Question about the Olive in the Martini...

ritaweeda

Ok - I'm 66 and just discovered gin martinis. I'm a late bloomer, what can I say?? About 25 years ago I tried gin and said "oh yuck!" Same with scotch. I just recently tried gin a gin and tonic and liked it and then I tried a gin martini and surprisingly liked it. So I have always liked olives but my question is - why does the olive taste so much better after it's been soaking in a gin martini? Is it because I'm shnockered already and just imagining it or is there some scientific reason for this??? - Please no preaching, I'm freakin' 66 years old, for crying out loud!!!

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DawnInCal

Well, I have no idea, because I've never had a martini. I keep meaning to order one when I'm out and then I forget. But, I don't care for olives, so when I ever do remember to order a martini, I'll be giving the olive to my hubby.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

Maybe it just tastes better to you since it's been soaking in alcohol......and a mixture of alcohol you apparently like :-)

Although I can do a gin and tonic (prefer vodka), I cannot get myself to drink martinis. But I have the same feeling about olives in my Bloody Marys. Or the celery stick or pickled asparagus or whatever accompanyment there maybe. They just taste really good after sitting in that cocktail for awhile!!

I am quite fond of Bloody Marys - IMO, they are almost divorced from the cocktail category and sliding into the salad category. Darn near health food!

And if you enjoy the occasional martini or two, I say go for it :-)

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sushipup1

Olives in your martini constitute a full serving of vegetables. ;-)

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glenda_al

Enjoy a gibson with pickled cocktail onion. Been years since I had one or a martini. My #1 choice is a bloody mary, even a virgin bloody mary suits me.

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CA Kate z9

Like you, I never liked liquor of any kind... except.... maybe wine. A few years ago, at about age 70, I discovered that I like Vodka Martinis. just shows you’re never too young to learn. ;-). I like olives just about any way they are served, so served in gin just might be another way to eat them.

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foodonastump

Tomolives are really good, too. I’m remembering the great lengths I went through decades ago to find the company and then a distributor who would sell me a case. How did we survive without the internet?


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chisue

I've always been a 'straight up' gal. Beefeater Martinis with olives, Manhattans with Jack.

Whatever you're drinking, please do not leave the garnish IN the drink while you sip. I see people looking ridiculous, trying to avoid decorating themselves with the garnish -- let alone putting an eye out!

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tigereye

Yep, I used to get Hurricanes at Landry's. They closed the restaurant here before we went back, but I was going to tell them to lose the 8 inch fruit cocktail on a stick, LOL.

ONE piece of fruit in the bottom of the glass or on the rim is a garnish. The entire repitore of tropical fruit on a stick is an overkill.

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salonva

I am another who has never had a martini. I do love olives. Now I have to try one. And thank you for telling me to take the olive out when I drink it. I honestly am very clueless when it comes to drinks.

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Lucille

I bet a deep fried drunk olive would be great rodeo food.

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Olychick

I don't care for gin, so don't drink martinis, but recently discovered something new (to me) that I think might be great in some cocktails....smoked green olives, esp Bloody Mary's, probably not martinis. I'm not sure how long they've been around or who decided to try them, but they are terrific. My friends and I speculated that perhaps with all the wildfires in California the last few years that someone decided to taste an olive that had been smoked on the tree and decided, "Hey, we could sell those!"


smoked green olives

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Elmer J Fudd

Your speculation is amusing but I suspect is widely off the mark. I don't think either of the two major fire areas are known for olive production.

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OutsidePlaying

I did t like martinis either until I became ‘of a certain age’. But I love those olives too. The more the better. Or pickled asparagus or whatever else is soaked in one.

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sushipup1

Elmer, perhaps not grown in Sonoma County, but olives are definitely grown in Butte County, site of the Camp Fire.

Here is an article about distribution of olive production, And since the fires have been all over the state, there are lots of groves in the line of the fires and smoke.

https://apps1.cdfa.ca.gov/FertilizerResearch/docs/Olive_Production_CA.pdf

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DawnInCal

They wouldn't necessarily even have to be in a burn area. Wildfire smoke can travel for 100s of miles.

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terilyn

Martini olives are the best! Soaked in dry vermouth, so, no vermouth in your martini, just the olive!


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georgysmom2

66? You're just a kid....but certainly old enough to drink. enjoy!

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Elmer J Fudd

Sushipup, I followed a link in your document. Here's the more specific info

https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov/results/41BF1849-923F-3FC3-B1BB-FC57B8C69C03

It's not much, a few hundred acres, and in the Oroville area, not Paradise. So it's possible but I'll stay with a suspicion that olychick's comment was unlikely speculation of Washingtonians.

Sure dawn, anything is possible. Maybe people smoked salmon or made Smokehouse Almonds from the Paradise Fire smoke too? They do grow almonds in the general area but more down in the valley. I remember from my one visit some years ago to Paradise, there's not much but scrub forest and typical low Sierra foothills brush up there and on the road up. I saw nothing in the way of large orchards.

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glenda_al

There is a restaurant that serves fried black olives as an appetizer. Delicious!

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Elmer J Fudd

Haha, while people in other parts of the country try to avoid or minimize eating fried food for health reasons, in many parts of the country (like the South) people can't get enough of it. Fried anything and as often as possible.

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glenda_al

Of course, Fudd! Always in the know! I live an active life besides the KT

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glenda_al

You do not know all about my area. I've lived here all my life. Your insults are what you most enjoy.l Get a life besides the KT.

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Anglophilia

Just attend the KY State Fair and you'll find enough fried food to kill an Army. Apparently a new one this year is the fried Mac 'n Cheese balls.

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patriciae_gw

Back to Gin, which is interesting stuff as it is distilled with herbs. All the proprietary brands have their own blends. We all know how very healthy herbs are. Presumably it is the olive steeped in herbal goodness that you find so attractive. I am not a fan of the olive and don't particularly care for the Martini but I am a fan of the Gimlet which is gin and lime. I would not say no to Gin and Tonic with a good squeeze of lime especially in the summer. I don't see how a martini made with vodka can be called a martini. It is missing the major flavor notes.

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DawnInCal

Your snark is unbecoming, Elmer.

Of course people don't smoke salmon in the smoke from a wildfire. How dumb do you think we are anyway?

That kind of response is why it's so difficult to have any type of productive conversation or exchange with you.

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ritaweeda

I didn't learn to enjoy alcohol until later than most. I was into pot in the very early years and maybe the occasional bottle of Ripple or Bali Hai - yuck!! The only thing I would drink up until my 40's was an occasional glass of white wine. Then I discovered Tequila and vodka. It was probably 10 years ago that I finally found a beer that I could stand (dark beer). I still hate that awful strong hops after taste that some beer has, especially IPA - ugh. I've never been a fan of whiskey, bourbon or rum since the smell reminds me of my parents who were alcoholics and whiskey was there poison. But I've never enjoyed the feeling of being drunk. I always thought of martinis as "elitist adult drinks" with the sort of people that I don't mix with, i.e. professionals, business people, never in a million years ever thought I'd be enjoying one. Funny how we many times learn to never say never!

