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Filthy Dirty Vodka Martini

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That’s one diiirrrrty martini.
Photo: Rosalind Terlitzky

The Details

Filthy Dirty Vodka Martini
Hachi, Red Rock Casino.
$11 ($7 during Hachi Hour, Mon.-Fri., 5-7 p.m.)

Let’s talk for a moment about the martini. Like a king dethroned, the martini has been unseated and forced to do some dirty, dirty work. That little folio of drinks most often referred to as the martini list is about as far from the real deal as ground chuck is from Kobe. Masquerading as martinis, these sweet, often fruity concoctions involving chocolate syrup, lychees and limoncello are just wolves in sheep’s clothing—really, they are all just cocktails. A martini is an actual drink, not a category of drinks.

Now hear this: A martini is and only is: gin (okay, okay, or—increasingly—vodka …) and vermouth to taste, stirred over ice and served up, in a cocktail glass (no, it’s not a martini glass), with an olive or lemon twist. Period. If you even come near it with chocolate syrup, Razzmatazz or—god forbid—a tuft of cotton candy, it is not a martini, it’s just a cocktail. And probably a bad one at that.

Martinis 101, how you should be ordering: Martini = gin; vodka martini = vodka. Take your pick.

Vermouth: In a cocktail-savvy bar, saying “dry martini” yields roughly 3:1 or 4:1 of spirit to dry, white vermouth. Confusingly, “very dry” implies just a splash; “in and out,” but a rinse; and “bone dry,” none at all. Reference Winston Churchill if you want the bartender to chuckle, merely glance at the vermouth and proceed without it.

Garnish: Olives are the default. “With a twist” substitutes a lemon rind. “Dirty” adds olive brine. Meanwhile, a Gibson is a martini with a cocktail onion. “Filthy” adds onion brine to a Gibson.

A filthy dirty?!?  You won’t be making any friends tonight. Enjoy it alone.

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