I'm a bit of a latecomer to this thread, but since I'm pretty passionate about the classic cocktails, here goes. Forgive me if I sound a little opinionated!
I cannot for the life of me understand what people call the "vodka martini". I think it's a stretch even calling it a martini. Gin and vodka are very
different tasting. A proper martini will ALWAYS be a cocktail made with gin. (Please understand I have nothing agianst vodka!)
The other thing that blows me away is the "toss a drop of vermouth in the glass, swirl, and toss" thing. At the heart of the cocktail is the interaction of gin and vermouth- when you take away the vermouth and
the gin, what are drinking? A martini? Really that's a stretch. I have nothing against people drinking cold vodka shaken with ice, and garnished with olives, from a cocktail glass, but I think it needs a different name!
I can only blame the "ridiculously dry" thing on the fact that vermouth will overpower vodka (while it mingles nicely with gin) and so, when vodka "martinis" became popular, people (not surprisingly) didn't like the traditional gin/vermouth ratio.
Also, I have to say Mr. Bond is must either a)be in a hurry, or b)want a weak drink so he won't be impaired in his secret agent acticivies, because shaking is not
the way to go. A martini should be stirred and carefully poured. It's not a banana passionfruil wheatgrass smoothie, it's a classic, respectable drink and there's no need to handle it so roughly.
Anyhow, here's how I prefer 'em: (I measure with a shot glass)
2/3 shot Noilly Pratt dry vermouth
3 shots chilled Bombay Sapphire gin (Bellringer when I'm on a budget)
Combine vermouth and gin over ice, stir for 15 seconds. Pour carefully into chilled cocktail glass. Add three olives.