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chase_gw

I'm the opposite way around. I love my martinis (vodka) and also love olives. Although I add an olive or two to my martinis I never eat them ! Same with a cocktail onions.....but I do share them!

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

I live about as far away from the South as it is possible to be and still be in same country...........and deep fried olives are an appetizer item at a very popular local, mostly farm to table restaurant. In fact, they are known for them. So that rather silly generality about the South and fried food just doesn't hold water. We also do some pretty amazing fish and chips up here as well....also deep fried.

Back when I had a larger garden, I used to make garlicky pickled green tomatoes with the excess crop that didn't ripen. They were wonderful in a Bloody Mary or with a antipasto or veggie appetizer platter. And were much in demand for Christmas gifting! But my single cherry tomato plant just doesn't produce green tomatoes in any quantity....and most ripen perfectly.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

Olives steeped in gin are the very best part of a martini, IMPO. Back when I drank more, I used to order a gin martini w/ 3-4 green olives - as many as possible, in fact.

I think the juniper flavor complements the olive flavor very well. Vermouth is also a great compliment to olives, so it's a win/win.

Another delicious cocktail I've had with gin was a blackberry smash - and boy did it get me smashed!

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ritaweeda

So some have said it's the gin that makes them taste so good and some say it's the vermouth. I happen to like a mix of extra dry and sweet vermouth (half and half) in my martini - only a total of 1/2 ounce in all - hey I'm a newbie and I like it. So could it be the sweet vermouth that's the answer? I know most gin martini drinkers don't do the sweet vermouth. (It's called a perfect martini.) - Maybe I'll do a test and soak some olives in each one separately and see if it's the same story for each one.

As for fried food, I know plenty of people from the North, West and Midwest who love and eat a lot of fried foods. I love it but eat it rarely because it's not that good for me and it doesn't agree with me anymore. I was raised on it, being raised by poor rural WV's who pretty much fried everything had more to do with it than living in the South IMO. It just might be a cultural thing more than a locality thing. BTW, I am in no way making fun of anyone who eats fried foods. I love it and wish I could eat it more, I just suffer when I do. What's better than fried fish with fried hush puppies and fried green tomatoes? Nothing.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

If it's fried catfish, you've just described a perfect meal, rita!

With fried onion rings for dessert = D

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Elmer J Fudd

"What's better than fried fish with fried hush puppies and fried green tomatoes?"

Haha, I'll show some self control and respond by saying only that I think your's is a regional club that not everyone belongs to.


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tigereye

Fish and chips is a hot dish consisting of fried fish in batter served with chips. The dish originated in England and is an example of culinary fusion of its two main ingredients, each brought by immigrants.[1][2] It is a staple meal and a common take-away food in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and numerous other countries, particularly in English-speaking and Commonwealth nations. Fish and chips first appeared in the UK in the 1860s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_and_chips

Fried foods in Spain
https://spanishsabores.com/2012/01/25/8-fried-foods-you-must-try-in-spain/

Fried foods around the world.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/catiejane/addictive-fried-food-from-around-the-world-g3d9

https://www.foodandwine.com/blogs/12-extra-crispy-fried-foods-around-world

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/the-nosher/8-jewish-fried-foods-from-around-the-world/


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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

Yes but Southern style fried foods usually contain cornmeal, which make them much more toothsome, IMO...

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tigereye

My post was to point out that fried anything is not just the South, even if someone on here thinks it is. Fried food is found all around the world and has been around since before the United States even existed.

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ritaweeda

Yes, of course Carolb, fried catfish!! But I'll take pretty much any kind of fried fish, thank you. Since you are in Florida, come on over sometime. But I'm having chocolate cake for dessert, sorry. And yes I know I'm not a member of everyone's culture club, don't wish to be either. I'm not a well-traveled person but I've been to both New England and to California and if the way they treated this Southern lower-class, not very politically correct visitor is any indication of what kind of clubs they have there, I'm totally happy not trying to join any of them.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

"while people in other parts of the country try to avoid or minimize eating fried food for health reasons"

It is statements like this I find objectionable.........how someone can presume to speak for the rest of the country - just based on their own personal perception - smacks a bit of arrogance. What survey did they conduct to come to this rather dubious conclusion?

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nickel_kg

I don't care for fried sweet foods (other than donuts of course), but chicken ... fish ... hushpuppies ... fries ... yum! Veggies are okay if they are in a light tempura-type batter. We recently 'discovered' tempura fried jalapeno slices -- heavenly if you like spicy food.

As for gin, I used to love Tom Collins-es. As a matter of fact, the last time I overindulged in alcohol of any kind was gin followed by champagne, at a new years eve party. Vivid memories of the next day have kept my drinking in check all these 30-odd years, so I guess some good came out of it!

What's the general price of a gin martini compared to a craft beer -- same, or more expensive?

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jerzeegirl

To get back to olives in martinis, I have a question that kind of meshes with the original question - which is how many olives are too many in a martini? If I drank martinis, I would ask for 5 olives, but would people laugh?

I'm a G&T girl, myself.

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tigereye

"while people in other parts of the country try to avoid or minimize eating fried food for health reasons"

Personally, I find the comment racist.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

I wouldn't :-) I always ask for extra olives with my Bloody Mary. But 5 olives in a martini would not leave much room for the martini itself............

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tigereye

jezeegirl, I think five sounds great. I haven't had a martini, but I do need to try one.

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Elmer J Fudd

I didn't refer to any race and never would have. If you want to think that the prevalence of fried food is the same everywhere as in the South, go ahead.


It's a nice summer day. Everyone get a gin and tonic, or a martini with an olive or several, and enjoy yourselves!


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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

5 seems about right to me - martinis will kick your butt, so a bit less is not a bad thing in my book = J

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Olychick

Well, everything tastes better to me when I'VE been soaked in alcohol!

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Olychick

Tigereye did you misread "while" to read "white" maybe?

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tigereye

No.

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jrb451

I bartended for awhile back in the late 70's. Most of my patrons drinking a Martini wanted it extra dry in which case I just waved the Vermouth bottle over the glass.

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chisue

I hadn't know there was a Perfect Martini made with gin with both dry and sweet vermouth. Sounds ghastly to me. I had heard of a Perfect Manhattan, bourbon or rye with both dry and sweet vermouth. Also sounds awful!

Now I'm thinking of Winston Churchill who supposedly liked martinis made with a good measure of gin over which a bottle of vermouth had been briefly waved.

Everything in moderation, folks. OK, maybe not the olives!


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Elmer J Fudd

"Most of my patrons drinking a Martini wanted it extra dry in which case I just waved the Vermouth bottle over the glass."

Another silly approach described to use for an extra dry martini is for the bartender to lift up the glass, put his/her lips near it, and whisper the word "vermouth".

