5 T’s for a perfect Martini
Renowned cocktail expert, Ben Reed, gives us his top tips on how to create the perfect Martini. Follow his 5 T’s and you can’t go wrong.
Author: Ben Reed
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
For over 100 years the drinking world has been fascinated by the Martini. My personal fascination started over 20 years ago and inspired me to create rules I call the ‘5 Ts of the Martini’, or what to consider when creating the finest Martini imaginable.
Let’s start from the top.
THE FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT T: TASTE
Let’s tackle this based on the premise that your customer has already chosen the ingredients, proportions, glassware and garnish (or has put their trust in you and ordered the house Martini).
Once you get past what the customer wants inside the drink, the most important element of taste is dilution. Varying levels of dilution will affect mouth-feel as well as the aroma of your guest’s Martini. I’d typically be looking at approximately 25% of total volume added in the form of dilution of the ice whilst combining the flavours.
SECOND T: TEMPERATURE
Ensuring that your Martini is at the optimum temperature is often influenced by the quality of ice that you use in your drink. But also, by your choice of the third T: Technique.
THIRD T: TECHNIQUE
Your choice of technique will have a knock-on effect on all of the other T’s.
During the busiest times at the Met Bar, London, in the ‘90s, we spent time trying to ensure that the technique used resulted in drinks being put out at the right standard but as quickly as possible. We called this the ‘diamond pour’ which involved emptying a certain amount from a bottle of gin, replacing this with vermouth and water and placing it in the freezer.
Because we had pre-batched our perfect Martini ratio, we could then just take out the bottle and put the relevant amount of liquid into a chilled Martini glass.
FOURTH & FIFTH T: TIME TAKEN & THEATRE
We thought our technique for our premixed Martini at the Met Bar was clever; however, it overlooked an extremely important part of the guest experience, the ‘theatre’ or symbiotic process of making and watching the drink being made.
I’ve seen bartenders in Stockholm ensure optimum temperature with the purest ice. I’ve watched in awe as Japanese bartenders nail the taste element and controlled dilution with the hard shake, and I’ve witnessed American bartenders ensuring that their guests don’t have to wait too long by chilling absolutely everything first. Wherever I travel in the world, bartenders have seemingly different priorities regarding the 5 T’s.
MY PERFECT MARTINI
Follow this recipe for consistent results:
- Created in approximately 3 minutes.
- Served at an optimum level of coldness of -4%C.
- Diluted to 25% of the total volume.
Opt for Gin to create a stunning classic Martini. This recipe will show you how!
This recipe here is always hugely popular for a ‘dirty’ vodka alternative.
- The 5 T’s are Taste, Temperature, Technique, Time Taken and Theatre.
- Always ask the customer questions about what they like. Many customers will have favourite ingredients, proportions, glassware and garnishes.
- Be careful with ice as it impacts dilution levels. The ideal dilution is 25% of the total volume.
- The Martini is well over 100 years old.
- The Martini was originally made with gin, but can also be made with vodka.
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