The “Perfect” Martini

In cocktail terms, perfect usually means that the bartender has a big head and thinks his drinks are the best, as in he makes the “perfect Gimlet,” “the perfect Old Fashioned,” or even “the perfect Martini.” But the term means something different if we’re being specific. With a lot of drinks, the term “perfect” is actually a part of the name, and it refers to a perfect mix of sweet and dry vermouths.

The Perfect Martini, then, has a perfect ratio of sweet to dry vermouth. Here is my recipe:

  • 3 oz. gin
  • 0.25 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 0.25 oz. dry vermouth
  • lemon peel, for garnish

This one is nearly a Martinez (see my previous post), but it keeps the strength of the dry martini. The gin comes through nicely, but the sweet vermouth adds an element that is missing from the dry martini. If we’re talking about a balance of the five tastes–sweet, salty, bitter, sour, umami–then the Perfect Martini adds a note of sweetness that works. It isn’t too much to take over the gin, but it is enough to provide another element. It works.

I will be keeping this one around.

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