The word ‘Martinis’ immediately brings to mind double agent James Bond’s famous and much publicized lines – “shaken, not stirred”. However, the quirky martinis that you are about to know about, does not have the mandatory olive as garnish.
There are literally hundreds of recipes for cocktails and other mixed drinks. A select few are universal and served all over the world in the same combinations, albeit in different ratios. These classics are being made and served in bars and lounges everywhere. But with clubbing and bar hopping on the rise, especially amongst the upwardly mobile, globe- trotting youngsters of today, more elements, some quite surprising, have entered the cocktail scene.
For instance, who would have thought that mango and star anise can be combined to make an inspiring drink? Added to white rum and a splash of cranberry juice, this quirky drink is guaranteed to transport you to another world. At least that’s what the creators, from Bonobo resto-lounge, India’s first interactive bar claims.
Actually there are so many differentkinds of cocktails that for a layman the various terms could be a little confusing. There are tall drinks, on the rocks, tropical drinks, hot cocktails, shooters and of course martinis. A classic martini will have dry vermouth and gin, shaken over ice and garnished with a single olive.
All variations of these traditional components of a classic martini will still be a martini, but with a twist to it. Sometimes a quirky twist. Like Imli-Tini, an offering from The Lalit Intercontinental, Mumbai, in which tamarind juice and sugar syrup is shaken up with the vodka.
Actually, if you come to think of it, the making of a cocktail is a highly creative process, akin to the creation of a new dish, and there is a wide field to choose your ingredients from. Fruit based martinis are very popular, adding the juice, or the pulp, of fruits like blueberry, key lime, apples, raspberry,watermelon, guava, pomegranate etc. to vodka, vermouth or gin.
Why only fruits, an innovative martini can have anything from iced tea, half and half, chocolate, to pumpkin (martini made with pumpkin flavoured liqueur) or cocoa syrup. One even hears of a ‘Chai Martini’ for which you have to shake up equal quantities of vodka and cold chai (tea, made the Indian way)!
It goes without saying that the creator of a martini reserves the right to name it. So you have Candy Red Apple Martini, Concord Cosmopolitan Martini, Watermelon –Tini, Trim Raspberry Martini, Bikini Martini and Pineapple Upside- Down Cake Martini and so on and so forth.
However, as the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, or in this case drinking. So a martini can be concocted by anybody and served any which way as long as it has the basic vodka or vermouth or gin, but whatever else is used to make this cocktail, there should be balance, and one taste should be set off by the other. In other words, it can be quirky, but it has to be tasty too.
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