Our Founder's Favorite Cocktail
The martini is a cocktail made with gin and vermouth and garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Some say that a bartender at the Knickerbocker Hotel in NYC named Martini di Arma di Taggia invented the martini in 1911 for John B. Rockerfeller. Over the years, the martini has become one of the best-known alcoholic beverages.
Different versions of the martini abound but even some of the offshoots have been vaulted into classics status. The Gibson was made famous by Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie North by Northwest and is garnished with a pickled onion. Another popular variation, the vodka martini, uses vodka instead of gin for the cocktail's base spirit.
The site of a martini exudes elegance, glamour, and culture — and of power lunches of yesteryear. A martini must be sipped, not chugged. One must concentrate when drinking a martini as it spills easily. For most, it’s impossible to drink more than two! Be gentle and genteel when you cheers with one, as the glass is delicate.
It’s confounding how some martinis are so much better than others even though there are only two principal ingredients in the classic version. A perfect martini disposes quickly of the notion that consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds — to make a great one takes practice. Even with two ingredients there are so many components to master. Such a simple drink necessitates good Vermouth and quality gin or vodka. Over stirring, under stirring, over shaking, and under shaking can all result in an imperfect drink. Proper temperatures are key, from the chilling of the glass to the alcohols themselves. A stem martini glass is a must as the open glass allows the intense smell to escape, making it easier to drink. The thickness of the glass determines changes to the recipe (a thicker glass holds cold better).
The martini represents a family of drinks but really it all starts with the classic — from the classic come an array of house martinis. Stirred is more intense. Shaken is more diluted. Dirty martinis have grown in popularity and are the most diluted as they include a non-alcoholic ingredient (olive juice). Many places add special garnishes. Our bartender Matt likes orange bitters in his martini.
There is no better cocktail to pair with our Standing Ribeye Roast and other Signature Wagyu classics. Our Signature beef make for the most elegant and intense centerpieces and require only one or two additional ingredients (oil, salt, pepper). Meanwhile the martini is the highest proof drink most anyone will consume on a regular basis. They are perfect partners!