Shaken, not stirred, will get you cold water with a dash of gin and dry vermouth. The reason you stir it with a special spoon is so not to chip the ice. James is ordering a weak martini and being snooty about it.
- President Bartlet, The West Wing
There’s something about a Martini,
A tingle remarkably pleasant;
A yellow, a mellow Martini;
I wish that I had one at present.
There is something about a Martini,
Ere the dining and dancing begin,
And to tell you the truth,
It is not the vermouth-
I think that perhaps it’s the gin.
- “A Drink With Something In It,” Ogden Nash
Certainly I’ll have another one. The water of life was given to us to make us see for a while that we are more nearly men and women, more nearly kind and gentle and generous, pleasanter and stronger, than without its vision there is any evidence we are. It is the healer, the weaver of forgiveness and reconciliation, the justifier of ourselves to ourselves and one another. One more, and then with a spirit made whole again in a cleansed world, to dinner.
So you see, what could I possibly have to add to discourse on the martini?
At the same time, how could I possibly not write about the martini? I’ve indulged in stinky cheeses, eaten ham by the pound, been comforted with avocados and chicken soup, but nothing has offered me so much pleasure in this life as a well-made martini.
For the king of the cocktails, let’s keep things simple: chill your glasses, use good gin, make it cold.
I’ve enjoyed drinking with you all for the past (two) week(s). Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s Saturday night and I’ve got my dancing shoes on.
Saturday: The Martini
3 ou. good gin (I use Barr Hill)
½ ou. dry vermouth
Lemon peel, for garnish
1. Never has it been more important to thoroughly chill your cocktail glass than it is right now. Put it in the freezer at 5:15, and try to forget about it for the next forty-five minutes.
2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour the gin and vermouth over the ice, and stir. Keep stirring. Stir until it is very, very cold.
3. Remove the cocktail glass from the freezer and strain the martini into it. Garnish with a lemon peel.
(Dan likes his martinis like he likes his plants. To make a dirty martini, omit the vermouth and substitute olive juice. Garnish with an olive.)