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Grocery Shop Fails. How to Make a Frosty Martini.

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Grocery Mission: Fail

Grocery shop fails. Don’t mind my frosty martini. I’m baffled by how many accounts I’ve read of people, regular and celebrities alike, trying to invent new ways to make the coldest martini. Here’s how: Measure your vermouth and gin in two separate mixer glasses and stick in freezer for 20 minutes or a little longer – just under the freeze threshold of the vermouth. Mix together, stir gently and serve in a martini glass. Don’t James Bond shake, for heaven’s sake.

Weekend Reading.

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Weekend Reading

Weekend reading. I ordered a reprint of the 1946 edition of The Stork Club Bar Book, and it is absolutely delightful. There are over 17 pages of just morning cocktails, with serious notes to bartenders about which to serve for particular customer ailments. Also picked up a history of gin book on my Kindle along with The Joy of Drinking by the eloquent and highly quotable Barbara Holland, my favorite essayist.

Crawfish and a Belmont.

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A bit of cajun crawfish and andouille sausage in reduced wine sauce and a creamy Belmont gin cocktail made with homemade raspberry syrup. The most I’ve cooked in a week. My fridge is a barren desert. My recipe for a Belmont: a shot of gin, 1/2 a shot of raspberry syrup and 1 shot of heavy whipping cream, shaken vigorously on ice and strained into a champagne coup.

Decadent Weekend.

Decadent Weekend update: I woke up around 11 to realize that I’m out of cheesecake, but I’ve started some lobster tails steaming, so me and the cat will survive. I’ve also caught up on my nerdy research, and I now know several more famous martini recipes, including Hemingway’s Montgomery, most variations of Ian Fleming’s Bond nonsense (Do not. I repeat, do not), and the martini habits and recipes of the last dozen Presidents, including Hoover, Roosevelt, Reagan and Nixon. I have ascended to the next belt in martini-fu.

Wanted: Poolside Martini Maker.

I’ve drafted an ad for the local job listings: “Wanted: Poolside Martini Maker. Applicants must be able to respond to nonverbal cues to produce an ice-cold, classic 3:1 gin martini with minimal variation within three minutes. Will train. Adequate shade and food will be provided. Upon successful trial, a permanent weekday position may be offered. James Bond martini recipe advocates need not apply.”

Tasting Notes Bourbon Edition: Jefferson’s Ocean Bourbon.

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Jefferson’s Ocean Bourbon

We interrupt our regularly scheduled Gin Tasting Notes to bring you a special Bourbon Edition. I’ve finally gotten my hands on something I’ve long coveted, Jefferson’s Ocean, an extremely small batch bourbon aged four years out to sea in barrels over 10,000 miles. The regular movement of the ocean allows the bourbon constant contact with the barrel wood, while imparting a subtle brine from the salty air. I’ve some Bulleit’s bourbon for contrast, a decent drink for enjoying a good cigar. Verdict: Jefferson’s is absolute ambrosia on the nose, and that’s where you’ll pick up most hints of brine. It makes Bulleit’s smell like paint fumes in comparison, and you can bury your nose in the glass indefinitely with no risk of singeing your nose hairs. It’s rich and complicated on the palate, lingering in the mouth while constantly evolving. Certainly worth the steep price tag. But if any friends swing by and I let you try some, you’re putting out at the end of the night.

No, seriously. Just mentioning the price has me almost swallowing my tongue. Gotta recoup somehow.

Gin Tasting Notes: Opihr Oriental London Dry Gin.

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Opihr Oriental London Dry Gin

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a Gin Tasting Note. Today I found this intriguing bottle of gin waiting for a review: Opihr Oriental London Dry Gin, hailing from England, of course. Its label manages to sum up a couple centuries of colonialism, as does its description of spices of the former spice route, from India, Morocco, and Indonesia. It delivers on its peppery promise without overwhelming, both on the front and the aftertaste. Curiously they’ve managed to sweep the usual bite of gin under the rug, and this is even more pronounced in both dirty and dry martinis. With the usual bite of gin gone, your martini sipping will turn into martini gulping, so be warned. Verdict: the lack of bite might make a martini enthusiast frown, but it’s perfect if that same bite has kept you from enjoying a martini. And unlike many gins, this one holds up best by itself served neat, unadorned.