Thursday, May 19, 2011

Speaking Truth to Power

Some things are so obvious that they go unsaid, yet the fact that they are unsaid leaves many unaware of the truths. This item tells it exactly as it is and it should be required reading for anybody who even considers uttering the sacred word:


Got that? A martini is a drink made with gin. Period! If you are going to want something else then call it something else. Hell, even the new James Bond knows it isn't a martini anymore.

I remember when I was still in college and we used to hang out at a high school friend's bar and roadhouse on Mannheim Road near O'Hare Airport. We decided one day that it was time to learn how to drink martinis so we headed out to John's place, the Cottage Hill Bar & Grill.

We discussed the issue with John and he recommended a progression. Start easy and move later to the ultimate classic. Drink it on the rocks with a twist of lemon.

Once you got used to the bite of the gin tempered by the lemon, you could omit the lemon and go with an olive, but still on the rocks. Then transition to the classic "up" in the stemmed glass, but return to lemon twist. Finally, graduation to up with olive and you've completed the curriculum.

We took the crash course in one afternoon and fortunately made it home without mishap, but since then I've known that a martini is done properly only one way and then it is among the finest creations of man.


Murphy's Law said...

Shaken, not stirred?

Ed Rasimus said...

Honestly, I don't think it makes a bit of difference. The classic is stirred and the reason given is always "not to bruise the gin", but you can get them colder when shaken.

Best I ever had was at Harry's Bar in Venice on the ground floor of Cipriani's just off St. Mark's Square. The bartender would rinse the ice first to remove the frost layer. It made the surface colder and you got less dilution of the gin.

immagikman said...

I must be a complete putz, never understood the elitism of alcohol consumption. I drank far too much while in the service and once I left the service...I never really had the urge to imbibe again.... But I suppose everyone has their obsessions.

drjim said...

Interesting. I used to live in the Chicago area up until about 1982, and spent some very happy hours at "The 42nd Parallel" bar at O'Hare when I was going out with a flight attendant.
Never got into martini's, though. I was a bourbon guy....

PascalR said...

Even better if you start with a nice flavored gin like Beefeater Gin and leave it in the freezer for a day or until it pours like anti-freeze.

Snakeeater said...

I actually know something. Bond named the drink "Vesper" after Vesper Lynd, a double agent.
I forget the story behind her name--I seem to recall she was born during Vespers.

The shaken/stirred thing is purely cosmetic. Some people think shaking results in what they call a "bruised" martini as the air incorporated during the shaking makes it a bit cloudy. Doesn't affect the taste either way.

Now, if you don't mind, I've developed thirst.