'dry' was understood as 'drei'.  It was a reasonable mistake under the circumstances.

LOL! thanks for the explanation! How funny! He was served exactly what he ordered.

(and for those that still don't get it "drei" is 3 in german.)




What I would have done would be to ask for the drink menu. Places which serve a lot of foo-foo martinis are bound to have one. And usually, the first item, right at the top of the list, is a regular ol' normal gin & vermouth martini. So if you'd been able to obtain a drink menu, 99% chance you could have just pointed to the top item and said, "martini". I then would have flashed a smile and possibly made a comment regarding how it might behoove the waiter to learn what's on his menu. After I'd had a martini or two, that is.  >:D

There was a menu on the table and I was looking at it and could not find a plain old fashioned martini. That's why I ordered it the way I did.




I thought a martini with an onion is a Gibson?

Nooooooo. Not more confusion! ;) ;D



Next time ask for "a gin martini, straight up, with onion". If the waiter questions that ask for a manager, its seriously *not* ok for a cocktail waitperson or a bartender to not know the basics. A martini is like a burger - sure there are some variations, and some hot sandwiches that look like burgers that aren't actually burgers, but a line cook needs to know the original!

This is what I'll do next time. If the waiter is still confused, I'll know to ask to talk to someone that knows martinis.




Thanks all! ;D
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: artk2002 on April 02, 2013, 05:37:52 PM
Quote
Hearts full of youth!
Hearts full of truth!
Six parts gin to one part vermouth!
 -- Tom Lehrer Bright College Days
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 02, 2013, 10:17:17 PM
I'd like a White Lady now, actually. Haven't had one in a while.

Give me another cruise with cheap cocktails in USD!
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: mrs_deb on April 02, 2013, 10:33:16 PM
I ask for "a Tanqueray martini, straight up, ice back, multiple olives".

What is "ice back?"


The bartender puts the ice s/he used to chill the martini into a small rocks glass and gives it to me alongside the martini.  I either sip the resulting water or, if I'm drinking too slowly and the martini gets warm  :o, I put a piece of the ice in and slosh it around to chill it back down.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Library Dragon on April 03, 2013, 01:00:36 AM
I like my gin & tonics, but also a vodka martini.

My first question is what type of vodka is abailable.  Chopin is preferred or another good potato vodka.  So, the immediate default to Grey Goose for most waiters is out. 

Dry, shaken, with washed olives.  Yes, I like it squeaky clean. 

I used to drink gin fizzes and had to send back many slo gin fizzes because the waiter or bartender didn't listen even after repeating. 
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: lowspark on April 03, 2013, 07:57:38 AM
What I would have done would be to ask for the drink menu. Places which serve a lot of foo-foo martinis are bound to have one. And usually, the first item, right at the top of the list, is a regular ol' normal gin & vermouth martini. So if you'd been able to obtain a drink menu, 99% chance you could have just pointed to the top item and said, "martini". I then would have flashed a smile and possibly made a comment regarding how it might behoove the waiter to learn what's on his menu. After I'd had a martini or two, that is.  >:D

There was a menu on the table and I was looking at it and could not find a plain old fashioned martini. That's why I ordered it the way I did.


Wow. Ok. well, in that case, I'd say there's almost no hope of getting what you actually want, a normal ol' regular ol' real martini. No wonder the waiter didn't get it.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Spring Water on Sundays on April 03, 2013, 08:36:33 AM
What I would have done would be to ask for the drink menu. Places which serve a lot of foo-foo martinis are bound to have one. And usually, the first item, right at the top of the list, is a regular ol' normal gin & vermouth martini. So if you'd been able to obtain a drink menu, 99% chance you could have just pointed to the top item and said, "martini". I then would have flashed a smile and possibly made a comment regarding how it might behoove the waiter to learn what's on his menu. After I'd had a martini or two, that is.  >:D

There was a menu on the table and I was looking at it and could not find a plain old fashioned martini. That's why I ordered it the way I did.


