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 (recognising of course that the way to make the perfect martini is hotly disputed) is made with vodka, not gin -- gin is for the English -- and is made with the best vodka you can either buy or bludge, or cadge from someone who has just come through Duty Free . Absolut and Stolichnaya are good choices. Smirnoff is adequate. And yes, the martini 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 prepare three glasses (you just can't drink a martini alone); into each put an olive, a cocktail onion and about a teaspoon of brine from either olive or onion. Toothpicks are good, and give you some sport while drinking (and you can always judge a drinker by how they dispose of their toothpick).
Now, accuracy is important at this point: pour over the ice in the shaker nine measures of frozen vodka straight from the freezer and two 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. Serge Gainsborough if you must.
I'll leave you with this brief thought, from writer Dorothy Parker:
I like to have a martini,Cheers, PC
Two at the very most,
After three I'm under the table,
After four I'm under the host!