Sunday, December 18, 2011

~Mason Jar Martinis?~

What's Playing? "A country song" 

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living magazine, December 2011

Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time  5 minutes
Serves 8

4 cups vodka or gin
1/4 cup dry vermouth
Garnish: cocktail olives, caper berries, or cocktail onions

Shake or stir 1/2 cup vodka or gin and 1 1/2 teaspoons vermouth in an ice-filled shaker.  Strain into a chilled martini glass, and garnish with olives, caper berries, or onions.  Repeat with remaining vodka or gin and vermouth. (Note: for a James Bond version, substitute vodka for the gin to make a vodka martini...skaken, not stirred, of course).

It's a good thing...or is it?

“And when that first martini hits the liver like a silver bullet, there is a sigh of contentment that can be heard in Dubuque.”

William 'Bill' Emerson Jr. (1923-2009)

It's a weekend night and the kids are cozily tucked into bed.  They know that Santa is watching them very closely this time of year.  A mama moment? Yay!  It's time to party!

I was leafing through my magazine when I came across the classic martini recipe (Dec 11, 2011, page 216).  Perfect!  This was exactly what I needed.  Plus, I've been accumulating a bit of a basic liquor cabinet because I want to learn more about mixed drinks, in addition to wine...on the side.  As I have said many times before, Martha's ideas are a canvas for your own creativity.  At the moment I have neither martini glasses nor a cocktail shaker (well, I used to have a shaker, but that's a long story there). What's a woman to do?  Improvisation trumps need. 

Incidentally, it turns out that the sophisticated cocktail called a Martini, originally called a Martinez, was named after the unlikely oil refinery town of Martinez, California, also known as the site of John Muir's home and orchards, the county seat of Contra Costa County, on the east side of San Francisco Bay. Here, a bartender created this excellent blend and balance of liquors. The drink became so popular that it soon migrated to San Francisco, where the "ez" in Martinez was dropped an an "i" added, then travelled eastward to New York City where the cocktail was enthusiastically adopted. Some say a bartender in New York City invented it, but no evidence supports that, though the first vodka martini was very likely concocted there.

So, I wanted to make martinis, but had no martini equipment. I searched through my wine and drinking glass collection for something close to a martini glass. Wine glasses? No. Brandy snifters? NoNo. Liqueur stems? NoNoNo. Champagne flutes? Non! Then, I happened to glance over at my mason jar collection used for preserving. Ahah!  Could that work?  Maybe so.  I was willing to give it a try.

Photo Gallery

picture from

My farmgirl side came through and saved the day.  Ahah!  Mason jar martinis?  ;)  Why not?  Gallo vermouth is inexpensive yet passable.  The Seagram's gin is also a budget liquor. Mason jars would be in keeping with the economy liquor. I could use smaller jars for glasses, and a large one as a cocktail shaker(shaking mixes ingredients much better than stirring). This is the perfect martini style for the 99%.

 Pearl onions were used as a classic garnish. Caper berries or green cocktail olives can also be used. Notice the large Ball "Mason" jar "cocktail shaker" at right; pearl onions are in the small cup.

The farm girl bartender pours the vermouth and gin into her Mason jar cocktail shaker.

The gin and the vermouth were properly shaken, not stirred.  The large "Mason" jar functioned just fine as a cocktail shaker.

Before pouring the mixture into the glasses, I chilled a few mason jars in the freezer for about ten minutes. 

The gin, vermouth, and ice cubes were very well shaken in the large Mason jar (while doing the hokey pokey). Next, the shaken liquors must be separated from the ice cubes, but a Mason jar obviously has no built-in strainer as does a proper cocktail shaker. So I simply employed a clean kitchen strainer through which the alcoholic liquid was poured into the smaller Mason jar martini glasses, leaving the ice cubes behind in the strainer.  The next step was to toast and enjoy the cocktail. Remember, a martini is a delicate, yet powerful cocktail...sip a few drops at a time. Anything more will be Fire.

Carl (my Dad), and Ben (my Hubby) doing a down home martini toast using mason jars. Kinda looks like a moonshiner kinda thing... 

~Shaken, not stirred--Bond, James Bond~


yinzerella said...

The cocktail onions actually make the drink a Gibson--which is my preferred martini.

The Green Mama said...


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