Wow. Ok. well, in that case, I'd say there's almost no hope of getting what you actually want, a normal ol' regular ol' real martini. No wonder the waiter didn't get it.

I've seen this quite a few times, too. The menu lists chocolate martinis and fruity martinis and vodka martinis with blue cheese stuffed olives, but no normal gin martini!
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Thipu1 on April 03, 2013, 09:26:09 AM
There's an apocryphal story about the dryest martini ever, made during an aboveground nuclear test:

A bottle of vermouth was placed at Ground Zero. When the bomb went off, someone held up a glass of gin.

There's a similar story about the 'physicist's martini'.  Gin or vodka is properly chilled and poured into a glass.  The martini is perfect so long as the vermouth exists somewhere in the bar.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: lilfox on April 03, 2013, 02:50:21 PM
Mmm, I love all the frou frou martinis specialty cocktails served in a martini glass. I don't want to taste much alcohol except to know that there is some (and I'm not paying for juice with a dash of liquor).  I especially like the rarer ones, like strawberry shortcake or key lime martini.

My problem is not knowing what to order for happy hours when "well drinks" are discounted but specialty cocktails aren't (or not as much).  There's never a list of "well drinks" like a standard martini or ... whatever else people order.  At one place I ordered a vodka Citron and soda, thinking that was a well drink - it was definitely not priced as such, I found out later.  Are things like sidecars and old fashioneds and Manhattans considered well drinks or specialty?

Sadly, I have a handful of bartending books so I feel like I should know this, but since I usually order wine it doesn't come up often enough to keep a bar drink in mind.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 03, 2013, 03:00:23 PM
^
Well drinks are items that can be made with house brands of bourbon, vodka, scotch....

I think the problem with your vodka citron and soda is that there isn't normally a house brand vodka citron. I think it is Absolut that makes a Citron vodka.

Once you name the brand of alchohol used, you've now moved into a "Call" drink instead of a "Well" drink.

If you'd asked for a vodka and soda with a twist of lemon, it probably would have been a well drink and they would have used their house vodka to make it.

Some places limit "well" drinks to things that can be made simply with only one type of alcohol ... gin & tonic, scotch & soda, bourbon & water, or vodka & OJ type things. Others might include a Manhattan, which is made with rye whisky, sweet vermouth and bitters. But I'd ask first.   
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Spring Water on Sundays on April 03, 2013, 03:19:55 PM
Mmm, I love all the frou frou martinis specialty cocktails served in a martini glass. I don't want to taste much alcohol except to know that there is some (and I'm not paying for juice with a dash of liquor).  I especially like the rarer ones, like strawberry shortcake or key lime martini.

My problem is not knowing what to order for happy hours when "well drinks" are discounted but specialty cocktails aren't (or not as much).  There's never a list of "well drinks" like a standard martini or ... whatever else people order.  At one place I ordered a vodka Citron and soda, thinking that was a well drink - it was definitely not priced as such, I found out later.  Are things like sidecars and old fashioneds and Manhattans considered well drinks or specialty?

Sadly, I have a handful of bartending books so I feel like I should know this, but since I usually order wine it doesn't come up often enough to keep a bar drink in mind.

I love them, too! I just sort of resent that their popularity has made ordering a real martini so difficult and confusing. :) I do admit, though, that every cocktail is sexier in a martini glass, so I can see the appeal of such mislabeling.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: AuntieA on April 03, 2013, 03:24:30 PM
"Vodka Gibson, straight up"

I ran into a bartender at a fancy expensive resort in Banff a couple of years ago. We like to stop in there for a drink so we can visit Cedric, the buffalo head mounted above the fireplace in the lobby bar. Said (young) bartender looked at me like I'd asked for a Pu235 drink, so I had to explain. "That's a plain martini but made with vodka rather than gin, and garnished with a pickled onion rather than an olive." He still looked totally lost, but at least the server knew what a plain martini was. No pickled onions, though, so I fed the olive to BF.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: WillyNilly on April 03, 2013, 04:47:27 PM
Lilfox - "well drinks" generally refer to the alcohols in the well, aka the speed rack. These are house liquors (non name brands, or budget brands). There are tiers of alcohol - well, bottom shelf and top shelf, with the latter two physically located behind the bartender, the well or speed rack bottles located in a lower rack in front of them, for quick and easy access. So if you can see the bottle behind the bartender, its not a well bottle. Often juices are also kept in the well, if not in the gun.

