tonight I made a martini.
Damn, but this is good. 3 ingredients: Gin, dry vermouth, and green olives.
I went the classic method: 2 1/2 oz gin, 1/2 oz vermouth; poured over ice and stirred, then strained into a chilled martini glass, and garnished with 3 olives on a pick. (I like olives; most folks only use 1, but my glass is huge, and I was compensating.)
The flavor is interesting; I haven't ever been much of a gin drinker, and I have heard horror stories about vermouth, but together, they make magic, as far as I'm concerned. The gin is smooth and flowery, and the vermouth hits it with something I can't quite describe; makes it slightly sweeter, more like a wine from the way it feels in the mouth. The salt from the olives creates a very sexy undertone, like tasting your lover's sweat. I feel the gin blush rising, the heat flowing from my stomach up through my neck, resting in my ears. Wonderful.
Now I understand why the "martini lunch" was/is so popular; this drink is so smooth and makes you want to sit back and enjoy some jazz music and pleasant conversation. A perfect way to take a break during a hectic day at work, especially in the days before Prozac became a household name. I can't say how a martini would affect someone on Prozac; I'm sure it would make them care even less about their various issues.
I can also see why both men and women alike embraced this drink back in the great heyday of cocktails. Men can appreciate it because it is truly no-nonsense: three ingredients, one glass, beverage is prepared. This drink has rules you must follow, or you'll screw it up, and have to start again.
Women can appreciate it, because to make a good martini is to ensure that your man is happy when presented with a well-made, delicious drink after work or before dinner; or when hanging out with the girls, you can impress your friends with your mad drink-mixing skills. Its simplicity is also nice, again, 3 ingredients, and everyone is smiling. I, for one, welcome a simple way to condense sophistication, and the martini is that to a tee.
I know a lot of you are thinking about the 007 "shaken, not stirred" creation; but the difference is that is a vodka martini, and not at all what I am talking about. I have said it before, and I will say it again: just because it is served in a martini glass does not make it a martini. I'm looking at you, appletini, strawberrytini, mangotini...don't even mention a chocolate martini. Those do not even exist to me; I do not believe in them. They offend something deep within me. This is a classic, a standard, and needs no adulteration.