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". . .let me fix you a Martini that's pure magic. It may not make life's problems disappear, but it'll certainly reduce their size." Taken from the film Some Came Running, starring Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, 1959.

A ‘Classic’ Martini is made with gin and is practically just gin with a fancy garnish and a bit of vermouth. So don’t be shocked if your Martini is strong enough to blow your head off – that’s what it’s supposed to do! Ask any bar tender how many times a Martini has come back to him because it is too strong, and be prepared to sit down for a while. Switching the gin for vodka will make a Vodka Martini – James Bond’s top tipple. The basic principle of the drink is the same, but the different spirit will change the flavour. Whether you use vodka or gin is entirely up to you.

When making a Martini yourself, it is important to use the most expensive ingredients that you can afford, so a quality gin or vodka brand will always make a much more inviting drink, and ALWAYS use a Martini glass. A true Martini is drunk chilled, so if you can, put all the ingredients and glasses in the fridge or freezer to chill before use. But, if you just can’t wait that long (and lets face it, that’s pretty much most of us), a good tip is to fill the glasses with ice and top up with water, and then leave them while you are mixing your Martini. Simply discard the water and ice when you’re ready to serve.

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