Martinis, classically made with a quality London-style gin and a fair amount of French vermouth and stirred delicately over ice to maintain the clarity and viscosity that makes them so appealing, have made way in recent years to vodka martinis. Reaching their peak popularity in the 1980s, they share a similitude with the classic tipple, almost by name and serving glass alone. Gone is the mixing glass, the London gin and, many times, even the vermouth, replaced with a cold shaker, lots of ice and even more of the neutral spirit.
How to Prepare:
In a cocktail shaker, measure and pour the vodka and vermouth, add ice and shake well until chilled and diluted. Strain into a chilled martini glass, and garnish with an olive on a cocktail pick.
For a less diluted and clearer drink, use a fine-mesh strainer or tea strainer when pouring to capture the shards of ice away from the drink. This is a process commonly referred to as "double straining."