Those Naughty Cubans

Saturday, November 14, 2009
Cuban Martini

Saturday, November 14, 2009
Dirty Vodka Martini

The Cuban Martini is made with 6 parts rum, 1 part dry vermouth, a granulated sugar rim and a lime twist for garnish.  Prior to this I don’t think I associated Cuba with rum.  Cigars, check.  Fidel Castro, check (aka skanky old guy who looks like he’s been living in the same military uniform since before I was born?  Check).  Ricky Ricardo, check.   I guess maybe the Mojito, but that’s such a recently trendy drink and personally I never cared for them.  I don’t like stuff “muddled” in my drink.  Maybe I’m weird that way.  Olives, lemon twists, etc. – okay, that’s different.  I don’t want loose shit floating around in my booze.  It’s like dunking cookies into milk or a donut into coffee.  Nope.  Not for me. 

Only these guys could make satin evening jackets look this good.

But back to Cuba.  My favorite thing to associate with Cuba is Armand Assante in The Mambo Kings.  And really good jazz music from that same 50’s era.  Now I never quite got the whole white dinner jacket thing especially when it always looked hot there, but Armand and, to a lesser extent, a young Antonio Banderas, made sweating look good.  They also made wearing hats, wife-beater tank tops, and smoking cigars look good.   They probably could have made drinking a Cuban Martini look good.  Or, hopefully, Armand could have whipped one up for me while wearing one of those tank tops, preferably after extinguishing his cigar outside.  Yeah.  That works.  Where was I?

Oh yes, the martini.  Very nice concoction, the dry vermouth balances out the sweetness of the rum just enough so it isn’t too much, and the sugar rim and lime twist are a nice tropical/exotic contrast to the drink without being all in your face with a huge pineapple slice and an umbrella.  Probably akin to the contrast in my mind between, say, Jamaica and Cuba.  Jamaica to me is pina coladas and some hottie dreadlocked bartender (similar to Christine Baranski’s paramour in Mamma Mia) playing steel drums, and Cuba shall be slick, evening-jacketed 50’s dudes offering me cool rum-based martini drinks.  Such as this.  4 stars for the Cuban Martini. 

Now being a gal like me who loves dirty martinis, you wouldn’t think a martini could get TOO dirty.  And in truth, I haven’t met one yet that is.  However, I did just meet a martini that was too WET.  I believe technically the dryness of a martini doesn’t necessarily refer to the quantity of vermouth but to using dry vermouth vs. the sweeter variety.  But for the sake of argument I’m going to use wet to refer to a martini with too much vermouth.  The Dirty Vodka Martini recipe from The Martini Book is just such a drink.  6 parts vodka, 2 parts dry vermouth, 1 part olive brine, and a cocktail olive for garnish.  I’ll have to ask Sue what she thought of the dirty gin version she was supposed to have, maybe all that vermouth goes better with gin than it does (at least for me) with vodka.  All I could think of when I sipped it was that it was spoiling a healthy glass of vodka!  🙂  I’d give this 3 stars.  When I was about halfway through the drink, I poured in probably another 2 parts’ worth of straight vodka to thin out the vermouth taste, and that was much better.  Were I not following the recipe, I’d use about twice as much olive brine and about 1/4 as much vermouth.  I like my martinis naughty (i.e., dirty), but I also like ’em dry. 


~ by rachelroust on November 17, 2009.

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