Atomic Bomb, Las Vegas

The perfect martini: a literary guide, and a picture of the impact

Robert Pimm
Robert Pimm

The perfect martini can be found in Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel, “Casino Royale”.  I’ve been drinking them for years.  

The heart surgeons

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.

Casino Royale

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.

Little Boy

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.

Carol service daydreaming

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

The perfect martini

“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

Romantic love?

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

If you would like to learn more about Alan Clark’s astonishing and disturbing diaries, see my review here.  For last week’s “3 quotations”. see here.

P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, please subscribe to my weekly newsletter (you can unsubscribe anytime you wish).  I’ll send you a free “Hotel Story” to say thanks!  Or I would be delighted if you would like to friend me on Facebook.  

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One Response

  1. Leider kann ich über Wrkungen von diversen Alkoholika nichts beisteuern, da ein MagenBakterium mit dem klingenden Namen Helicobacter Pylori, mich an solchen Genüssen gehindert hat.

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