An overwhelming majority of European and Latin American bartenders are under the impression that anyone who asks for a Martini wants a cocktail fashioned mostly from Martini—and Martini & Rossi is the name of a vermouth, no? So for many traveling abroad, it is difficult to find a classic cocktail that fits the bill. I've taught the Dry Martini to countless bartenders in sundry ports of call. All the effort put forward just to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail, provide another arrow for the barman’s quiver and for the benefit of the next road weary traveler in need of a Dry Martini. One must do what one can in order to civilize an otherwise untamed world. The Classic is a mix of gin combined with dry vermouth in a five-to-one ratio. All that froufrou martini crap be damned (apple-tini, choco-tini, peach-tini, etc.). That's all nothing more than candy-coated marketing for the uninitiated. The recipe of choice is:
2 1/2 ounces dry gin
1/2 ounce dry vermouth, Martini & Rossi or Noilly Prat
Green olive for garnish
Preparation - In a shaker filled with ice, combine gin and vermouth. Shake well, then strain into a frozen martini glass. Garnish with olive and imbibe.
However, when you arrive in the city of La Paz there’s no need to teach anyone a thing. There is one oasis of cocktail sensibility. Simply go to Restaurant Vienna! There the bartenders, admirably, practice the classic and it's variations. They even have little onions if you'd prefer to go Gibson. And, by the way, the food is fabulous, too!
So good is the martini that when they ask if I’d care for another, I respond with my grandfather’s maxim; “A bird cannot fly with but one wing!”
Address: Federico Zuazo #1905
La Paz, Bolivia