A Martini really should be served in a proper glass. For one thing, the traditional glass has functional aspects: its shallow, conical bowl forces one to sip the drink rather than tossing it back in large gulps, and the stem allows one to avoid holding the bowl, which would transmit heat to the drink, causing it to warm prematurely.
I'd suggest the other great American cocktail, the Manhattan, as a start.
You are probably frequenting bars which serve their "martinis" in unwieldy bathtub-sized cones that violate all sense of proportion. A true martini glass is a diminutive thing and balances quite well in the hand...almost as if someone designed it to do so.
Could any tiger
Drink martinis, smoke cigars,
And last as we do?
usonian: I'd suggest the other great American cocktail, the Manhattan, as a start.
Except that most places, you won't get a Manhattan; you'll get a drink made with Bourbon and sweet vermouth. If you ask for rye, the bartender will look confused and say, "Well, we have Black Velvet."
Still not a Manhattan, which requires bitters.
asnider: On the one hand, if a Gibson is simply a martini with a different garnish, then using an entirely difference base alcohol surely merits a unique name.
On the, um, third hand, the very existence of the name "vodka martini" is probably what has led to all of the various "martinis" that, while perhaps fine cocktails, are definitely not martinis (chocolate martini, strawberry martini, etc.).
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