The Martini is definitely the drink, which shows this misconceptions very clearly. Many customers, who never tried a Martini cocktail, will order one with the anticipation of a delicious drink - and then after trying it, their dreams are crashing - from cloud 9 to under sea level!
An experienced bartender definitely knows, that this drink can't be delicious - there are no yummy ingredients featured in the recipe and taste doesn't materialize out of thin air...
But there is so much more what a cocktail can be - and the Martini is showcasing this. First of all, the character of a cocktail, has to be not only understood - it has to be learned.
Let's depart for a moment mixology and lets esteem wines. When people start to drink [seriously], nobody really likes bone dry, minerally white wines or tannin rich and funky red wines. Evolutionary our taste is preferring sweet, unfermented, fruity and clean aromas. However through several "cultural" experiences [wine tastings] the palate is changing. Sometimes during several tasting experiences, after several years, we understand, that this dry wine is magical and we are discovering these multilayered aromas, the velvety mouthfeel, the pleasing acidity or interesting "funk"...
While some cocktails will have the same effect of discovery, the Martini is even farer away of being easy discoverable. Because it is not the aroma, which really make it special. It is the texture and the effect.
Sounds confusing? Try a well made Martini cocktail and if you are listening to your senses you might understand...
For me personally a Martini is like an icy desert e.g. in Antarctica. First of all it is uncomfortable, brutal, maybe even boring white on white... however if you let go, you'll experience the crystal clear, cold air, the beautiful pure scenery, the pure blue sky, the freedom, and piece. Zen.
The Martini is a reminiscence to this. The alcohol will hit you almost brutally, the botanicals are streaming through your head like the cold air in the ice desert. The high alcohol content hit your stomach like a hammer... but then you listen to this drink. The texture is so high in alcohol that it is almost syrupy, it doesn't flow, it rather raft through your mouth; the character of a well made Martini is clean and pure and cleansing.
A Martini cocktail set your mind straight - your busy mind is slowing down and it is almost as the drink wipes it clean. It calms you down, slows you down. It wakes up your ingestion system and prepare your stomach for dinner. Three or four sips to finish it and to alternate your mood. It is not a drink, it is an elixir, for the noble and brave. It is a drink, which can be only understood by the initiated; a triumph of drinking culture.
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