Dirty Harry is the Drink I Love

Dirty Martinis actually. Not the band. I'd heard of them but never had one. Supposedly FDR drank them and mixed a batch for Stalin. No wonder Papa Joe didn't like us.

I like a martini with gin, shaken, straight up, more vermouth than just waving the bottle over the shaker. I'd never make an English secret agent or an English poet in the age of anxiety. The best I ever had was on the rocks with a lemon twist before a friend's 50th birthday at a very fancy Chicago restaurant a decade or so ago. I don't know what gin they used or the proportions, but it was perfection.

So, anyway my calendar called for a martini one day, a dirty martini the next. You don't need a report on a martini. A 10-year-old Lutheran can make one. To dirty it up you just add a little olive brine, of course. I don't like any fruit in my mixed drinks, but I'll take a lemon twist. An olive is like my 13th choice.

In the interest of science I made two, one with gin, a half hour rest for my liver to metabolize it, then one with vodka. I just used the brine, no olive to remind me what I was drinking. I prefer the gin one: the saltiness of the brine goes better with the juniper in the gin and all the meadow flowers in the vermouth. When I drank the vodka one, I might have well been eating olives pickled in alcohol. Not that I don't like olives, but these were Kroger. Salty olive taste and alcohol--not my idea of the perfect drink.

I have two champagne-based drinks with fruit juice to get caught up on, so at least I'll get the seawater taste out of my mouth in a day or two.