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ritaweeda

BTW I did try a vodka martini and didn't care for it as much as the gin now that I think about it and I can't remember really digging the olive. I put 3 olives on a toothpick and I leave it in as I drink it. So maybe that proves that it's the gin that makes the olives so great?

OK now that we've beaten gin and olives to death, as I mentioned in the original post, I also thought Scotch was horrible when I tasted it years ago. Haven't tested to see if my taste has changed for it but I'm wondering if there is a best way to drink it? I know a couple of years ago I saw a couple of real snooty guys on PBS discuss the "proper and only way" to drink excellent Scotch but I doubt I'd know what an excellent Scotch was if I even had any. They were saying that you have to use just the right glass with just the right amount of plain water and it has to be really good water, etc. etc. In your opinion is that all true? And then since it's whiskey and it's got that smell, I might not be able to drink it any way it's offered. Maybe I should just stick to gin, vodka and tequila and stay happy.

And finally I have no idea what the price comparison is between a martini and a craft beer since I've only had the ones I've made myself.

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foodonastump

For me, swirl some dry vermouth in the glass then dump it, what’s left is about the right amount.

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foodonastump

Rita - re scotch I’ve seen that, too, but I was never a fan of watering it down. I can *maybe* understand it if it’s cask strength, but even then it wouldn’t be my choice. Good scotch is expensive; save your money if you don’t like it and leave it for those who do. ;)

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patriciae_gw

Depending on your Gin Vermouth could be totally unnecessary. Gin Gimlets(the vodka people have made inroads there as well) is traditionally made with Roses lime juice which is a sweetened concoction that these days is too sweet and funky tasting but the concept is still there.

Frying (I read a lot of books on historical cooking) is a no brainer in areas where you have lots of hogs(free feeding) producing lots of lard and you want to cook things quickly with out the long heat of roasting or ovens. Frying was always popular to the point of servants having fits when cooks sold the extra fat instead of frying food with it. To be able to eat all the fried food you wanted would be alluring to a certain class of people. but I think mostly it was fast and the quick heat would sterilize your food. Back when people needed the calories.

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patriciae_gw

I am not a fan of Scotch. It has a tarry taste that makes me thing of creosote. I have had very very good Scotch and I still don't like it. Bourbon on the other hand is very nice.

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ritaweeda

I have a friend in her 80's who was an adult in the age of the 3-martini lunch. Her husband was a professional and they were the epitome of the 50's and 60's cocktail lounge crowd. She has a martini every night to this day. She told me to try a "Smoky Martini" which she says is a martini with a slight amount of scotch in it, like, swish a small amount in the glass before adding the gin. Maybe I'll try it but I'll have to search that online unless any of you nice folks already know how to make it. Sounds deadly to me but it probably doesn't phase her.

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DawnInCal

As far as your comment:

"That kind of response is why it's so difficult to have any type of productive conversation or exchange with you."

The problem is as demonstrated in this thread, some people here who
ALWAYS will insult any person whose comment they disagree with. You're
guilty of having done that too on many occasions. Converse politely and
you'll find others will do the same.

No, Elmer, you're mistaken. I don't insult anyone here for any reason including being in disagreement with them. That's not my style. What I do do is to call you out when you are rude and insulting, especially when you target me for one of your little zingers.

I found this comment you made to me last night rude and uncalled for:Sure dawn, anything is possible. Maybe people smoked salmon or made Smokehouse Almonds from the Paradise Fire smoke too?

I didn't do or say anything to deserve that insult. All I did was point out that wildfire smoke can travel 100s of miles. How that can be construed as meaning that olives, fish or almonds can be smoked in wildfire smoke is beyond me. Maybe you thought you were being funny, but I don't find humor at the expense of others to be at all funny or amusing.

When I'm having difficulty with someone, I always stop and ask myself "is it me or is it them?" In this case, since you are regularly involved in skirmishes with forum members I have to surmise it's you.

Having said that, I'm done here. I've said before that I don't like to find myself involved in these distasteful arguments and I try to avoid them usually by ignoring your snide remarks. Sometimes, I find it difficult to let them go by and I stand up for myself. But, because you always have to have the last word, this won't end unless I step out, so I am stepping out.



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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

My mom and paternal grandpa bonded over their mutual love of scotch. I recall my grandpa drinking 'tiger's milk' which was scotch & milk in a highball glass [[[shudder]]].

I will never drink it again, since getting horribly sick after sneaking far too much from the liquor cabinet as a kid.

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jrb451

Our host at a single malt tasting up in CBI called the water to be mixed in, should one choose, “Tears of the Sober”.

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jerzeegirl

My friend made a G&T for me a few months ago but she used craft gin that she acquired in Kentucky which was 106% proof. I only had one drink. When I got home that evening, I actually passed out in bed and had a hangover the next day. It truly laid me low. I cannot believe how strong that drink was.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

Geez - 106 proof is almost in Everclear territory...

Haha - today I was at the liquor store to get some bourbon and grabbed a bottle of what I thought I wanted, but as I walked away I saw it was 100 proof - nope!

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Elmer J Fudd

I like Bombay Sapphire for gin and tonic and it's 94 proof, so 106 isn't that much different. A drink made with just a bit more Bombay than the one from Kentucky could easily have more alcohol in the glass.

I suspect what hit you was that the drink was made strong - with a greater proportion of gin and less tonic than you normally prefer or have. Or you drank it faster than normal or hadn't recently eaten.

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lindac92

Martini fan here.....and loved the soaked olives....mostly. But sometimes at a bar you can get a "mushy" olive.....and that is awful!! I learned to like martinis from snitching the olive out of my parent's drink!....and I like it very very dry...just a whisper of vermouth....and the kind of vermouth matters a lot. I have bought vermouth soaked olives, but the vermouth they were soaked in was terrible!
Ever had a blue cheese stuffed olive in your martini?
A perfect martini is one made with half vodka and half gin, and a perfect Mahnatten is the one with the two kinds of vermouth.
AND I personally know of an olive grove in Napa county, high on the hill just over the ridge from the Sonoma county line.

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artemis_ma

I wish I liked gin... but it's been at least 30 years since I last tried it. Maybe it would be like Brussels sprouts... used to hate them, but love them (roasted) now.

I guess I'll have to order a martini next time I'm out on the town. I already like vermouth... and olives.

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chisue

DH 'came with' a 1930's book of cocktail recipes that had been his father's. It's amazing the elaborate lengths people will go to to disguise the fact that they just want the effects of alcohol. (The person I remembered 'challenging' a bartender to make her a Perfect Manhattan was an alcoholic, although I didn't know it at the time.)

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sleeperblues

When we were in Croatia I got sick of drinking aperol spritzes and found a similar cocktail called a hugo. It is made with gin, and I loved it. I have been making it for everyone since we got home, it's a perfect summer drink. I put 1 shot of gin in a tall glass, some elderberry syrup or liqueur depending how sweet you like it, prosecco and top off with a splash of soda water. Make this in a tall glass. Garnish with mint and lime, and the garnishes are very important as they really make this a summer drink. Also fill the tall glass with ice before you add any alcohol. Goes down really nice on a hot summer day.

