ClassicVodka Martini, change it up with a pickled garnish like tomatillos?!
The vodka martini is the definitive cocktail—shaken, of course, not stirred. I like my martinis shaken hard at least 20 times so that the vodka gets very cold and you have little slivers of ice floating in the drink. This takes the sting out of it, making it go down more smoothly. The glasses should be chilled in advance by filling them with ice and cold water, which you pour out just before straining the vodka mixture into them; as an easier alternative, you can simply leave the glasses in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The vodka is stored in the freezer. Everything about this drink is frosty, ice-cold, and sleek.
As for garnishes, the classic martini takes a cocktail olive, either pitted and plain or pimiento-stuffed, depending on your preference. (The pimiento-stuffed have a bit sharper flavor.) There are also many types of gourmet olives; you can find them stuffed with chilies, almonds, garlic, and anchovies. Or you might choose cocktail onions or pickled tomatillos (Kult Kitchen's favorite) for your garnish. In any case, you must rinse the olives, onions, or any other pickled garnish well; otherwise, their pickling brine will float unattractively on the surface of the martinis.
For a dirty martini, add 1-2 ounces of olive brine.
1. Chill 6 martini glasses.
2. Fill a shaker full of ice. Add the vodka (or gin) and vermouth. Shake well and strain into the glasses. Serve with olives or a twist.