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Cool off your shakers and get your glasses ready — it's martini time

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Steve White makes a classic martini at Junior's, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. - GARETT FISBECK
  • Garett Fisbeck
  • Steve White makes a classic martini at Junior's, Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

Saturday night is martini time at Junior’s.

People come in daily for the classic cocktail, said bartender Steve White, but the thirst for martinis seems to peak during weekends.

As summer’s heat beats down on Oklahoma City, there’s no better time to enjoy this chilled mix of vodka and vermouth at Junior’s, 2601 Northwest Expressway, said owner Jim Shumsky. It’s not his beverage of choice — the boss prefers whiskey with a solitary ice cube — but he knows White makes a great one.

If you can’t make it to the historic haunt with the bright red walls and a bar like a scene out of an old movie, it’s not too hard to make one at home.

Steve White makes a classic martini at Junior's, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. - GARETT FISBECK
  • Garett Fisbeck
  • Steve White makes a classic martini at Junior's, Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

Ingredients

Vodka — White reaches for a bottle of Grey Goose brand vodka, but you might opt for a local favorite like Success Vodka or Prairie Wolf.

Dry vermouth — The easiest to find is Martini & Rossi. You won’t need a lot, but White said it’s important.

Ice — Check the freezer.

Large green olives

Cocktail shaker

Strainer

Martini glass

Directions

1. Fill the glass with ice and water. The water transfers the chill to the glass faster than ice alone.

2. Add ice to the cocktail shaker and pour in a quarter ounce of vermouth.

“Some recipes call for a half ounce, but if you’re making it with vodka, you don’t need that much,” White said.

Though the classic version of the cocktail was made with gin, about 80 percent of the martinis he makes at Junior’s use vodka.

Gin is a more flavorful spirit, so it needs more vermouth to stand up to it.

3. Add three ounces of vodka. White’s preparation includes a bit of a show, but you can be a bit more deliberate with it. He also eyeballs the measurements, but he makes them quite often.

4. Put the lid on the cocktail shaker and start shaking vigorously. White grips the side and the bottom, which helps him measure when the concoction reaches the perfect temperature.

“I shake it until the bottle’s too cold to put my hand on the bottom,” he said.

5. Pour the ice and water out of the martini glass. Pop the top off the shaker and use the strainer to hold back the ice while you pour the cocktail. White’s next step is to take a plastic skewer with three giant green olives and stir the drink.

Junior’s also serves it with blue cheese-stuffed olives on request. And customers can ask for other variations. Adding olive juice makes it a “dirty” martini.

Plopping in a couple of cocktail onions turns the drink into a Gibson.

“I don’t know what I do different than any bartender,” White said.

With 14 years of service behind Junior’s bar, the proof is in the number of empty martini glasses at the end of the night.

Learn more about Junior’s at juniorsokc.com

Print headline: Shaken summer, Junior’s bartender Steve White has the recipe for the perfect ice-cold martini.

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