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bob_cville

I was at party in college where the beer that I had brought had run out so I unwisely switched to a bottle of (cheap) gin that someone had brought and had way too much. To this day I cannot abide even the smell of gin without experiencing a small measure of the sick feeling and hangover from that time long, long ago.

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2ManyDiversions

ritaweeda, one is never too 'young at heart' to try something new, and how great is it when it's something you find you enjoy?! I chuckled when I read your question because it is too true, the olives do taste better! After some thought, I think it's the combination of alcohols, or just one (since some like a dry martini) that does it. You know how eating an olive straight from the jar (well, I know, anyway!) makes you kind of pucker? Eating one that's gin and vermouth soaked doesn't. At least not for me. So perhaps that's it : )

The Perfect Martini is like any "Perfect" drink, it's how the individual prefers it : ) I used to love wet, dirty martinis (only a bit more gin than dry vermouth, olive juice, and olives of course). Now I'm preferring them quite a bit dryer, but never so dry as to not put any dry vermouth in. Besides, that's a lot of sodium to take in, even in a mini drink like I usually make!

Elmer, that's what I use to make my martinis, Bombay Sapphire. I've tried a Sapphire martini (made with blue curacao and an orange twist). Didn't do anything for me. It's the olive that has my heart : ) I prefer 3 olives in a normal sized martini, 2 in my mini's.

My Manhattan's aren't really Manhattan's, nor are they Old Fashions, but a mix of both.

I've only known 2 alcoholic's which was 2 too many. They never tried to hide their drinking and always drank their personal favorite drink... which by the afternoon became straight alcohol.


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Lars

Cheap gin is bad, but Bombay gin is very good. I don't drink martinis, but I do like gin and tonic, and I've been meaning to start making my own tonic water. The cheapest gin I will drink is Seagrams, but I won't make a martini with it. I think James Bond always drank vodka martinis.

I prefer Bloody Caesar to Bloody Mary, although I like both, and in Canada, I had Bloody Caesars with a celery stick in them, but I generally do not bother with that.

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maifleur01

While I like Bombay for some drinks or even straight over ice I find that there are so many different herbal mixtures that only using one for everything is not something I do. I take spurts of what I want to drink and currently only have a 6 months old bottle of Gilberts that I purchased to marinade a chicken.

It may be simply forgetfulness but I remember all hard liquor being between 90 and 110 proof which translates to 45% to 55% alcohol back when I was trying as many different types to find something that I liked the flavor of. I was never really a mixed drink person other than a real whiskey sour, with egg white, or a gin and tonic with enough lime juice it was cloudy.

Smoked olives have been around for a long time in other countries.

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glenda_al

How about a dirty martini? Made with olive juice. Former kt'er enjoyed these.

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Elmer J Fudd

The liquid in an olive jar is salty brine, not olive juice.

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glenda_al


Dirty martini

  • 2 1/2 ounces gin (or vodka)
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1/4 to 1/2 ounce olive juice (to taste)
  • Garnish: 1 or 3 olives
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lindac92

It's the juice in a jar of olives....what do you call it? What do you call the juice around a jar of pickles? Pickle juice!...what do you call the juice in a tray of just sliced roast beef....beef juice!!

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Olychick

Liquid in a can of tomatoes = tomato juice. Liquid in a can of clams = clam juice.

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Lucille

As someone who does canning in jars, one indeed ends up with juice of whatever is in the jar, after the canning process is done.

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sushipup1

All brine is juice. Not all juice is brine.

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Suzieque

>> "while people in other parts of the country try to avoid or minimize eating fried food for health reasons"

>> Personally, I find the comment racist.

What?!?!? How in the world is that racist? People of all colors and heritages live all over the US. I think YOUR assumption is more racist.

SMH.

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tigereye

Suzieque, other parts of the country This is the part that is racist. He is talking about the South. Elmer has consistently knocked the South. He knows everything about everyone who lives here, even though he does not.

If you will scroll back up, you will find his comment. If you check other posts, you will find the same comments about people in the South.

Elmer J Fudd

Haha, while people in other parts of the country try to avoid or minimize eating fried food for health reasons, in many parts of the country (like the South) people can't get enough of it. Fried anything and as often as possible.

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Olychick

The south is NOT a race. The comment cannot be and is not racist.

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tigereye

It is to me.

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Olychick

The south is a race to you? That's an amazing view.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

Maybe racism isn't the best term, as it does apply specifically to race and not a region or a regional culture. But I do understand using this term to imply some sort of bias......and maybe bias or a regional prejudice is a more apt usage in this case.

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nickel_kg

To me, the USA is big country, north south east west and in between. Regional differences and the resulting observed preferences are a beautiful thing. But using judge-y words to rank the regions or (attempt to) explain those differences, well, that can become tiresome. I did find this article on frying food that may be of interest since the subject came up: southernkitchen/fried-food-isnt-actually-bad . As always, take with a grain of salt ;-)


To return to alcohol, one of the reasons I've avoided hard liquors is the big wallop they pack in a small volume. Sipping on a pint of beer, it can easily last an hour, nice and slow. Sipping a martini, I'm afraid that little glass would last ten minutes and my head would spin from the sudden influx! Even when I'm scanning the beer list, I look at the ABV (Acohol By Volume) and give preference for the lower numbers, generally 4.5 to 6.5%. Those occasions when I do drink an 8 or 10 or 12% beer, man, I can feel it!

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ritaweeda

I'm going to have to TRY to think of something to post about that doesn't cause all this drama, maybe I'll do a post about how much I LOVE the beautiful butterflies in my garden, do you think that would turn into a heated slug-fest, too? People - Breath - this is about freakin' olives for cryin' out loud!!! I wish I'd only posted this on the Cooking forum now, it seems no matter the subject Kitchen Table winds up like this.

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Lucille

Ritaweeda I loved this thread and your olive talk. And everyone's olive talk. And the idea of deep fried drunk olives.

heated slug-fest

I do think we are less slug prone than HT. Isn't the cure for slugs to pour a saucer of beer and leave it in the garden?

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Olychick

I thought this thread was interesting, too, and learned about some things besides martinis and olives, including other's views about stuff. Didn't seem like too much of a slugfest, really, esp if you ever look at hot topics. Now THAT is a slug-fest!

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

I've enjoyed this thread as well, rita, and just ignore the bickerers.

The bourbon I did buy is around 80 proof. That's what find is more common - not 95 or 100. That's just too strong for me anyway. I rarely drink alcohol nowadays and am definitely not as tolerant of it as I used to be.

I just checked and my bottle of Bombay gin is 86 proof.

And when I drink bourbon, I have it on the rocks and let the ice melt and dilute it, so sipping it takes a long time. I think it's much yummier that way too.


