Presidentially Worthy

Thursday, November 19, 2009
FDR’s Martini

This seemed like an appropriate cocktail after my Martin Sheen/West Wing analogy of the other day, except with a real President this time. I confess, prior to looking up how FDR and Teddy were related, I had no idea that Eleanor and Franklin were already both Roosevelts prior to marrying (they were, apparently, fifth cousins).  Teddy was actually Eleanor’s uncle.  I have absolutely no idea what that makes him to FDR.  Makes me think of the dialogue between Dark Helmet and Lone Starr in “Spaceballs”:

FDR and Teddy Roosevelt meet in another dimension

Dark Helmet:  I am your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate.
Lone Starr:  What does that make us?
Dark Helmet:  Absolutely nothing!  Which is what you are about to become.

In The Martini Book, there is a quote above this recipe, which reads:  “FDR was a serious martini drinker [I like the guy already] and carried a martini ‘kit’ with him whever he traveled.  During the Teheran conference, he insisted on mixing one of his specialties for Joseph Stalin.  Stalin found it ‘cold on the stomach,’ but liked it.  FDR’s martini was most likely the first ‘Dirty Martini’.”

Definitely like the guy.  Although his Dirty Martini is kind of wussy as far as dirty martinis go.  2 parts gin, 1 part vermouth, 1 teaspoon olive brine, lemon twist, and a cocktail olive.  But as I’ve noted earlier, more vermouth to gin is okay with me when it’s gin.  When it’s vodka, not so much.  Me, I prefer a vodka dirty martini and I like it very dirty, as you’ve probably figured out by now, and very dry.  But I’m not FDR, and we’re talking a good … yikes, what, 70-80 years ago?  Oh dear.  Anyway, this was educational for me, reading up on FDR and his infidelities (ditto with Eleanor and hers, some of them with the same gender, but not until after he committed his).  I had no idea.  Alas, my high school history education ended somewhere between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.  Why?  Because I was taking Chemistry II, which met at the same time that the “gifted” history class met, so I ended up in the so-called bonehead history class for my senior year.  After the first quarter/semester (whichever it was – we’re going back waaaaay too far for me to remember which), my history teacher realized that everyone in the class was going out of their way to copy off my paper/tests and that I was throwing the curve way off.  So he gave me a “research” assignment to find all of the CIF championship victories for my high school dating back to something like 1898 when the school was established, which I did, to the best of my ability, given the fact that there was no internet in that day and age (1980).  That encompassed the 2nd half of my senior year and thus took the place of learning about anything beyond the early 1800’s.  I’m not sure why I know about WWI and WWII and various other things, I must have learned that in junior high on a more peripheral level and remembered it.  But I never got to learn about Teddy or FDR or Eleanor.  Or martinis.  Not that martinis would have been appropriate subject matter back in my high school day.  Now?  No idea.  But you gotta like FDR for the fact that he carried around the fixings with him.

As for the namesake drink itself – I give it a “DNS” rating.  Which stands for “Does Not Suck”.  Not quite a 4 stars but definitely a 3.75 stars.  As I mentioned before, I think I like the higher proportions of vermouth when gin is invovled but not vodka.  The lemon twist (rubbed around the rim of a chilled cocktail glass before serving, then discarded) and the olive are a nice touch.  I liked this one more than I expected I would and give FDR credit, assuming credit is due, for coming up with a good one.



~ by rachelroust on November 22, 2009.

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