WILLIAM MORSE • SPECIAL TO THE NEWS JOURNAL
Pretty much everyone recognizes this phrase and what it is referencing: the classic martini. It was first uttered by the fictional character James Bond from the Ian Fleming book series about a cocktail favored by such historical figures as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemmingway and Winston Churchill, to name a few.
While some may prefer their martini stirred, it is now usually assumed that when one orders a martini, it should be shaken. Shaking the martini makes the drink colder, introduces air into the mixture and also, ever so slightly, melts some of the ice, thereby slightly altering the alcohol's taste. A study published in the British Medical Journal also suggests that shaken martinis have measurably higher antioxidant properties than stirred ones, making them healthier - although perhaps not enough to make a difference.
Originally made with gin and dry vermouth, it has become standard practice these days to use vodka. A common misconception is that to make a martini drier, you should use more dry vermouth. In fact, the drier you wish your martini to be, the less dry vermouth you should use. Nowadays, there are many variations of the martini, such as the apple-tini, the cosmopolitan and the lemon-drop martini, which combine various ingredients to sweeten up the drink and to give it a more appealing and smoother taste. While James Bond probably wouldn't approve of these martini variations, you can rest assured that our martinis are prepared shaken, not stirred.
One of the more popular martinis we have here at The Fish House is the cucumber-mint martini, and is perfect on a late, sunny afternoon.
3 to 4 fresh mint leaves
2 freshly cut cucumber wheels
1 lime wedge
A pinch of sugar Ice
3 ounces Crop Harvest Earth cucumber-infused organic vodka
2 ounces sparkling water (or lemon-lime soda)
1 freshly cut cucumber wheel (for garnish)
Thoroughly muddle the first four ingredients in the shaker. Add ice and cucumber-infused organic vodka.
Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass. Top off with sparkling water or soda and garnish with a cucumber wheel.
This is the perfect drink to have on our outside deck at The Fish House while enjoying a beautiful view of the waterfront. And you can enjoy this martini at half off the regular price every day of the week during our happy hour, The Big Mix, from 4 to 6 p.m.
The Fish House, 600 S. Barracks St., Pensacola. 470-0003