The martini is a cultural touchstone across continents. Everyone has developed out their own form of the martini, with some here in Charleston including okra, lobster tails, and shrimp on their various architectures. That thing costs $40, which seems excessive.
The perfect martini is opaque. You cannot see through this thing. The perfect martini is the color of fairly healthy seawater and it tastes about the same way. Salty. If you add anything like cream to your martini, you are not drinking a martini. You are drinking “a drink.” It’s a novelty. A martini is built on either vodka or gin, but mainly gin; vodka if you want to feel cool, but you’re not really cool. Martinis are gin drinks, bye SAE Chad.
Martinis are about gin — a salty liquor to begin with — and salt. And olives. Did you know that “Martini” is an Italian word? Weird that an entire peninsula obsessed with and arguing about olives should fight about what constitutes the proper martini. Italy’s wonderful.
The best martini is the martini you can’t see through. There’s too much olive juice and Vermouth and whatever else that you can’t see through the thing. Like you picked up a glass of Atlantic sea water off the coast of Jacksonville. See the picture at top.
The best, most perfect martini is so salty that it drives you away from the cocktail forever. I’m teaching Lucan this semester, and he begs you to read him. Please, read me. But you do it, once, and suddenly you want to die. The same holds true for a good martini. This thing is so goddamn salty and horrible that I want to die.
The perfect martini is constructed as follows:
Two parts gin (Beefeater is really, REALLY good; use whatever gin you want)
One part olive juice (go for zesty or straight up regular olives, depending on your taste)
One part pepperoncini stock, to taste
This martini is salty enough to make your eyeballs blink their way out of your head, but it’s also dry as hell enough to make you tongue the floor of the bathroom for water. This martini here will make your dinner guests never come back, because hosting dinner is too much of a chore.
This martini will stun you into real life at the end of the night when WHAT? creeps in. It’s a drink that makes you cringe, but in a good way. Because it makes you more human. Because it makes you drink more gin. Because the Romans were founded on salt mines, and that’s where gin was invented.