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maifleur01

Notice I stated back when I was drinking regularly and belonged to several social clubs that had after parties what I purchased was 95-100. Today it is hard to find anything that is that proof. I miss the bourbon that I used to purchase that was 101.

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bbstx

I’m going to have to read this whole thread later. I just wanted to add that I’m a G&T lover who has found a new, at least to me, tonic. I’m totally hooked on FeverTree Elderflower tonic. It has a slight grapefruit flavor. I do not use a lime with it because of that.


I’m also a martini lover. I think I’ll try the Smoky Martini tonight! I like blue cheese stuffed olives in my martinis. Wonder how that will go with a Smoky Martini.


Maifleur, Wild Turkey still makes a 101.

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maifleur01

Yes, Wild Turkey does make a 101 which is what I used to purchase. However about 12 years ago it was "improved". Like many of the current things that are sold as bourbon it is more "spicy" which as a long term over 50 year bourbon drinker translates to harsh. Currently working my way through a TJ's bottle that is similar in flavor and lacks the burn your throat feel that many of the current bourbons have. When I drink a brown liquor I want something that is smooth with a nice aroma rather than a quick lift.

A gin I would like to try is the Ink Gin from Australia or that type. It has Clitoria ternatea flowers in it. When mixed with tonic water it turns various shades of lavender to purple. I have been told by some plant friends that you can not taste the flower but it is a lovely shading of coloration. Perhaps someone on here has had it and can comment.

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bbstx

I’ll have to say, the Smoky Martini is not bad, not bad at all. I’ll have this again!

maifleur, I did not drink bourbon until a couple of years ago. My totally adorable DSIL got me started on it. Up until then, my brown liquor had always been Scotch.

I do not care for the herbal gins. I have Hendricks in the liquor cabinet for guests. I have Bombay (not Bombay Sapphire) for me. I prefer a gin with a lower proof.

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2ManyDiversions

bbstx, care to share your Smoky Martini recipe, pretty please? : D

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bbstx

Oh, 2Many, I don’t know. It was a really difficult recipe. :-)

Pour very small amount of scotch in a glass, swirl it all around making sure to cover the entire interior of the glass, pour it out, add ice cubes and gin. Sip slowly.

FWIW, I used a stemless wine glass for no reason other than I like the way it fits my hand. I used Famous Grouse scotch and Bombay gin.

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2ManyDiversions

Thanks bbstx... I'll try to muddle through it somehow, although to make it easier to follow you at least could have used bullets and numbers ;-) The swirling part might trip me up.

Well, guess we need to pick up some scotch. Do you think Bourbon would work? Ah, you know, when I read "swirl", my mind immediately went to the stemless wine glasses I bought several weeks ago... love those things! They do nestle nicely, and no stem to worry about hitting on the counter after you've drunk 4 or 5 bottles of Boone's Farm. Ha! Easy to swirl without spilling before you're ready to pour the scotch out. Loved the instruction "Sip slowly"! The only straight liquor I ever slug is 'true' moonshine. And I'll let you wonder if this petite lady is telling the truth on that one or not.

I've got Bombay, but it's the Sapphire, which I think will have the wrong flavor, but somewhere in the depths of the cooler I've got another bottle of gin, some brand or another.

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bbstx

While I'm not so sure about subbing bourbon for the scotch, I think Sapphire will work just fine. I need to do a side-by-side taste test of Bombay vs Bombay Sapphire. I stopped buying the Sapphire because it is higher proof. I like the taste of booze more than the effect.

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2ManyDiversions

Agreed on the taste vs. effect. I tend to make very small hard liquor drinks, when I make them, for that reason. We do need to make a 'liquor run' soon as we've not been in over a year. I think I'll try a wee bit of bourbon swirled, first, although I think the barley in scotch might make a difference (had to Google the difference). I've never tried scotch, truthfully and will look for Famous Grouse. I honestly wasn't aware there was a Bombay gin that wasn't Sapphire. Will get that next time as well. I appreciate your comments, they've been helpful : )

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ritaweeda

Since I'm a newbie with the gin I wouldn't know whether one brand would work better than another with the Scotch. I was at first buying Gordon's and I still have some left but DH discovered that he likes G&T so he picked up a bottle of the Bombay Sapphire. You mentioned stemless wine glasses, is this something new? I guess I'm behind times on all this. I mean I'm the one that will use a Margarita glass for a Martini because I don't have Martini glasses - does it matter? Is there even a difference? If it wasn't for the fact that I at least knew that the Martini is in a stemmed glass to prevent the hands from warming it I would be drinking it out of a rock glass or a highboy.

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maifleur01

For some things the size and shape of the glass are important for bringing out the smell and taste but for the average drinker it makes little difference. Stemless glasses have been around for a fairly long time. The started out being used on ships and trains where the motion could cause a major problem. Entered the mainstream about the early 80s or at least that was when I saw my first.

Edited to add that G&Ts can often be found at bars in both low ball/Old Fashion glasses and high ball/tumbler. The high ball ones can range from perhaps 2 inches across to regular tumble size. Drink glasses over the years have changed in both shape and size.

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2ManyDiversions

Rita, we've been in the midst of a remodel for over a year now, and all my wine has been in a plastic cup, along with my martinis. I'd recommend glass over plastic, but as maifleur01 said, for an average drinker, it matters little. Wine wants to breathe, especially reds, thus the shape of a wine glass. Some like to hold the stems to their white's don't get warm from the hand. I just pour tiny amounts, refill as needed, and drink primarily reds anyway. Martinis are fine in any shape glass, but the colder the better. Try keeping your gin and vermouth in the fridge. I actually have an OXO SteeL Press & Pour Insulated Cocktail Shakerthat I mix my personal little martini in, (good heavens I did not pay that much!!). I put ice in it and shake hard as I can, pouring a tiny bit here and there after each shake. Tiny, quickly melting ice shards chill it even more, and make it quite nice. There is the theory that shaking gin bruises it. Mine has never once complained.

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sushipup1

and there are those of us who prefer our Martinis and Manhattans "on the rocks".

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marylmi

I had bought some gin about a year ago to try a gin & tonic but yikes, when I took a sip it was horrible. It is Seagrams Extra Dry. I just got it out to try again and.....no, still bad! Ha. I have a friend that likes them so thought I would try one. Maybe invest in a better gin? Maybe an olive in it would help? :). Or maybe I just don't know how to make it !!

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lindac92

Seagrams is nasty....try Bombay....not Sapphire...
And maybe your tonic was nasty.....try good gin and Perrier with a squeeze of lime....not seltzer...but sparkling mineral water...San Pelligrino is also good.


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Elmer J Fudd

mary, rather than buying more ingredients you may not like, go to a better bar in your area and order a gin and tonic. See if you like it. If yes, ask how they made it and what gin and what tonic they used.

A friendly bartender might mix up a small taste for you for nothing - tell them that you'll order a full one if you like it or something else if you don't.

