Turns out the iconic drink of the sixties, lately enjoying popularity with a new generation thanks to Don Draper and the boys in the backroom at Mad Men, is also a perfect dieter’s cocktail.
Why? Made with gin or vodka with just a whiff of vermouth, it delivers a stress cooling jolt with almost no carbs to ruin your diet.
How can that be? Distilled spirits have NO carbs. Vermouth delivers only 0.2 grams of carbs per ounce, and the obligatory olive gives as good as it gets. Green olives, it seems offer the nutritional muscle to the drink.
Olives are concentrated in monosaturated fats and are a good source of vitamin E. Who needs capsules? Vitamin E lowers your risk of inflammation, and the additional polyphenols and flavonoids in olives are loaded with anti-inflammatory properties.
The vitamin E in olives can help reduce asthma, osteoarthritis and hot flashes in women. You knew you wanted one.
Here’s how to make a perfect martini.
Chill the martini glass. Bartenders just fill it with ice water while they’re making the drink, then pour out the cold slurry. Keep the gin or vodka in the freezer. Then combine 6 parts cold gin to 1 part dry French vermouth in a cocktail shaker with crushed ice. Mix and strain into the chilled martini glass. Top with two or three olives.
SHAKEN OR STIRRED
James Bond specified his martinis be shaken, not stirred, as did is predecessor, Nick Charles in the Thin Man (1934). Never mind that these were fictional characters. They knew their martini lore.
Variations on a Theme
A Vodka Martini simply replaces the gin with vodka and purists insist the glass be rinsed with vermouth that is poured out before the icy vodka is added.
A Smoky Martini substitutes a peaty scotch whiskey for the vermouth and rests on a high-quality London dry gin, then finishes with a lemon peel garnish.
A Gibson, said to have been invented at the bar in New York’s Players’ Club simply replaces the olives with an onion.
Try different brands of gin for different effects. I love the herbal Plymouth Gin which is light and crisp. Others swear by Tanqueray.
A number of artisan gins and vodkas are popping up on the market.
But whichever you choose, we say Bottoms Up, and have a happy weekend.