The martini has long played and important role in the Bowler family. Our apéritif of choice was perfected decades ago by our grandfather, William Bowler, who passed his recipe on to his sons, who, in turn, entrusted it to the next generation of Bowlers.
Before we begin, let's get something established that doubtlessly will send shockwaves through the cocktail-drinking world. We at McBone are willing to dive into the controversy that will doubtlessly ensue with this, our firm and fixed assertion that a martini is made from GIN, not vodka, and no cocktail made with vodka can rightfully call itself a martini. Furthermore, McBone will not engage in any discussion involving so-called martinis preceded by the words chocolate, cajun, mint, tequila, apple, lime, cinnamon or any others that might be found on a menu of some two-bit, soon-to-be-out-of-business "martini bar."
Now, our recipe.
A martini starts, as we've stated, with gin. Make sure you have a quality label on hand, otherwise abort mission. McBone recommends Bombay, Bombay Sapphire and Tanqueray, to name a few. There also exist any number of designer gins that will certainly do, if you're willing to cough up a few extra bucks. In a pinch, Seagrams will suffice, but avoid bottom-shelf, bathtub brands, which should be reserved for the removal of paint. McBone recommends Beefeater gin above all others, and is proud to call Beefeater the Official Gin of McBone.
For the perfect martini:
Fill a rocks glass with cubed ice. Make sure the ice is fresh and not the kind that smells like the leftover fish that has been in the freezer for 14 years. Good god, you don't want your ice to interfere with the lovely juniper flavor of the precious gin.
Next, fill your glass with gin. Don't be shy now--all the way up, leaving just a little room to top off. Take a moment to marvel at the superior, crystal-clear quality that, unlike vodka, does not hint at the insipid nature of the liquor. Hear the ice crackle and pop with pleasure as it bathes in sweet ecstacy. Your gin is getting colder, and you are finding it difficult to resist putting the glass to your lips right now. You could, of course, and have yourself a satisfactory cocktail, but why not wait a moment and complete a few final steps?
Add a splash, and we mean a splash, of dry vermouth. We suggest Martini and Rossi Extra Dry. Don't overdo it. If you fear that you've poured too much, dump contents into the sink, fetch a clean glass and start anew.
Now, get yourself a nice, fresh lemon and cut yourself a sizeable twist. Squeeze the rind over your drink and rub along the rim of the glass. Plop your twist directly into the drink, and smile. You're getting closer.
And for a finishing touch: spear two or three large olives, preferably with a metallic pick, and plunge into your martini (A twist and multiple olives is a patented Bill Bowler innovation). Stir vigorously for 10-20 seconds. If your glass is not completely full, add another cube of ice.
Your martini is ready to be enjoyed. Find a comfortable chair to sit in. Appreciation of a martini begins with the eyes. Notice again the sublime clearness of your cocktail. Hear the ice clinking melodically. Feel the glass sweat in the summer heat. Inhale generously and take your first sip. Achieve nirvana.
Remember to gulp the first one, sip the second.
Best enjoyed with family and friends.
For a change of pace, try cocktail onions in place of olives for a Gibson!
While McBone officially endorses a martini on the rocks, we do not condemn them served "up" in a traditional martini glass.