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maifleur01

Elmer's suggestion goes for lots of alcohol. When I used to travel when I saw a bottle on the back bar that I did not recognize I would ask about it. If the bar was not busy I learned a lot about which brands were good in which drink and which ones were just for simple enjoyment. Watch however while you are learning for staff that wants to start you with what is considered "top shelf" drinks. The reason they are called top shelf was historically the more expensive stuff was kept on the top shelf so the bartender had to make an effort to use it. Top shelf can translate to very expensive although I have seen cheap brands sold as "top shelf". They can be very good but not something to start with.

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marylmi

Lindac92 and Elmer, thank you for the suggestions. I'll try them and I like the idea of having them make a small one! It doesn't hurt to ask anyway! :)

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marylmi

Maifleur01, that is interesting! I do tend to buy the cheaper brands!

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maifleur01

If you have a liquor store that has been there for a long time you might want to wander through it to see the prices. Expensive does not always translate to better tasting. Please try not to be shocked at the prices for some of the things. Brands come and go in popularity, One of the ones that I laugh about is a brand called Four Roses which is a whisky. A rye I think. It used to be when I was a child the favorite of alcoholics because it was so cheap. Now it has gained favor and is much more expensive.

My taste buds change seemingly with the seasons so what I like to drink in the winter in spring is much too harsh. You may be going through a similar phase but do experiment just not too frequently or too much.

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lindac92

4 roses is straight Kentucky bourbon...I don't ever remember it being cheap.
Everyone's taste is different....many single malt scotches that others love I find shudder worthy. Some like a piney gin...I prefer one that is not.

One time at our country club there were several gin martini drinkers agruing over what was best....Beef Eaters Tanq, or Bombay. the bartender ( actually the manager) poured 3 short shots....and we compared...Bombay is the smoothest....believe it!!...unless you like more juniper flavor.

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maifleur01

It was in the 1950s when it was cheap. It and Old Crow were just about the cheapest. The wine of choice for alcoholics is also now considered a premium wine. I still like Old Crow in a hot toddy but have not purchased it in years.

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Elmer J Fudd

"The wine of choice for alcoholics is also now considered a premium wine. "

Really? Which one is that?

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CA Kate z9

Elmer: 2-buck Chuck from TJs. I wouldn't consider it Premium anything, but there seems to be many who like it..... by the case.

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maifleur01

Muscatel. Our neighbor hired summer help from a shelter most of whom where alcoholics and that along with 4 Roses, Old Crow, and Everclear were the majority of what they were drinking. While Muscatel may not be a premium wine in some parts of the country in this area it is often priced higher than the rest of the wine on the drink menu.

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Elmer J Fudd

Muscatel is not table wine but rather fortified wine. It's fermented grape juice (which is what wine is) to which distilled spirits are added to increase the alcohol content and (for the high volume stuff) mask the flavor of the "wine" made from crappy grapes. In this case, the muscat grape.

There are delicious fortified wines of other types, like sherry, port, the various varieties of "brandy" (like cognac or armagnac) as examples. Even some decent muscat varieties from Italy. Fortified wines are meant to be sipped in small quantities, as an aperitif before a meal and others before and after.

Muscatel and its ilk are high volume skid row products. It's cheap and people drink it simply for its alcohol, as you say.


Two Buck Chuck? A double rhyme with "yuck". There are some almost drinkable cheap Central Valley wines made but I don't consider Two Buck Chuck to be one of them.

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bbstx

Four Roses was a cheap bourbon back in the day. Sale of Four Roses in the US was discontinued in the late 50s or early 60s. It was brought back in the early 2000s when it was purchased by a Japanese company. They now have a small batch product and a single barrel product that are considered premium bourbons, at least that is what my bourbon aficionado friends tell me.

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maifleur01

Here and when I have traveled in March to Philadelphia it was served in a regular wine glass in the same amount as regular wine. Knowing what it is I was surprised to see it listed in the regular wines and not in the dessert ones and even more surprised to see it in such vast quantities. I did watch the table which was next to mine to see what was delivered expecting a small aperitif or dessert glass size. Most of the by the glass wines topped out at $15 but this was $19.

Edited to add I used to collect cordial or after dinner glasses so I knew what size of serving was normal for that wine. I have wondered if growers were simply using the muscat grape to make an unfortified wine.

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plllog

People like Two Buck Chuck because it's reliably palatable and cheap as sodapop. It's a blend with elements bought from various growers and adjusted to go down easily. Each batch is different. It makes great turkey baste. I use it for cooking that won't be reduced. Reductions require wines which will taste good concentrated. Dumping bottles of $2C over roasts, however, is economical and usually the flavor holds better than cheap, anonymous wines. Plus, if your guests are guzzlers looking for a grapey buzz rather than appreciators of fine wines, it's a handy alternative.

I'm not an olive lover, nor a gin drinker, and I missed it if this has already been covered: Does the olive add to the taste of the martini? Like a subtle version of the brine added to "dirty"? I tried to find out reading elsewhere and just found a legend that it was started by a Middle Eastern bartender in Paris.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

Apologies for the topic swerve, but re: price not always being a good indicator of tastiness or quality - the bourbon I like most is Old Grandad, a pretty old brand that is much less expensive than the 'special' or more well known like Wild Turkey, Jack Daniels, etc.. I think it's delicious!

I was a bit overwhelmed by how many fancy bourbons there were on the shelf at the store. Lots of flavored ones now too, which do not appeal to me at all.

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ritaweeda

OK, BBSTX, I followed what you did to make the Smoky Martini. I'm not going to say I LOVED it but it's very interesting. So - I might have it again. I did have some scotch not because we drink it but because I wanted to have it in case anyone came in and wanted it. So tell me, the kind I have is Dewars - is that a suitable brand? Anyway, I'm pretty much feeling the buzz but it's not as bad as I thought it might be.

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plllog

LOL! Ringing endorsement, that. :)

Ritaweeda, we have scotch for the same reason. I was going to buy a small bottle of scotch for company and asked my father what I should get. He handed me a ...2 litre?... bottle which was about a quarter to a third full from his liquor cabinet. So, I have this humongous bottle taking up way too much space in my cupboard, but when scotch drinkers roll around, no matter their particular proclivities and tastes, I can provide Johnnie Walker Black, which even the most jaded whiskey snobs are willing to drink and be pleased by. I can't tell you a thing about any other scotch, but no one turns their nose up at that one.

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maifleur01

I have one of those large bottles of scotch on the one shelf the restoration people left along with an assortment of other stuff mostly wines that I know are way past their prime. I think it was purchased in 2002 for my husband's 60th birthday. It is I think Cutty Shark which was what one of the guests drank. I think it may be 3/4 full. I have been told it should be drinkable which is why the crew left it. It was not a brand that I liked because I thought it was too harsh. Think it may have mellowed by now????

