The Unique Way Musso & Frank Grill Crafts Its Timeless Martini

Hard seltzers might be all the rage right now, but they are no replacement for a classic cocktail like the martini. The favorite drink of James Bond and countless others, the martini is a timeless piece of cocktail culture that can be sipped just as easily poolside as in a shadowy bar.

One good classic deserves another, and so legendary Los Angeles bar and restaurant Musso & Frank Grill is an establishment that prides themselves in their take on the martini. Los Angeles Magazine claims that the iconic bar has served one of the best martinis in the City of Angels for more than 100 years. Just stepping into the dark wood-lined interior of Musso & Frank Grill is like taking a step back in time. It would be a shame to dishonor that history by plopping down at the bar and asking for a White Claw. Andrea Scuto, the restaurant's general manager and beverage director, was kind enough to share Musso & Frank's unique approach to crafting the perfect martini.

A timeless preparation

Musso & Frank Grill's beverage director Andrea Scuto told Los Angeles Magazine that one of the big difference makers for their martinis is that they are not served shaken. "James Bond had it all wrong," Scuto said. She told the mag that shaking the drink adds too much ice, and their bartenders are trained to treat the drink more gently instead. They fill a tall glass with ice, and add the preferred alcohol before stirring it roughly 12 times.

Another contributing factor is their smaller than average glass. Scuto says they prefer a 2 ½ ounce glass as opposed to the more typical 8 ounce size. Scuto claimed that the smaller glass keeps the drink crisper, and preserves many of the aromatics. This way, you smell more than alcohol when you lift the drink to your lips. They aren't cheating you out of the rest of your drink either. A small glass carafe is nestled into a dish of ice to preserve the rest of the martini once you've finished the initial pour.

Scuto says they'll allow either gin or vodka martinis to grace their bar, but they shy away from vermouth. As one of their bartenders put it, "I'm a purist. I like it when you can taste all the alcohol." The final secret is their olives, which are from Spain, and come house-brined in a mixture of water, salt, and herbs along with a pepper stuffing. Brining in-house means the olives have a bright, crisp flavor thanks to their heightened freshness.