Cocktails & Spirits


A martini in time w/ a Ransom note


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A martini in time w/ a Ransom note

TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis | | Jul 4, 2011 12:19 PM

Recently came across a copy of Bull Cook and Authentic Historic Recipes and Practices by George Leonard & Berthe E. Herter (1969).

Some excerpts ...

"The martini drink has become America's most popular hard liquor drink for two reasons.
1. It gives you more raw alcohol for your money than any other drink and hence more of an alcohol jolt.
2. Americans want to escape from reality and use martinis as an anesthetic not actually as a drink.
The way martini drinks are made in America, they are about the poorest excuse for an alcoholic drink that you could find, actually no better than drinking Sterno canned heat strained through bread, the national drink of the bum jungles."

The authors attribute the original martini to the 18th century German composer J.P. Scharzendorf and offer this recipe:

"Take two ounces of Genievre ... Add one ounce of dry white wine such as Rhine wine or Chablis. One sixteenth level teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Stir well and serve as cold as possible. You will note that there is no vermouth, or olive in the genuine martini. Vermouth is nothing but a cheap spice flavored white wine and was originally made in order to get rid of wine too poor to sell on its own. The idea of using vermouth in martinis was the sole idea of unscrupulous importers of vermouth who simply wanted to promote its sale and are the kind of people who will do anything to make money. The idea of putting an olive in a martini was the idea of Robert Agneau, French New York bartender who put in the olive to try to conceal the raw alcohol taste of martinis served in the United States with the salt of an olive. It helps very little."

Brilliant, bat-shit insane, or tired old-hat for the cognescenti?
All perspectives welcome!

On a more recent historic note, gave Ransom gin out of Oregon a spin (chilled\straight up).
If I had been served this blind, I would have thought it was a subtle anejo tequila.
Is this character typical of Old Tom gins or specific to this label (the cardamom)?
Summer & tall drinks ... this gin seems as if it could mix well and rub tanned shoulders.

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