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bbstx

I’ve certainly drunk my share of Dewars. I think it is often the “well” scotch at many bars. I keep Famous Grouse and Dalwhinney in my liquor cabinet. Famous Grouse is about the same price as Dewars. We buy it because the hero in some book my husband was reading drank it. Dalwhinney is a single malt scotch. Last year for Christmas, I bought my BIL a bottle of Balvenie Caribbean Cask Single Malt Scotch. It is very interesting. It is aged in oak barrels for 14 years, then the aging is finished in rum casks. YUM!


ritaweeda, you and I probably fall in the same place on the Smoky Martini. I thought it was interesting and it is certainly something to keep in mind when you are out of vermouth but want a martini.

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OutsidePlaying

Bbstx, I read those novels too and the author’s name escapes me at the moment. I still have never tried Famous Grouse but I do like some good single malt scotch now and then. One of my favorites is Glenmorangie.

Dh likes bourbon and at one time was a Wild Turkey fan until he discovered Blantons, EH Taylor, and some of the higher priced bourbons. We took a few days to visit distilleries on the Bourbon Trail this spring and I discovered several others I liked quite a lot. And I’m not really a bourbon fan, but wow! Mostly longer aged versions of the typical Maker’s Mark and Woodford Reserve besides the others I just mentioned.

Another good Gin I like in G&T’s is Hendricks.

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jerzeegirl

My favorite gin is New Amsterdam. It tastes like flowers.

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bbstx

OutsidePlaying, is the protagonist Dirk Pitt, from the mind of Clive Cussler? I tried googling to see what he drank but I never found out. I like some single malt scotches and some I cannot stand. I tried Laphroaig once. Blehhhh! From the Laphroaig website: Laphroaig – pronounced La-froyg – is one of the most divisive Scotch whiskies, loved by those who enjoy its medicinal, smoky flavour and looked on in amazement by those who don't. I’ll say!

I am so jealous! I want to do the Bourbon Trail! I like Blantons, Jefferson, and Woodford Reserve. I have those in the house, but tucked away. I only share them with DSIL. After all, he’ll be picking out my nursing home!

I do not care for Hendrick’s, although there is a bottle of it in my liquor cabinet.

jerseegirl, I‘ve never tried New Amsterdam, but I‘ve seen it recommended for stocking your home bar.

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OutsidePlaying

No, it wasn’t Dirk Pitt I was recalling. It was a another war hero. The series was centered around a kid who became a military hero and moved through the ranks fairly quickly. There was a general who drank Famous Grouse. The story centered around Ft Rucker AL in some chapters and the development of military helicopters and their eventual use in the Army, we passed all the paperbacks around at work a long time ago. As I am thinking, they were titled, The Lieutenants, The Captains, The Majors, and on through the ranks. Then the author started writing another series. I’ll look and see if I can find one of those.

edited to add: W.E.B. Griffin is the author. After I remembered the titles, I looked it up. He was a former military man and it showed in his writing. The series was called Brotherhood of War. He wrote several other series as well, most of which I read.

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bbstx

OP, DH is a *big* W.E.B. Griffin fan, so that must be where it came from! Glad you were able to figure it out.

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ritaweeda

OK - I know this thread has been milked to death but I have to one more thing. I just had a martini and asked DH to taste an olive that had been soaking in it for about 20 minutes. I asked him if it tasted wonderful or could he tell anything different. He said he didn't taste anything different at all - so I'm afraid that maybe it's the buzz that's doing it. Bummer. BTW he refuses to drink martinis- maybe a smart move.

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maifleur01

ritaw it may be what you are tasting if you are using an pitted olive is the combination of juices that are from the inside of the olive. The olive itself may not be any different but those juices are. Just ignore him and consider your self as having different tastebuds.

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bbstx

ritaweeda, Oh, you’ve done it now. I’m going to go soak an olive in some gin. I don’t feel like having a martini, but I am curious about the taste of the olives.

Several years ago, I bought some olives stuffed with lemon peel. They were great for martinis!

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ritaweeda

By all means let us know what you decide. I have a feeling it's the buzz that's doing it.

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chase_gw

Now you gone and done it........just made myself an extra dry vodka martini, on the rocks, with three olives...I won't eat. Thankfully it just turned five and I won't feel like too much of a lush!!!

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ritaweeda

But I want you to eat the olives - I'm trying to figure out why the olive is so sublime. Please eat them. And report back.

Also, I made this last martini extra dry without the sweet vermouth, I like it. Give me a break - I'm a martini newbie here. I still think it's the buzz. Just like way back when and I was smoking pot and certain food was just so awesome.

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marylmi

I went out with friends this weekend and I tried a gin & tonic. I was surprised ( sort of) that it tasted much better than the one I had at home with my cheap gin! I asked what brand of gin and they said Tanqueray. I don't know what the price is but I'll check it out. Next I'll try a gin martini! :)

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Elmer J Fudd

The flavor variables are the gin (life is too short to drink cheap anything, whether spirits, beer or wine), the tonic (I prefer Schweppes for its reliable mid-range flavor but there are others), what citrus and how much is put in (lemon, lime, both, neither) and the proportions.

Tanqueray is very good. I used to prefer it before switching to Bombay Sapphire. I still like it, also a good mid-level choice. .

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foodonastump

Definitely “no” to cheap gin, unlike vodka whose subtleties can get lost in a mixed drink, gin stands out. My preference for everyday was Beefeater. Less Christmas Tree than many others. But if it’s not for you and your preference, Tanqueray is what I’d keep in stock. Hendricks was nice on occasion, but too pricey to waste on someone who‘s going to mix it with tonic.

Scotch, if you want a single malt available for a hypothetical guest, I’d go with Glenlivet. Good price point. A snob won’t love it but they’ll be happy you have something better than a mediocre blended.

Haven‘t had a drink in about 4.5 years I think, self-imposed extended Lent-wagon, don‘t think about it much but admit this thread has me waking up jonesing for a dry gibson for breakfast. Maybe when I’m 66!

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patriciae_gw

Every good Gin has its own flavor profile. Good gin is going to be more expensive. I enjoy craft gins. I once got to try a brand new offering form It's five O'clock somewhere A distillery here in Washington. It was sort of illegal because it hadn't been fully OK'd by the state yet but I was persuasive as a Gin aficionado. It was almost liqueur like it had so much flavor. Sipping Gin. It's good in a mixed drink too. You can buy it in the stores here now. Good stuff but expensive. I suspect that if I soaked an olive in that even I would like olives.

Oh to answer the buzz question, eat the olive first. If its sublime its the gin.

