One of the film franchises I grew up watching was "James Bond". As a fan, I always wanted to try a, "martini- shaken, not stirred..." Well, recently, I took the plunge and gave it a try.
It's a fairly easy drink to make: pour gin and vermouth into a shaker filled with ice. Shake. Pour. Add the iconic martini olive. Drink.
The first thing I noticed was the swirly "oil and water" sort of appearance to the martini. It was... interesting, but didn't actually do a lot to appeal to me. The second thing I noticed was that it was actually kinda bitter from the gin. There were hints of something else- which I assume was the vermouth. Each sip was different due to the inconsistent way the two mixed, which made the experience a bit more intriguing to me.
Personally, I'm not fond of a plain martini. Having said that, I do believe it is a great starting point for a bit of exploration. Instead of a dry vermouth, a sweeter one can be used instead in order to counterbalance the bitterness of the gin. I found that just adding a few squirts of lime juice created a nicely different martini. Using crushed ice in the shaker instead of cubes could lead to a change in the texture of the drink, as some of it would wind up in the cup.
In fact, the next time I make a martini, I plan on using crushed ice, and adding pink grapefruit juice.
While I wouldn't really recommend a "normal" martini, I would certainly recommend trying it with subtle changes such as citrus juice, sweet vermouth, cranberry juice. I will be doing so in the future. Because of it's potential for finding enjoyable variations, I'm going to give it a "Good"