After lengthy research, and many repetitions of that research, I have much pleasure in announcing that I can now reveal the recipe for the perfect martini. It exists, it is real, it can be yours!
The perfect martini is made with vodka, not gin, and is made with the best vodka you can buy/bludge/cadge from someone who has just come through Duty Free. Absolut and Stolichnaya are good. And yes, it must be shaken, not stirred (can I hear some mumbling at the back from the purists?)
Now take your shaker and fill it with crushed ice. Let it sit for a second as you get two glasses out (you just can't drink a martini alone) and put in each glass an olive, a cocktail onion and about a teaspoon of brine from either olive or onion.
Now, accuracy is important now: pour over the ice in the shaker six measures of vodka and three measures of extra dry vermouth. Shake vigorously, pour into the glassware and enjoy its clear oiliness as it fills the glass.
The ideal serving accompaniments are at least one friend, and the Benny Goodman Small Groups CD on your player. The Breakfast at Tiffany's soundtrack is an acceptable alternative.
See you in the morning. (Hic) And in the meantime, feel free to post your own perfect martini recipe below.