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Martinis For Beginners

It’s a very downtown, de rigeur, city thing to order martinis.  Perhaps because the Martini has been glamourized by Hollywood.   In Sex And The City, Carrie Bradshaw often noshed on Chinese takeout with her clique while downing Cosmopolitans.  And James Bond is known for taking his ‘shaken, not stirred.’  While sitting on a barstool in a trendy cocktail lounge, pondering your evening’s poison, here are just a few thoughts to consider before ordering:

  • Although hardcore martini drinkers swear by the gin martini, newer martini enthusiasts prefer vodka for its smoother taste.  I personally find premium vodkas with improved distilling processes, keep the hangover away.  This way you can wake up headache free and enjoy brunch before 1pm.  My friend A is a vodka conoisseur (so skilled, she is the only person I know who can name brands of vodka in a blinded taste test) and she swears by Grey Goose, Belvedere and Ketel One.
  • Dry or dirty?  Did you ever wonder what each of these mean?  Dry refers to a reduced amount of vermouth in the cocktail while dirty is a term to describe the increased amount of olive brine added to a classic martini.
  • With the resurgence of vodka martinis, there are so many new blended juice variations to choose from.  My personal favourite is the Sour Apple or the Lychee Martini.  For those with tropical tastes, there are ones with passion fruit, guava and mango.  Some creative restaurants even add a dash of champagne.  How delightful!
  • In Toronto, you can find martinis aplenty at the cozy Souz Dal (636 College Street West) in the heart of Little Italy.  You can also enjoy a nice selection with dessert at The Drake at 1150 Queen Street West.   
Martini A Go-Go: Shaken or Stirred? Dirty or Dry?

Martini A Go-Go: Shaken or Stirred? Dirty or Dry?



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