Welcome to The Epic! I am launching this blog as a manifesto for and a guide to living well. The title and motto of the blog are taken from the Epicureans, at least some of whom believed in the notion that not one minute of the future was guaranteed to them and that as a result they had the duty to live life to its fullest every moment.

I believe in discovering fun and pleasurable things wherever I find myself each day and I am told I have a knack for unearthing them. My hope is that by sharing in my pleasures and some of my ways of finding them you will begin to collect all the riches that lie in the moments of your life. They are there. Take them! All our lives should be.....Epic.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

National Martini Day: A Brief Manifesto

Yesterday, June 19, was National Martini Day.  I became unexpectedly busy and missed posting about it. An Epic gaffe, I know.

I for one am quite tired of bars claiming that anything in a Martini glass is a Martini.  I am similarly tired of people who are supposed to be bartenders asking me if I want Vermouth in my Martini or, worse, simply giving me a glass of shaken clear alcohol in a Martini glass.  Even worse, a bartender who, without asking me, presents a Martini glass full of cold clear alcohol with olive juice in it ["dirty"] commits an abomination that will have me abandon the bar for good.

A dry Martini, by The Savoy Cocktail Book [1930], is made with two parts Gin and one part dry Vermouth.  The Savoy does have five variations on the drink, however, and acknowledges use of Vodka as well. The Esquire Drink Book [1956] also has five recipes but omits reference to Vodka.

Thus, Vodka or Gin without any Vermouth in it is a glass of Vodka or Gin, not a Martini. Various concoctions of Vodka or whatever and chocolate syrup, orange rind, eucalyptus leaves, etc., may be fine cocktails [although I probably would not drink them] but to call them "Martinis" is simply wrong. One might as well call a steak a cupcake because they both come on a plate. The great New Orleans food expert Tom Fitzmorris made this point strongly in a recent blog post and he inspired this manifesto.  Even Fleming knew this point. When he invented the venerable Vesper Cocktail he did not call it a "Vesper Martini".  And with good reason.

In the event, however, my love of Ian Fleming and James Bond drew me away from the straight and narrow path and I drank "Vodka Martinis" for years although I took a lot less Vermouth in them than called for by the classical recipe.  In fact I drank Vodka "Martinis" for many years. Lately, however, I tried a "by-the-book" Gin Martini and was actually surprised at how fine a cocktail it is. Back from my wayward habits, a Gin man I will remain. If I want a glass of cold Vodka, I'll order it on the rocks.      

Happy Martini Day 2014!!  Cheers.


Main Line Sportsman said...

Well stated....some green sweet apple goop is NOT a martini. The classic is classic for a reason.

Ben said...

If you're a bartender and I order a "vodka rocks" from you, it's because I've sized you up as someone who can't make a proper martini.

Happens all the time.

In fact, I haven't gotten to the point where I'd order a martini from myself, except for training purposes.

M.Lane said...

Two great comments fellows!!


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M.Lane said...

Thanks Maria! What a nice comment. I'll check out your blog...since my Dad's mother was an Axelsson!!