To order a well drink, you are limited to the bare basics: (usually) rum, whiskey, vodka, tequila, and gin. No fancy flavor variations like citrus vodka, or pineapple rum, just plain ole vodka, plain ole rum. And they aren't ordered by brand, just by type.

vodka & orange juice = well drink
Grey Goose & orange juice = NOT a well drink

whiskey sour = well drink
Chivas sour = NOT a well drink

rum & Coke - well drink
Captain Morgan's & coke = NOT a well drink

gin & tonic = well drink
Tanqueray & tonic = not a well drink

etc, etc, etc

Some places will allow well cocktails, like a tequila sunrise, or a martini, but its still going to be made with the speed rack liquors not some fancy 100% blue agave tequila or a top notch gin or vodka. But for the most part the point is the drinks are reduced price because they are quick and easy to make as well as using only basic ingredients.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 03, 2013, 04:55:40 PM
A good bartender worth his salt will know how to make you a standard martini and make it if you have any specifications. And if the drink is a little unheard of but still uses standard ingredients, they should be able to follow directions.

A martini isn't that hard to make if you have the right ingredients and tools. Just make sure you have on hand gin, vodka, vermouth, Cointreau, bitters and sugar syrup as well as a cocktail shaker (Boston shaker is best), cocktail jigger, cocktail spoon, cocktail strainer, small fine mesh strainer (necessary as martinis should be double strained) as well as cocktail sticks and garnish stuff.

And if you work out your favourite drink its much easier to tell a bartender how to make it in a bar. And single ladies, it's not a bad way to be friendly with the bartender.

Our favourite bartender on Royal Carribean Cruises said as a point if pride they didn't use house spirits. He uses different gin for different drinks. A gin and tonic was sapphire, a martini was Hendricks. He even had Lillet so he could make a Vesper the way Ian Fleming intended.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Cat-Fu on April 03, 2013, 04:59:00 PM
A martini with Hendricks? I've been told that it's sacrilege when I get those! (Not that it stops me.)
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 03, 2013, 05:05:14 PM
Why? Is it that good? Too good for a martini?
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: NyaChan on April 03, 2013, 05:31:56 PM
I went to a Martini Bar during my cruise and ordered "a drink" which is essentially 6 mini "martinis" to show their best drinks.  The actual martini was called a "Classic" and is what I would want if I went to the bar and asked for a martini.  The rest were pretty much just really good cocktails in martini glasses - NONE had ice in them! lol
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: WillyNilly on April 03, 2013, 05:42:25 PM
...A martini isn't that hard to make if you have the right ingredients and tools. Just make sure you have on hand gin, vodka, vermouth, Cointreau, bitters and sugar syrup as well as a cocktail shaker (Boston shaker is best), cocktail jigger, cocktail spoon, cocktail strainer, small fine mesh strainer (necessary as martinis should be double strained) as well as cocktail sticks and garnish stuff...

I'm all for having a well stocked and equipped bar, but really you do not need most of this stuff to make an awesome martini.
All you need is gin or vodka (to preference), vermouth, ice, a mixing glass and a serving glass, a strainer and either a spoon (any spoon will work) to mix or a mixing cup (to fit over the mixing glass), and a garnish to taste.

No Cointreau, bitters, sugar syrup, cocktail jigger, or cocktail sticks required. In fact I can't even figure out how those first three work into a standard martini to begin with...
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 03, 2013, 05:49:23 PM
Jigger is needed for measuring. We have a 1 oz, 1/2 oz one from a catering shop. It's much easier to use than a measuring jug.

