A Martini conjures up images of elegance for me. Not that I have ever sipped one while wearing a ball gown and being surrounded by men in tuxes but it does somehow give off that illusion (perhaps from old movies). The closest I ever got was sipping one at the Hemmingway Bar in The Ritz, Paris. That WAS a sublime Martini - very dry, ice cold with a twist of lemon and servied with an exquisite tray of hors d'oeuvres. The 22€ price tag was worth it for the experience, ambiance and the sense of being in Paris at The Ritz.
This is not to take away from the cottage Martini experience. Sitting on the deck overlooking the lake, Martini in hand getting ready for the sunset with some of my favourite people and hors d'oeuvers - cucumber with tapenade and radish with tarama. Decadence!!!!
Our preference is a Martini made with Tanquaray or Bombay Sapphire gin. You can substitute vodka for the gin if that is your preference. We also prefer a twist of lemon peel (extracted with a tomato peeler to remove as little of the white pith as possible) to the olive.
Classic Gin Martini
75 mL (2-1/2 oz) Gin
15 mL (1/4 oz) Dry Vermouth
1 twist of lemon peel or 1 large green olive
6 ice cubes
Chill bottle of gin and martini glasses in the freezer. Pour gin and vermouth over ice in a cocktail shaker and shake until combined and very cold. Pour into martini glasses over lemon peel or olive.