The Perfect Martini

Friday night’s martini night at my house, and it’s not complete without a steak and baked potato, just like Musso and Frank.

It’s just about the perfect cocktail: clean, crisp, refreshing, elegant, and effortlessly cool. But one has to be careful with them — 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, and stir it well.

Now measure out 2 martini glassfuls of good quality gin — Tanqueray’s good, I met an old-school NBC newsman recently who swears by Plymouth Gin, but for utter perfection, it has to be Sipsmith.

Pour the gin over the ice and stir well, 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.