Our mission: to help in the transition from drinker of quantity to drinker of quality. Along the way, we'll have some laughs, or someone's catching heck. Prolly me.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Martini Variant; The Philip

Some events require a mustache.
I recently came across a rather specific, light and delicious Martini variant called the Philip, or, to my aggravation, the Philtini. I will complain about that name in detail, below.

The Philip

1 part Gin
2 parts Vodka
1 splash vermouth
2 jumbo gorgonzola stuffed olives. Maybe more, I like olives.

You will likely have to buy jumbo, pitted olives and gorgonzola separately, then stuff them your own bad self, but this task is integral, and worth while, ya lazy ponce.

The Bar gear is minimal. The mahogany is essential.
(Pictured, IKEA birch)
This delicate, intricate cocktail is best made with a smooth, neutral vodka, in order to allow the botanicals of the gin to mellow and diffuse. I recommend the incomparably crisp, yet inexpensive Sobieski. Vodkas with prominent flavors such as Provda and Level, should be reserved for other mixed drinks where their characteristics can be put on proper display. The gin is up to you. While it is the main flavor in a Philip, you can get away with your favorite staple. Vermouth is cheap, so always buy the best. Martini & Rossi, is not bad, though. Either way, go lightly with the vermouth. You don't want the subtle vodka/gin blend to be overpowered by the dry wine-y flavor. I've tried the Philip with as little vermouth as it takes to emulsify ice, or as much as half an oz. Both versions had their charms.

To get the cocktail brutally cold, pour it into the ice filled Boston shaker then SWIRL until the sides are frosty. The gin is not bruised and your Philip is chilled.

Strain it into a cocktail glass, (pre-chill the glass with ice water if you believe in fairy-tails and other horse crap) then finally, garnish with two or three gorgonzola stuffed jumbo olives. You should see a small, delicate film from the stuffed olive, floating on the surface. Get excited. It is proof of the creamy, sharp, savory, meaty finish to the delicately flavored, crisp, sophisticated cocktail that will give the room a soft glow, and knock your ass on the floor if you try a second one.

And now, a rant:

A cocktail, minus ice, in a cocktail glass, is not a Martini. The "appletini" is an apple cocktail, in a cocktail glass, so how is it suddenly a Martini, please? A modern Martini is 3 oz. gin, a splash of vermouth and an olive. and that's it. Maybe more olives, I like olives. 

That said, I don't mind Martini variants. In general the "original" is not always the best . The practice of dentistry illustrates my point nicely, it's come a long, painful way. The modern Martini has far less vermouth then it's proud ancestor, which is an improvement. Vermouth is a concentrated white wine with a dry, thick, flavor that competes with the crisp botanicals of the gin. The most famous variation is the Vodka Martini, commonly mistaken for the OG. To make it, replace the gin with vodka. Or if, for some damn reason, you want to replace the olive with a cocktail onion, it is called a Gibson, not an Oniontini. The point being, if indeed I still have one, that variants on the Martini -the actual Martini- are to be renamed, not forsaken. Unless they suck. Like the Gibson.

Bottoms up, and keep it classy,
Johnny Lager

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