The Perfect Martini

On a Friday night, alongside a steak and a baked potato, it’s time to Make Mine A Martini.

It’s just about the perfect cocktail: clean, crisp, refreshing, elegant, and effortlessly cool. But one has to be careful  — remember Dorothy Parker: “I really like a martini, Two at the very most, Three and I’m under the table, Four and I’m under the host.

Here’s my perfect method which never lets me down.

Makes 2

Fill a cocktail shaker with fresh ice. Pour ½ a bottle top of Noilly Prat vermouth over the ice — or less… just as long as there is some… this is a mixed drink after all, not a cup of cold gin — and stir it well.

Now measure out 2 martini glassfuls of good gin — and by good gin, I mean Beefeater. Though a couple of years ago, I met an old-school NBC newsman recently who swears by Plymouth, and it will suffice. In a pinch.

Pour the gin over the ice and stir until it’s as cold as the bottom of a penguin’s foot, making sure that you don’t chip the ice.

Leave to stand for as long as it takes to open a pack of salted almonds and pour them out into a bowl. Then pour the martinis into their glasses and serve with a good green olive or a twist of unwaxed lemon, to taste. Alternatively, you can serve it with a pickled cocktail onion to make a Gibson.