What is the perfect martini?
A couple of years ago in Istanbul I was taken out for dinner by two top cardiac specialists.
In between gazing out over the Bosphorus, I noticed that they both drank neat vodka before the meal, when I had a cocktail, and during the meal, when I was sipping wine. I asked why this was.
They told me that, as heart specialists, they enjoyed a drink from time to time; but they wanted to ingest the alcohol in the healthiest way possible. Drinking neat vodka, they said, met this criterion: compared with wine, beer or cocktails it saved calories, sugar and other unnecessary ingredients.
I took this advice, er, to heart. As I was at the time reading Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale (see my review at the link) I began to drink martinis, which involve no ingredients at all which are not alcoholic, unless you include the olive.
How best to explain the effect of one of my martinis?
After all, do you want a drink, or not?
Those who have sampled my martinis tell me they are excellent (see picture above, from the rather curious National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas).
So this week’s “3 quotations” include the line about how James Bond likes his martinis, including his request to “shake it very well”. Do let me know if you enjoy this kind of material; plenty more wisdom in the books I have read and annotated over the years.
I can only properly enjoy carol services if I am having an illicit affair with someone in the congregation. Why is this? Perhaps because they are essentially pagan, not Christian, celebrations.
Alan Clark, The Diaries
“Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel. Got it?”
“Gosh, that’s certainly a drink.”
Ian Fleming, Casino Royale
Hollywood demonstrates to us, both by precept and example, that romantic love is the only possible basis for a happy and lasting marriage: was the Greek necessarily dull or cynical because he thought differently? He was aware of the force of “romantic” love – and generally represented it as a destructive thing (see Sophocles, Antigone, 781 ff and Euripides, Medea, 628 ff. ‘When love is temperate, nothing is more enchanting: but save me from the other sort!’
Kitto, The Greeks
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