And the other stuff like Cointreau is used for my White Ladys, which is a martini in a way. But a classy lady's one who doesn't want a cosmopolitan.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: wheeitsme on April 03, 2013, 07:51:51 PM
Why? Is it that good? Too good for a martini?

I'm guessing that it depends.

It's more expensive than Bombay Sapphire, but not a LOT more.

It's a nice gin, made well and full of flavor, but not my favorite.  It's cucumbery.  I like the flavors in Bombay Sapphire or Tanquery with lime for G&T's.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 03, 2013, 08:23:36 PM
Well, it was a nice fit for martinis and he used something else for G&Ts. Personally, I like Bombay for Martinis and Gordon's for G&Ts.

And my own tonic water which I make.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: WillyNilly on April 03, 2013, 08:48:22 PM
Jigger is needed for measuring. We have a 1 oz, 1/2 oz one from a catering shop. It's much easier to use than a measuring jug.

And the other stuff like Cointreau is used for my White Ladys, which is a martini in a way. But a classy lady's one who doesn't want a cosmopolitan.

A jigger is used for measuring, not needed. Anything can be used to measure - drinks strictly go by parts, not ounces (most people tend to do ounces, but any standard part can be used). And if there is a spout on the bottle you can measure by time (4 seconds equals 1 ounce, but again so long as its a standard part, any time count will do).

As for a White Lady, still no bitters or syrup - a White Lady is gin, Cointreau and lemon juice (egg white optional).
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 03, 2013, 09:19:05 PM
Some add sugar syrup and I like mine with it, it makes it less strong and has a nice balance between the sweet and sour.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: LadyR on April 11, 2013, 04:42:28 PM
I'd b e irritated if I had to pay martini prices for what you were served adn would have sent it back.

I'm not a martini drinker, unless its a girly specialty martini tht my husband loathes. He, on the otherhand, orders a plain gin martini, no olives, and is usually ok.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: LazyDaisy on April 11, 2013, 05:06:06 PM
Couldn't decide whether to put this in "Stupid Questions" or not, but thought it might be worthy of it's own thread simply because I don't know if I was being stupid or if my waiter was just clueless.

It's probably been 10 years since I've had a martini. I know that there are martini bars out there with all sorts of flavors.

I went to a piano bar with a friend the other night and decided to order a martini (seemed like a martini type of place ;))

Me: I'd like a martini, please.

Waiter: What kind would you like?

Me (somewhat unsure): A plain old fashioned martini? With onions instead of olives, please. (was I off base here? I remember cocktail onions served with martinis instead of olives.)

Waiter (looking a bit confused): So you would like an old fashioned with onions?

Me: No. I would like a plain old martini, please.

Waiter: Okaaay, what flavor would you like?

Me: You know, where you pour the vermouth over ice -- shaken, not stirred (still smiling, trying to make a joke) and serve it with gin.

Waiter: Okay, gotcha.


What I was served was a martini glass chock full of ice and I'm not sure if there was any gin or vermouth in it. No onion. No olive. I may as well have ordered a glass of ice water in a martini glass. ::)

To be honest, after wine with dinner and an after-dinner Irish coffee, I really didn't need a full-blown martini, so this sat just fine with me. Plus I really didn't want to be an overly fussy guest KWIM?


So . . . how do you order a martini? You know, with the 30-odd flavors on the menu when you want the plain old-fashioned regular straight up martini?

What did I do wrong here?
I wonder if the server got confused when you threw out Old Fashioned. That's also an old basic drink recipe that can be made with Gin and they are making a comeback thanks to Mad Men. But not to know a classic martini doesn't have a "flavor" is just inexcusable. "No flavor please, just a gin martini with an onion."

I'm more of a mojito girl myself.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: jane7166 on April 11, 2013, 05:50:52 PM
I thought a martini with an onion is a Gibson?

I agree with you.  At least, that's what it was called 35 years ago.
Title: Re: How do you order a martini?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 13, 2013, 07:10:42 AM
Just made DH a Bond style martini (sans Lillet, unfortunately) and me a white lady. A nice!