Of Bars, Booze, and Bartending - Proving "Coughlin's Law" Invalid Since Feb '05

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Ten-Minute Gimlet

Bear with me...

The basic concept is this... A Ten-Minute Martini. As far as I can tell, it originated at The Milky Way Bar in Boise, Idaho. A hearty toast to Pat at The Milky Way!! You're the Roy Hobbs of bartending, Pat, for inventing this method of martini-mixing.

You start with a level scoop of ice in a pint glass, add a few droplets of vermouth, add gin or vodka, give the usual swirl with the strainer engaged, and then you sink the glass in the ice bin. Wait ten minutes, swirl, and strain into a chilled martini glass. Yum...

There are so many problems with ill-conceived and prepared martinis these days. They're so trendy, but it's rare to find a well-mixed one. My advice is to start with a clear pint glass instead of a tin. Throw away your cocktail shakers, America! The pint glass allows the bartender to see what she's doing, and regardless of James Bond myths, martinis are best stirred, not shaken (You don't want to bruise the gin and yet, you want to mix the vermouth properly, but that's another post). It's all in the wrist. Just add ever so few drops of dry vermouth, add liquor, and swirl until the drink is good and cold. I like to swirl while I'm doing other stuff, stocking beer with one hand, swirling with the other, while occassionaly feeling the sides and bottom of the pint glass to ensure that the drink is cold. You simply can't over-swirl. Make that martini colder than Martha Stewart!! Put your wrist into it! (edit:) There's a good discussion about "bruising the gin" in the comments section. I'm chuckling now, because as I type it, it sounds rather like a masturbation metaphor, J Peterman Style.

The beauty of the Ten-Minute Martini is that it's guaranteed cold, but something about the slow melt contributes to the marriage of the ingredients, a slow dance between the molecules, which is what makes the drink worth waiting for. It brings out the sexy. When you finally pull the drink out of the bin, your customer salivates, because he's been waiting ten minutes, and the sides of the pint glass are thick and ice-coated while you perform the final swirl before pouring. Try the ten-minute method once, and you're hooked for life; you'll never accept an insta-Martini again. Try explaining that to your bartender.

If you're trying this at home, I'd suggest sticking the pint glass in your freezer for ten minutes... same effect without the ice-coated pint glass.

Thing is, I adore gin, but loathe vermouth. So, lately, I'm enjoying my favorite, personal variation...

The Ten-Minute Gimlet, Up

Begin with a level bar scoop of ice, in a pint glass
Splash of Rose's lime
Full lime wedge, squeezed over the ice and dropped
Add 2 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin (Or Grey Goose Vodka, or your pleasure)
Swirl, sink into ice bin, wait ten minutes, swirl liberally, and strain into a chilled martini glass
Rub a fresh lime wedge around edge of the glass, squeeze, drop, and serve

It's cold, smooth, and crazy-delicious. The best martini/gimlet/gibson you'll ever drink.

This much, I promise you, my gentle, boozy friends.

Every second worth the wait.


I sang your songs, I danced your dance
I gave your friends all a chance
Putting up with them wasn't worth never having you
Aww, maybe you've been through this before
But it's my first time, so please ignore the next few lines
'Cause they're directed at you

I can't always be waiting, waiting on you
I can't always be playing, playing your fool

Jack Johnson - "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing"