July 21, 2006

Shaken, Not Stirred I love to drink Martinis, Two at the very most After three I'm under the table, After four I'm under my host. Dorothy Parker Two thousand and six marks the 200th anniversary of the cocktail—or at least the first recorded mention of the word. And while the tradition of the American cocktail is long, and varied you can seek out Mr. Boston for details. There’s really only one clear choice and it is quintessentially American─the Martini. (Yes that’s an intentional capital.) The elixir of choice for M.F.K. Fisher, E.B. White, Kingsley Amis and H. L. Mencken who deemed it "the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet." As Lowell Edmunds discusses in his scholarly deconstruction of the cocktail, Martini, Straight Up: The Classic American Cocktail, the word "Martini" evokes not only a cocktail, but also an image and an idea. The symbolic potency of the Martini depends first on its uniquely inverted triangular cocktail glass in which it is traditionally, and secondly on its ingredients. This is where the quality of the gin or the vodka matters most. And to many purists it also rides on the name: if someone identifies a given drink as a Martini, then, for symbolic purposes, it is a Martini. Purists when calling for a martini are expecting the gin-based mix. There is no other cocktail that is more sophisticated, urban, adult and American than the Martini. It's symbolic of a nostalgic past--of three-martini lunches, the Brat pack, James Bond and 1950s black and...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

The Typepad Team

Recent Comments