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bbstx

I loved listening to this podcast about vodka. Here is the teaser: A bottle of fancy vodka, like Grey Goose, costs about $35. A bottle of the cheap stuff can be under $10. That's a wide range, but, by definition, vodka is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. So, could there really be a difference between vodkas? Or is the difference all in the marketing?https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2018/02/23/588346329/episode-826-the-vodka-proof


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foodonastump

“By definition, vodka is colorless, odorless, and tasteless”

I’d question that definition. Maybe that’s what they strive for but I’ve never tasted a tasteless vodka. That said, I agree about marketing. Take absolut for example, for me it’s about the worst of the worst but darned if college kids wouldn’t scream for it back in the day. Great marketing. I find some “higher end” vodkas as bad as some cheap ones. Svedka (cheap) was about the only one I could enjoy straight from the bottle. :)

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maifleur01

I remember being snowbound at a neighbors for a couple of days who were vodka alcoholics. I still remember the smell of the vodka. There is also a flavor to it. I am writing about the plain not the flavored vodkas that are now found.

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plllog

Odorless cheap vodka is used to freshen ballet costumes between shows (they do get properly cleaned but need more help than a practical cleaning schedule can do). Spray on the stinky bits and let evaporate.

Cheap gin is known (at least in the past) as "blue ruin".



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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

Isn't that "taste" vodka has the alcohol?

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foodonastump

Google “why do vodkas taste different” and take your pick. This seemed like a reasonable article:

https://www.thespruceeats.com/vodka-101-760707



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bbstx

When my nephew was in college, he used his Brita pitcher to filter cheap vodka instead of water like his momma bought it for. I think his plan was to run the vodka through the filter 3 times before drinking it. I don’t believe he noticed a difference, but I doubt that he was tasting for smoothness!

FOAS, what is The Spruce Eats? I’ve found myself going there on more than one occasion for recipes and information. It is new to me, but seems to be reliable.

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foodonastump

Good question, bbstx. I found myself going to the “about” section of their site shortly after I posted. Didn’t read long enough to get the answer but I was wondering for the same reason as you were: comes up in a lot of searches, seems reliable, no idea who they are.

LOL about the Brita!

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

The Spruce is a reincarnation of About.com. Been around for a long time as a generalized digital pubication. Somewhat similar to Houzz/GW but contracts with "experts" to write the articles rather than offering discussions or soliciting contributions from readers.

Just how "expert" the experts may be is up for some discussion. Much of the gardening stuff is bunk!

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ritaweeda

I've run across that site often, too and never took the time to investigate it. Another one I've run into often is Alibaba which looks like a gigantic import site. But getting back to martinis, I had never thought that vodka had any taste except for raw alcohol myself even though it was my most frequent liquor source other than tequila. However I was gifted with a bottle of Grey Goose a few years ago and although I don't see any taste difference I do think it's a smoother vodka. I don't seem to have a lot of discrimination in the taste-bud category when it comes to alcohol, though. Except that at least now I can't stand real sweet wine or beer with a strong hops after-taste.

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bbstx

Thanks, gardengal48, for that info. Mostly, I’ve found fairly good recipes on The Spruce Eats. And looking at it just now, I found a recipe for a drink that a lounge here makes that I love! Vodka, St. Germain, grapefruit juice. They call it Pretty in Pink. The lounge here calls it Barbie. I call it that vodka drink with St. Germain and grapefruit. I hate cutesy drink names!

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CA Kate z9

My first venture into Vodka was Grey Goose because that's what the pie dough recipe from Cook's Illustrated called for. Consequently it is what I started drinking in homemade drinks. One time DH and I were at a bar waiting for others and I ordered a Lemon Drop Martini. What they brought was awful... to me. Waiter asked what Vodka I was use to drinking. When I said Grey Goose he said I was a Vodka Snob and made me a new martini. I, apparently, can tell the difference in cheap and expensive vodka and always ask for Grey Goose or better. ;-) Having said all this, vodka can be made from potatoes or grains and each do have a different taste.... in my 'expert' opinion.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

bbstx, one of my favorite summer drinks is a Greyhound - vodka and grapefruit juice served over ice. Don't need any of that elder flower stuff in there !! :-)

I must not be a vodka snob - I can't tell the difference between a high end vodka and the cheap stuff in a mixed drink. But I can with tequila. And Scotch. But to me, Scotch is a sipping whiskey, drunk neat - no mixers, not even water!

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bbstx

I have 2 vodkas in the house right now...Tito's and Cathead. I'm sure I can't tell the difference between the 2 or between those 2 and a premium vodka. I used to buy really really cheap stuff (Taaka, I think - bottom shelf, plastic bottle) because it was used for Bloody Marys during football season. But my sister said it gave her a headache, so I switched to better booze. But I'm not going to make Bloody Marys with Grey Goose!

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moosemac

Love olives marinated in Martini juice! Ciroc Vodka Martini or Hendrickson Gin Martini both work for me. My husband calls them lighter fluid!

Of course I would never turn down a Tito's, Grey Goose or Bombay Sapphire Martini either! Used to drink them dry now I like them a little dirty. Been drinking them since 1975. LOL Of course the drinking age was 18 back then...

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

The link bbstx provided from Planet Money is very good explainer about why some vodkas may taste more smooth than others. I listened to it back in 2018, when it 1st came out. Here's a link to the transcript, if you don't want to listen:

https://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=588345420

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foodonastump

But I can with tequila. And Scotch.

Tequila - I can taste the difference and I prefer cheap! I’m happy with a bottle of Cuervo or Sauza, 1800 at best. You can have the Patron and the rest of the fancy brands that made a name for themselves a couple decades ago. Funny how tastes are. Now Scotch, there I’d spend as much money as you give me.

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patriciae_gw

Distillation: When you distill something the stuff being distilled is slowly raised to the temperature that it becomes volatile and rises up to go through the tubes where it condenses back into a liquid. The various substances in the original mash volatilize at slightly different temperatures. The differences are amazingly slight. So the stuff that comes off at the beginning will be different from the stuff that comes in the middle and the stuff you get at the end. The headings(first stuff) are always removed, middlings kept and sometimes the tails depending on what you are after. Each time you distill you remove more of the extra flavorings from what ever it is you are making your liquor. For Vodka the flavor will be affected by what it is made from because the different bases have their own chemical properties. Gin is made by first making Neutral spirits and then redistilling that with a bunch of herbs and perhaps running that distillate through again to refine it. The care with which the distillation is done, careful temperature control and determination as to what point you keep what you have distilled makes the difference in taste and pricing. Cheaper gin typically has a less distinct herbal concoction because that is the expensive part.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

Last family gathering in Mexico, we had a class on tequila. With liberal tastings :-) I have never tasted such smooth, silky liquor in my life!! Better than the best VSOP brandy! If given a choice, I'd go with Don Roberto Reposado all day, everyday. Provided someone else was buying :-)

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plllog

In my youth, a school group took a tour of the Sauza plant. It was very interesting. They gave us tastes of the raw tequila (not blended or adjusted or aged, just right out of the vat), and you can imagine how rough that was!

FOAS, when you said you prefer "cheap", I was thinking you meant the kind of rotgot we had at college parties that tasted like right from the vat. I agree, that good Cuervo is a lot better than the stupid expensive stuff, and Sauza just tastes like home. :)

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