Identity crisis: the Martini

 My basil and red chile flake gin martini is a simple twist with sweet, herbal, and spicy tones.

My basil and red chile flake gin martini is a simple twist with sweet, herbal, and spicy tones.

The Martini is a drink that has been lauded, bastardized, refined, misunderstood, and reinvented over and over again. In its purest forms, it shines as a result of its stark simplicity. But the suffix “-tini” has often come to stand for pretty much anything you can shake and plop into a cocktail glass.

Even those who favor and guard the “classic” Martini recipes may wildly disagree on their preferred versions. I prefer gin and a twist of lemon, while you may gun for vodka and olives. And that’s fine.

I mean, you’re wrong, but that’s fine.

For World Martini Day 2016, I dove into the shadowy history of the drink, its wide range of variations, and a few original recipes you can try out:

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