Pursuit of Perfection

The cocktail in my calendar over the weekend was a non-alcoholic one using a lemongrass syrup, so I skipped it. Lemongrass might be good in ice tea at some point, so I'll keep it on my list to try when the weather gets warmer.

Yesterday's recipe was for the perfect martini, in honor of the end of Prohibition 75 years ago. Actually, April 7 wasn't the formal end. The amendment to kill off the 19th didn't come into effect until late that year (1933). When FDR got into office (did he really go for 15 years without a martini or a manhattan? I don't believe it), he promptly had Congress pass a bill saying that 3.2 beer could be brewed. (The amendment, in typically poorly worded government style, hadn't specified what constituted an 'alcoholic' beverage.) Busch and others promptly fired up their factories and hopped to the task at hand.

A perfect martini calls for your base of choice and both dry and sweet vermouth. This recipe calls for gin 2 to 1 to the vermouth, an awful lot of vermouth. But I'm a guinea pig for science, so I followed their recipe. For drink #1, I used my Absolut Mandarin. Verdict: well, it's certainly a sweet martini. But I liked it. The sweet vermouth brings out the orange.

For drink #2 I used gin, same proportions. Verdict: OK, but the vodka one was better. Sometime, if I can ever locate Lillet, I'd like to try a martini with that (or Dubonnet blanc, which is available locally).

I don't think I'll make a habit of using sweet vermouth. I'll go back to shaking the bottle of dry vermouth over the shaker like holy water. You only need a drop. A really dry one is the soul of the martini.