Everything you need to know about Martinis, including why it should never be shaken

How do you like your Martini? Everything you need to know about America’s classiest cocktail – including why it should NEVER be shaken

The Martini is timeless. 

With its simple ingredients and sleek glass, it was designed to be sipped and savored, and has become an unrivaled symbol of sophistication enjoyed by the likes of James Bond, Franklin Roosevelt and Frank Sinatra.

But after over a century, even a classic – most often ordered with gin or vodka as its base spirit – could use an update.   

Justin Lorenz, Wine & Beverage Director of Lotte New York Palace (where there’s a $250 Martini on the menu) reveals what’s trending with America’s classiest cocktail.

The Gold Room, located within the iconic Lotte New York Palace, has just unveiled its new “Art of the Martini” menu, a collection of eight expertly crafted, unique martini cocktails created with an assortment of premium liquors

The Gold Room, located within the iconic Lotte New York Palace, has just unveiled its new “Art of the Martini” menu, a collection of eight expertly crafted, unique martini cocktails created with an assortment of premium liquors

Justin Lorenz, Wine & Beverage Director of Lotte New York Palace reveals everything you need to know about America's classiest cocktail: The Martini

 Justin Lorenz, Wine & Beverage Director of Lotte New York Palace reveals everything you need to know about America’s classiest cocktail: The Martini

‘The Martini was invented (by most accounts) by bartender Martini di Arma di Taggia at the Knickerbocker in 1911 for billionaire John D. Rockefeller,’ said Justin.

‘Since then, pop culture has both positioned and celebrated the Martini as a cocktail which signifies opulence and luxury – think James Bond and Gatsby.’ 

The Gold Room, located within the iconic Lotte New York Palace, has just unveiled its new “Art of the Martini” menu

'Pop culture has both positioned and celebrated the martini as a cocktail which signifies opulence and luxury – think James Bond and Gatsby,' said Justin  Lorenz, Wine & Beverage Director of Lotte New York Palace

‘The Martini was invented (by most accounts) by bartender Martini di Arma di Taggia at the Knickerbocker in 1911 for billionaire John D. Rockefeller,’ said Justin Lorenz, Wine & Beverage Director of Lotte New York Palace

'Pop culture has both positioned and celebrated the martini as a cocktail which signifies opulence and luxury – think James Bond and Gatsby'

‘Pop culture has both positioned and celebrated the martini as a cocktail which signifies opulence and luxury – think James Bond and Gatsby’

While a traditional Martini contains gin and dry vermouth, Justin believes that what makes the Martini special is the the way it highlights the spirit itself. 

‘You can do this really with any high quality spirit,’ he said.

A popular variation to the traditional recipe is the Vodka Martini that uses vodka instead of gin for the cocktail’s base.

The Gold Room, located within the iconic Lotte New York Palace, has just unveiled its new “Art of the Martini” menu.

Inspired by the Gilded Age, when nightlife, opulence and luxury hit a new peak, the menu features a collection of eight expertly crafted, unique Martini cocktails created with an assortment of premium liquors, including a $250 gin. 

‘The Art of The Martini represents what I feel are the best available in vodka, gin and tequila,’ said Justin.

The "Art of the Martini" menu is appropriately served inside the two-story Renaissance-style Gold Room bar located within the iconic Lotte New York Palace

The “Art of the Martini” menu is appropriately served inside the two-story Renaissance-style Gold Room bar located within the iconic Lotte New York Palace

While a traditional Martini contains gin and dry vermouth, Justin believes what makes the martini special is the the way it highlights the spirit itself

While a traditional Martini contains gin and dry vermouth, Justin believes what makes the martini special is the the way it highlights the spirit itself

'Our Clase Martini is one of our most popular choices, as it showcases a high quality tequila with a simple balance of Lillet Blanc,' said Justin

‘Our Clase Martini is one of our most popular choices, as it showcases a high quality tequila with a simple balance of Lillet Blanc,’ said Justin

‘Tequila is very popular right now and people are sipping high-end tequila more than ever before. 

‘The consumer is more educated and open to experimenting with spirits they may not otherwise have chosen to drink in its purest form. 

‘Our Clase Martini is one of our most popular choices, as it showcases a high quality tequila with a simple balance of Lillet Blanc.’

Another standout offering on The Gold Bar’s new menu is a $250 Martini made with Nolet’s Reserve gin.

‘This exclusive and refined gin is made in extremely limited quantity using botanicals like saffron and verbena,’ shared Justin.

‘This offering took 4 generations to perfect. Each bottle is numbered and tasted/approved by it’s 10th generation owner. There is no gin produced quite like this one.’

This new menu is the Palace’s homage to a classic New York night out, post pandemic

This new menu is the Palace’s homage to a classic New York night out, post pandemic

Unlike other beverages, the glass a Martini is served in matters. You will never see a Martini prepared in a crystal tumbler or a champagne flute. 

‘The Martini glass allows greater exposure to air which allows the spirit to open up,’ explained Justin. It features a long stem, a wider bowl, and a circular base. 

‘Ideally the glass should be chilled, stored in a blast freezer is best.’

'The Martini glass allows greater exposure to air which allows the spirit to open up,' explained Justin. It features a long stem, a wider bowl, and a circular base

‘The Martini glass allows greater exposure to air which allows the spirit to open up,’ explained Justin. It features a long stem, a wider bowl, and a circular base

Ideally a Martini glass should be chilled

Ideally a Martini glass should be chilled

For the ultimate VIP Martini experience, take a trip to the two-story Renaissance-style Gold Room bar located within the iconic Lotte New York Palace.

‘Like the Martini, The Gold Room has changed very little over time,’ Justin said.

‘The space serves as a backdrop where the drink can be enjoyed, just as it was meant to be. 

‘By selecting these exclusive spirits, we have endeavored to offer an experience that America’s first Billionaire would have approved of, in a space that he would have been at home in.’

To prepare a Martini at home: Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice cubes and stir (not shake!) well, then strain in a chilled Martini cocktail glass

To prepare a Martini at home: Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice cubes and stir (not shake!) well, then strain in a chilled Martini cocktail glass

To make a Martini at home like a pro, Justin reveals his method:

Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice cubes and stir (not shake!) well, then strain in a chilled Martini cocktail glass. 

‘Shaking a Martini waters it down and over-chills the spirit,’ said Justin.

‘However, mainstream culture has taught us to shake rather than stir, which, in actuality, mutes it’s flavor and aromatic profile.’

While a lemon twist or an olive skewer have traditionally been the Martini’s garnish, it doesn’t have to be.

‘As the quality of these spirits has increased over time through innovation and smaller batch production, the need to cut or otherwise balance them has been diminished,’ explained Justin.

Cheers! 

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