Ask The Bartender: Martini Snots

OK, this is a meatloaf of many questions that I've received the last week, all having to do with the following two issues: the making and serving of martinis.

Von asked, "Why do some bartenders make a big deal about not putting vermouth in a martini, isn't this the recipe?" Heather wanted to know, "Why would I want a twist instead of olives and how do onions get involved." And Chris asked, "I like my martinis as follows: cold Tanquerey with a twist or

ollives. Nothing else. How do I order this? I've had problems in the


Any bartender that makes you feel dumb or uncomfortable for ordering a martini the way you like it is an asshole. And to asshole bartenders I bark the following:

1. A martini can be either gin OR vodka. So get over it.
2. A martini includes vermouth. So get over it.
3. You should have the sense god gave a 20 year old barista ("wet or dry capp?") to ask a customer how much vermouth, if any, that they would like in their martini.
4. The perfect martini is the one made exactly as the customer desires it. So get over it.
5. Get over it.

A bartender who make a big deal of no vermouth in a martinis is just insecure and/or pretentious, and probably buys in to some long-told quotation of not letting the gin see the vermouth. I ask myself, WWMD? (What Would Murray Do?). Zig Zag's bartender asks all the above questions and then checks back to see if you liked the way he made your drink. Because TENDING to your needs is the job of the bartender, first and foremost.

If you have a lingering question about bars and the people who work the, email me HERE.

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