Frank Sinatra's Favorite Martini Was All About The Ice

Martini with olives and ice
Martini with olives and ice - Liudmila Chernetska/Getty Images

After singing and acting, Frank Sinatra is probably best known for one thing: drinking. Born in New Jersey, the crooner and de facto leader of the Rat Pack famously got up to all sorts of shenanigans in cities around the world, from Las Vegas to London. Sinatra and friends like Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. had a wild, debaucherous image with a reputation for partying and womanizing. But just because Sinatra and company liked to have fun didn't mean they were without standards.

Ol' Blue Eyes was spotted with all different sorts of drinks in hand throughout his life, particularly whiskeys — Jack Daniel's doubled its distribution after Sinatra once brought a glass onstage and called it the "nectar of the gods." Sinatra loved a Rusty Nail cocktail, a mix of scotch and Drambuie. But he would take to the clear stuff now and then, often ordering a martini. And when he did, he was very particular about it.

Bartenders who frequently served Sinatra recall him ordering his martinis very dry, with gin and a twist, and most importantly, ice cold. In fact, while martinis are usually shaken with ice and then served straight up, Sinatra took his martinis on the rocks — a much less common way of serving the drink, but supposedly a very tasty one.

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He Did It His Way

Rocks martini with orange and gin bottle
Rocks martini with orange and gin bottle - Ezumeimages/Getty Images

When in London, Frank Sinatra's favorite haunt was said to be the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel. Two of Savoy's bartenders, Victor Gower and Peter Dorelli, once spilled the details of Sinatra's drink-ordering habits. Per Gower, "He'd go for a classic martini — Beefeater gin with a shadow of vermouth, served on the rocks with a twist of lemon. And we had to make sure his glass was filled with ice."

Regarding drinks, "on the rocks" means over ice, as opposed to "straight up," which means no ice. Chances are, if you've ever ordered a martini or seen someone else have one, it was straight up — nothing in the glass but liquid and garnish. People tend to like their martinis cold, so not only is the gin and vermouth typically shaken or stirred with ice, but often, bartenders will chill the serving glass with ice while they make the drink and simply toss out the ice before pouring. But Sinatra reportedly went a step further, preferring his martinis served over ice, and as Gower's memory suggests, a lot of it.

A Controversial Opinion

Martinis with twists by shaker
Martinis with twists by shaker - Gmvozd/Getty Images

Most people who drink martinis regularly have their own specifications, but Sinatra was known for being highly particular. As Dorelli said, "If one small detail was wrong, everyone would know about it."

What's funny is that Sinatra's personal preferences are offensive, even sacrilegious, to some bartenders and cocktail purists. It's somewhat controversial to shake rather than stir martinis because doing so dilutes the drink and may leave behind ice chips, further diluting it as they melt. For Sinatra, ordering his martinis with fresh ice in the glass, dilution evidently wasn't a concern. But he was known for being a big drinker — maybe Frankie just downed his martinis before the ice had time to melt.

While ordering a martini on the rocks in public might get you some funny looks, it's actually pretty standard among home bartenders, who don't necessarily want to fuss with making the martini in one vessel only to pour it into another. Rocks martinis can be built and stirred right in rocks glasses, and that ease is the appeal (no word on whether Sinatra's martinis were served in a martini or rocks glasses, but we're sure it's delicious either way). Besides, as long as you don't mind if the cocktail gets watered down, serving a martini on the rocks is a solid way to ensure it stays perfectly cold — just how The Chairman of the Board liked it.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.