a tale of two (okay, three) martinis

On a lazy grey Sunday afternoon at the cocktail hour, I invite my friend Raquel to test drive my new Nick and Nora cocktail glasses. Martinis are Raquel’s favorite cocktail. She was skeptical about the glasses at first (before they were filled). Then she seemed to warm up to them. We decided to concoct a variety of martinis. I like vermouth. Raquel does not. She does that wash of vermouth over the glass thing and that is it. We did not follow James Bond’s tenet and we stirred ours instead of using the cocktail shaker. I heard that stirring makes it colder and does not cloud the drink. We cracked the ice that we used for stirring because supposedly the jagged edges will create more surface of cold ice to chill the drink to the maximum. We chilled our Nick and Nora glasses with ice and seltzer because Raquel says the seltzer makes it colder.

I had some things on hand for martini enhancement. Adam’s Ranch Dirty Martini Mix that I picked up at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. It is very high quality olive brine. I also have Arthur Marc’s Queen Olives stuffed with bleu cheese made in beautiful Schoharie County, New York. I buy these at the hardware store in the charming town of Middleburgh. These olives are delicious, fat and overstuffed with very good bleu cheese.

To start, Raquel chose a vodka martini with a wash of vermouth and jalapeño stuffed olives. Raquel would not touch the bleu cheese olives because as a kid she milked goats. She hates billy goats and anything reminiscent of their smell. She liked the kick the jalapeño olives gave her martini. I like vermouth, so mine was 2 ounces gin and 1-ounce vermouth with 1-teaspoon dirty martini mix (olive brine). The three ounces fit perfectly in the Nick and Nora glasses. I had the pungent bleu cheese stuffed olives in mine.

martinis with olives and the draco malfoy martinis with pickle juice

Next, we try a drink concocted by my favorite cocktail blogger Nancy Mitchell of The Backyard Bartender. She did a very creative series of Harry Potter inspired cocktails. We decided to make the Draco Malfoy, a martini made with pickle juice. Nancy says it is just like Draco “smooth, sleek and just a little bit nasty”. We used pickle juice from The Pickle Guys on the Lower Eastside. They will sell you a couple of scoopfuls of prime pickle juice straight out of the barrel for two bucks.

The Draco Malfoy Martini from the Backyard Bartender

2oz Gin (or Vodka if you prefer)
½ oz. dry vermouth
½ oz. pickle juice

Stir or (shake) all ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled (Nick and Nora) cocktail glass. Divine.

4 thoughts on “a tale of two (okay, three) martinis

  1. Love the martinis – especially the Draco Malfoy. But what I REALLY want to know is how you felt the next day after all those martinis!

  2. My favorite is a Dirty Martinis also, must have blue cheese stuffed olives! I usually stuff my own olives( I hand pick those from an olive bar at my local market) and I use olive juice from the jar; of pimento stuffed olives I always have in the fridge. I figure if you like the olives, then the brine in the jar will be just as good in your drink.

    Don’t forget if you drink out of vintage Nick & Nora cocktail glasses, 3 martinis is probably equivalent to one Regular size cocktail at Most bars and restaurants. I agree 100% with this blogger, I would rather keep mine icy cold and refresh my drink and while were at it, I love using real vintage glasses, so much more style and quality from a vintage glass! Makes me feel 1930’s glam!

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