There are many famous drinks, but undoubtedly one of the most iconic is the martini, also known as Dry Martini. Why is this drink so famous? Partly because it’s so easy to make, but it also owes a lot to being the favorite cocktail of James Bond, the English secret agent created by Ian Fleming.
Of course, although only very few ingredients are used in its preparation, prepare a good Martini it is not easy at all. Fortunately, science has been in charge of developing the recipe to savor a perfect Martini. We will share it with you below.
Bond was wrong
In the movies, James Bond always ordered his Martini “shaken not mixed”, in addition to clarifying that he liked it with Vodka, and not with gin. Well, according to mixologist Stuart Bale, Bond takes his Martini in the worst way.
Bale, a drink scientist, spent many hours searching for the correct way to prepare a Martini by following the original instructions. After a very good time in the laboratory, using gas chromatography-spectrometry, he reached several conclusions.
The most interesting thing is that James Bond makes all the mistakes that Bale found when preparing a Martini.
According to the expert, the martinis should be mixed, not shaken, they should be prepared with gin (and not with Vodka), in addition to being garnished with a strawberry and not an olive.
Why is it better to mix the Martini
Among his tests, Stuart Bale concluded that, in the case of this cocktail, shaking is not the right thing to do, while mixing (or stirring) is the ideal thing to do.
“Mixing and shaking serves two purposes, both chilling and diluting the drink. Shaking cools the drink, however, it dilutes it and leaves it watery. Since shaking adds up to 10% extra water, in order to enjoy the flavors of a Martini, mixing is the only option ”.
Bond, at least in the classic movies, would order his Martini with Vodka. Bale believes that gin is the ideal base for a good Martini, because its botanical extracts help balance the vermouth.
On the contrary, vodka does not have this structural composition and therefore does not mix well with vermouth.
“A perfect martini should taste like ‘exquisite water’. The most difficult aspect of mixing a martini is striking the balance between the flavors of each liquor and the actual alcohol. Gin is a blend of flavors and spices, a complex and unique blend for each producer. The same thing happens with vermouth, due to its quantity of ingredients ”.
Bale used the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry technique to analyze the aromatic and taste components of different styles of gin.
In his results, Bale ensures that varieties such as Gin Mare, flavored with thyme, rosemary and basil, harmonize better with the other ingredients of the Martini
Goodbye to olives
Stuart Bale’s analysis also found that olives’ aromatic and taste power masks the delicate flavor of gin, making it difficult to appreciate properly.
Bale says that adding a pinch of salt to the cocktail replicates the salty taste of the olive without overshadowing the smooth flavor of the gin.
“It is well known that salt acts as a flavor enhancer (…) In addition, salt reduces the surface tension of the liquid, allowing the release of its aromas and increasing the perception of them. To get an unbeatable martini, it is convenient to add one or two drops of saline solution, thus releasing the aromas without masking the flavors ”.
Citrus gins go well with lemon, orange or grapefruit zest; the dried gins with pickled onions, as in the case of the gibson cocktail, and the floral ones with lavender bouquets.
The secret ingredient: strawberry
In the final part of his experiment, Bale documented that, after analyzing thousands of chemicals in gin and vermouths, he discovered that there is a higher frequency of the following chemicals: 2.5 Dimethyl-4-hydroxy-3 (2H) Furanone , an organic compound found in strawberries.
Therefore, for Bale the perfect Martini has to be mixed, accompanied by a strawberry and a pinch of salt.
Finally, this would be the recipe for the perfect Martini according to Stuart Bale:
- 50ml Gin
- 25 ml of vermouth (Recommend Lillet Blanc)
- 0.5 ml of salt
- 1 small whole strawberry
Add all ingredients to a metal mixing can filled with ice. Stir for 20-30 seconds, until the drink cools and is adequately diluted. Serve in a chilled cocktail glass.
As in everything, everyone is free to enjoy their drink as they like best, regardless of what the experts say. For example, we like the Avocado martini.
Also remember that excess consumption of alcohol it is dangerous to health.