Drink of the Week: Jimmy’s Restaurant’s The Landing Martini

This week’s featured drink is Jimmy’s Restaurant’s The Landing Martini.
Robert Galloway/Tahoe Daily Tribune

In our Drink of the Week segment, we’ll showcase one unique type of beer, wine, cocktail — you name it — to try at one of the countless breweries, bars and restaurants from around the basin.

For this week’s feature we keep it old school and go with a cocktail classic: the martini. I realize there are die hard fans on both sides of the fence (gin or vodka), but the truth is, you can’t go wrong with either — especially if this is your drink of choice.

Having been around since the 1920s, this drink has seen its share of stardom. From Winston Churchill’s sip of choice to James Bond’s classic line reading, I’m not sure something so simple has ever gotten as much notoriety in the cocktail field. You could call this drink cocktail royalty and I don’t think anyone would object.

In Jimmy’s version, we get Ketel One vodka shaken dry with Carpano vermouth. Blue cheese stuffed olives are impaled by a spear of rosemary for garnish (and a snack) and there you have the classic interpretation.

What does the “dry” even mean? Well, I’m glad you asked. It’s basically the ratio of vermouth. Ordering it “wet” means you’re going to get it closer to equal parts. Ordering it “dry” is more or less a hearty splash of vermouth. Ordering it “extra dry” is basically the equivalent of giving the vermouth a dirty look and pretending you added it to the drink.

The vermouth adds your level of earthiness and spices so the quality, especially when only dealing with two ingredients, is important. Carpano is a great selection here and it plays off the vodka well, offing subtle hints of citrus, mint and cherries. It drinks super smooth and eases on and off the palette like slipping in and out and of Mulberry silk sheets.

But, if you ask me, my favorite part of the martini is the end when you get to mow down those olives. I’m a sucker for blue cheese so when you get that rich tang from the blue cheese, the salty brine from the olives, all mixed in with the notes from the martini; they’re like boozy drenched flavor fireworks — explode and enjoy.

Jimmy’s Restaurant is located inside the The Landing at 4104 Lakeshore Blvd in South Lake Tahoe. For restaurant information and menu items visit them at or by phone at 530-545-4052.

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