Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to perfect, and that’s especially true when it come to the art of cocktail mixing. Take the martini for example: A seemingly elementary drink given the fact it usually incorporates only two main ingredients. However, only two means it’s key to get the balance just right since there’s nowhere for errors to hide—no soda, no mixers, no liqueurs, not even ice.
While cocktail gurus have debated what, exactly, goes into a martini to make it perfect, it seems there are a few things everyone agrees on—stirred not shaken (sorry, 007), a lemon twist over an olive, and a good quality dry vermouth.
In honor of James Bond—“Spectre” opens this weekend—we’ve culled the best tips we came across to make the perfect martini, and highlighted the exact tools you’ll need. Cheers!
A bar cart isn't necessary, but having somewhere to store your martini essentials is a nice touch.
Photo: Society Social
Pick your poison: If you're a gin drinker, you can't go wrong with classic Beefeater. More of a vodka fan? Belvedere is James Bond's pick. Four ounces is what you'll need.
A good vermouth will make your martini sing, and most pros suggest 3/4 of an ounce of Noilly Prat Dry.
You'll need ice for mixing, and experts suggest cracking large cubes into smaller pieces and filling a cocktail glass with small shards.
King Cube Silicon Ice Tray, $8.95; at Williams Sonoma
Add your booze to the ice-filled mixing glass, but don't touch the sides which transfers unnecessary heat. Instead, place your fingertips on the rim to keep it steady.
Cocktail Mixing Glass, $14.95; at Crate & Barrel
A classic martini is stirred, not shaken (sorry, Bond.) Cocktail guru Audrey Sanders told Bon Appetit that rapidly stirring 50 times—count to 50, seriously!—in a circular motion is ideal. Remember to keep your fingertips on the rim while mixing—not on the glass' sides.
Branch & Twig Bar Spoon, $8; at Anthropologie
After stirring, pour the liquid into a glass using a classic Hawthorne strainer.
Hawthorne Strainer, $9.95; at Sur La Table
Which type of glass you use is up to you, but a six-ounce Nick & Nora style is a sure bet. Add a lemon twist or an olive, and you're set.
Nick & Nora Glass, $8; at The Boston Shaker
Technically, a perfect martini uses a lemon twist. Bon Appetit suggests using a small knife to remove a 1 inch piece of peel, including some of the white part, squeeze the peel into the drink, rub the outside of the peel around the rim of the glass, then gently float it on top of the cocktail, yellow side up.
Kuhn Rikon Citrus Knife Colori, $15.95; at Amazon