Autumn begins as a gentle breeze, at the edges of the woods, at the edges of the mind.
As promised before last week's righteous diatribe:
One fun thing about the Perfect Martini is that very few people under 70 have ever had one. Surely, its particular type of accessible esotericism (the ingredients are cheap and easy to find) has led to some sort of revival for it in the nation’s hipster bars. But then, perhaps taking shots at hipsters is, in itself, a little dated at this point. So while we’re kicking around behind the times, let’s get a fresh assessment of an old classic.
3-6 parts Gin
1/2 part Sweet Vermouth
1/2 part Dry Vermouth
1-2 dashes Orange Bitters
Citrus twist (I discard it, but feel free to toss it in if you’d like)
Stir until the alcohol burn subsides and the odor opens up into floral/herb garden territory. Go on, get your nose right in there. Serve up in a chilled martini glass or other stemmed cocktail glass.
I find that it’s nice to have a go-to between warm-weather classic Martinis and cold-weather Manhattans. I’m not suggesting that the Martini and Manhattan are actually seasonal and not year-round classics, simply that I tend to drink Martinis more in the summer and Manhattans more often in the winter. Marking time and all. Yet when the velvety summer heat gives out in a long, relaxing sigh to the cooler days of early autumn, I find myself wishing for a drink to mirror that satisfying and excited feeling that accompanies this transition and its inevitable metaphors. Not the romance of the harvest so much as that calm and elated sensation on high, clear September days; the urge to walk upon weathered bricks atwixt ivy-clad halls, past sprawling great trees and the peculiar rattle of early-autumn leaves — so subtly yet immediately different than summer breezes in deep green. Reading aloud to your lover, the late day sun on her face, straining to study the curve of her neck, the corners of her smile; to capture all the sweet subtleties that go unnoticed in the glare of summer’s careless revelry. “Trepky, get it back on the rails,” she says.
Right. Well, since pumpkin beer tastes like culvert runoff after the Muffin Man takes a long piss off the edge of Drury Lane, I recommend the Perfect Martini for these occasions. I made one for my wife last night:
It looked a kind of copper and gold and sparkled … this herbal taste touched the tip of my tongue and quickly swept backwards, growing into my mouth.
Well, I can’t probably put it better than that. I mix them with a higher portion of gin on the sunny days and with a higher portion of vermouth on the cloudy ones. Seems to do the trick.