20 Sep

Shaken, stirred and stuffed

By Chris Sherman,
Times photo: Bob Croslin

The classic martini is making a comeback, but its iconic accompaniment – the green olive – has gone gourmet.

Which came first, the olive or the chocolate martini?

Sure, it was the olive from those grand old trees, but the tale of the two is not so simple.

Today’s neon martinis make purists dizzy, but when the martini arrived sometime in the late 1800s, it was a rather sweet thing itself. Made with vermouth, a sweet form of gin, and flavored with a splash of cherry or grenadine, the only sour edge was a bit of lemon.

But soon the olive made its way into a drier martini and stayed there through the years of Hemingway, Martin and Bond.

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