Introduction

Don’t ever have a bad martini again.

A martini contains a large amount of alcohol. To drink one is to commit a substantial part of your night, and your liver, to processing the alcoholic content.

As such, you should never have to endure a bad one. You might as well just inject the alcohol into your eyeball.

The problem is, it’s very rare to actually find a good martini served in public. I’ve been served room-temperature glasses of almost neat gin in a multitude of bars and hotels all over the world. I want this to change. Ultimately, martinis are a very simple drink to make, so I want bartenders to understand the key elements.

When it comes to making drinks, I fully admit that I am an amateur. Once upon a time I ran a bar in Baghdad (a temporary but nonetheless eye-opening position during the post-invasion violence). Otherwise, all of my martini-making techniques are self-taught. If you want to drink a martini made by a professional expert, I must recommend with utmost deference the bar at the Dukes Hotel in central London.

Otherwise, this is my humble attempt to perfect the art of what is, in my opinion, the most beautiful and powerful of poisons.

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