Of all the classic cocktails, the martini is perhaps the most controversial: How much vermouth is correct? Is a vodka martini a real martini? What about a dirty martini? Is it ever appropriate to shake this drink? Mull these questions at Saxon + Parole, where you can have your martini any way you damn well please — if you leave it up to the bar, you’ll get seven parts gin, one part vermouth, stirred — garnished with a twist, an olive, or a house-pickled onion and served with a glass-refreshing sidecar on ice. A dirty martini, you say? The drink’s gotten an upgrade here, with olive bitters (made, we must add, by the Village Voice‘s own Zachary Feldman) and an olive distillate subbed in for brine, and it’s served with a dish of, you guessed it, olives. It’s proof that when it comes to martinis, flexibility can be refreshing.
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