For now, I bring you the martini.
The martini is one of those cocktails that everyone seems to know. Made famous by James Bond who preferred his shaken, it is steeped in history, romanticism, and a certain amount of swagger. Sadly, in recent times, it also seems to be made primarily with vodka. For those who enjoy vodka, I'm sure that's seen as rather an improvement, but I'm a gin girl, and I like mine better that way.
Now, you should know, there are more ways to make a martini than I can count. As I just established, the first major division is vodka or gin. Then of course dryness. 'Dry' refers to how much vermouth is used in making it. I like mine very dry, so the most I do is swirl the vermouth around the glass enough to coat it, and then dump it. Some prefer olives, and some prefer a twist of lemon. Sometimes I'll even have it dirty, which involves the addition of olive brine.
The internet is rife with different martini recipes, but I'm here to tell you how I make mine.
First, as I mentioned, swirl some vermouth around the glass to coat it and discard the excess. Then shake two ounces of gin (I prefer Bombay Sapphire) with ice in a cocktail shaker. Some people don't like shaking because they claim it 'bruises' the gin. I'm not sure what this means and I've never noticed any difference. That may be because of my unrefined palette, but if your palette can't detect minute differences, you probably won't notice this either.
Also, I like using my cocktail shaker. It's fun.
Strain your chilled gin into your glass and add a few olives. It's as easy as that. Of course it's best when it's cold, so you have to drink it fairly quickly. I wouldn't recommend a lot of them, and they aren't for everyone. If you prefer vodka, definitely use it instead.
And if you ever want to order one at a bar, just ask for a gin martini, very dry, with olives.