The Martinis Left Behind

December 21, 2009

Now it wouldn’t be fair to this blog or to our readers to not admit that yes, there have been some martinis that we have chosen to omit from our lists for consumption. Recently in going through various mail-order catalogs in my usual Christmas madness of “where did I see that again?”, I remembered seeing a book, or more like a journal, that I believe was called the Obit Kit. Or something similar. It was designed to help you (pre) write your own obituary, I suppose so you could make sure that the things you wanted to be said and remembered about you got remembered. Which reminds me of an obituary link I was directed to much earlier this year, which I will share with you here:

http://obits.cleveland.com/obituaries/cleveland/obituary.aspx?n=nancy-lee-hixson&pid=129179739

I think my favorite part of Nancy Hixson’s obituary was the pure honesty of this sentence: “In short, she did all things enthusiastically, but nothing well.” From other posts I read, Ms. Hixson wrote most of the obituary herself ahead of time, and it was this obituary that I thought of when I saw the Obit Kit. Whenever I pass away, I would like people to read about my life and bring a smile to their faces at some point along the way, too. Occasionally I’ve wondered what would sum up my life in a short, brief term, such as you’d see on a headstone. In my case, probably something like: “I know it’s here somewhere.” If I had a t-shirt just for me, it would say, “I lose things.”

Sue's Christmas Gift (shhhh! Don't tell her!)

Sue’s would most likely say, “I spill things.” That pretty much sums us each up, three words apiece. I have an uncanny knack for losing something that I literally just found five minutes earlier. And Sue can find a way to spill coffee out of a cup that was completely empty onto a white blouse. I’m not sure how she does it, but it truly is a gift. She will kill me for saying this, but of course I do it out of love. And she knows all too well how easily I lose things. I will be the old lady in the nursing home looking for my glasses that are perched on the end of my nose, or wondering where Raoul the sponge bath guy is when he just left to get more hot water two minutes earlier.

So onto an obituary of sorts for the unmade cocktails at the just-slightly-past halfway point of this blog. The first two we skipped were from Sue’s (newer) version of The Martini Book, the Chocolate Velvetini and the Chocolate Crush. Reason being that we felt we had enough chocolate-type martinis already in the book to drink and didn’t need these two, but we are keeping them in reserve – they did both sound good, so you may end up seeing one or both in a future post. Next was the Danish Martini – we’ve both actually been to Denmark and have nothing against the Danes, but this drink calls for Aquavit, which we’ve both had before (straight) and neither of us really wanted to buy a whole bottle of the stuff just to make one martini with it. We’ve decided it’s one of those opportunistic cocktails, that if either of us happens to come across someone who has a bottle of aquavit handy, well, then, we can siphon off a few ounces and make the Danish.

Next on the skip list is the Emerald Martini, and for the same reasons, the Green Martini. Both of these call for chartreuse as a mixer. Chartreuse is one of those liqueurs that doesn’t come in the nice little mini airline bottle size, and a full bottle of it is around $44. A bit much for just using maybe an ounce or two at the most and then not using it again until … well, until your surviving relatives are clearing out the liquor cabinet and wondering what it tastes like. Pass. We skipped the Hollywood Martini for a similar reason, it calls for Goldwasser – not the same as Goldschlager, this is a variety of liqueur, probably along the lines of Jagermeister or something, but with gold flakes in it. It isn’t cheap and doesn’t sound appealing at all, so we nixed this one from the list, too.

Another one we decided to skip was the Hot Mama Martini. This one calls for cinnamon schnapps and pepper vodka. Granted, I have the pepper vodka, but I have yet to run across a martini requiring cinnamon schnapps in this book other than the aforementioned, and to be honest, the combo just really doesn’t sound that good to me. I guess it’s along the lines of Red Hots – hot pepper and cinnamon, but I just can’t see it tasting even remotely good or similar and I’m not willing to give up the dwindling space in my pantry (the liquor cabinet overflowed into there) for the sake of another bottle.

The Key Lime was voted out by virtue of the fact that neither of us is a big fan of Key Lime Pie or lime in general other than as a garnish or in a margarita mix. The Kiwi Kiss was a thumbs-down because Kiwi is out of season or at least not readily available in San Diego right now, and personally I have no desire to buy a fruit that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie that is likely to eat my brain. We vetoed the Lemon Pucker because we had plenty of lemon cocktails already, and the Low Tide had clam juice and an olive stuffed with a smoked clam as a garnish. First of all, you’d never find those in a jar, and sure as shit, I’m not making one myself. Ugh. Neither of us is a big fan of clams, chowder, or anything resembling the sort, so that one was out. The Lychee got the veto due to seasonal lack of availability, and we nixed the Martunia because it has the same recipe as about three other drinks but the only difference is the garnish, which I believe is edible flowers. I can live without that part. I can definitely live without shelling out the money for it, as can Sue. We nixed the Martinis for Four because it’s basically a generic martini recipe and neither of us has that many friends. Okay, that isn’t true, but it sounds sympathy-inspiring to say it. Truth be told, certainly I could probably polish off the Martinis for Four in the course of an evening by myself, save for the fact that the recipe is gin vs. vodka based, so I wouldn’t like it as much. We skipped the Maritime Martini (6 parts gin, 2 parts dry vermouth) solely due to garnish, an anchovy stuffed olive, namely because I’d run out of them and my jar went bad because they weren’t my favorite olive, and I wasn’t about to buy another jar. The recipe is the same as a number of others in the book save for the olive, so we figured that was a safe one to pass on.

Hey, hey, hey, anybody got a light?

The Octopus’s Garden Martini calls for a garnish of a “smoked baby octopus”. Are you shittin’ me? Yuck. First of all, I wouldn’t do that to some poor little baby octopus, and second of all, how do you decide what to smoke it in? 🙂 Roll it up in cigarette paper? Shove it into a bong (not that I own one, of course)? Burn it in the fireplace? Oh wait, I guess there wouldn’t be much left to put into the martini. Scratch that idea. And what if it squirted ink all over the place before you were able to smoke it? Talk about a mess, not to mention messing up the color aesthetics of the drink. Too complicated, so we passed on this one.

The Oyster Martini has a similar yucchiness issue to the Octopus’s Garden, with – you guessed it – an oyster garnish. Now I’m okay with oysters, although generally they’re not something I order on my own, but I’m happy to share with someone else. I think they’re okay but don’t honestly see what’s worth getting excited about. My friend Jeff is rolling his eyes at this, he LOVES oysters. I think he loves vodka more, alas, and is now having to live vicariously through this blog for the sake of his liver, which I commend him for. Now the oyster shot, served in a shot glass with vodka and cocktail sauce, that’s okay by me. In fact, you could even leave the oyster out. Better for the environment and the oceans and all that. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Anyway, neither of us had a big burning desire to bring home a smoked oyster for the sake of this cocktail garnish, so we nixed this one from the list as well.

Other ones we are likely to pass on are the Plaza Martini, which is exactly the same as the Hotel Plaza Martini save for the name, the Silver Streak Martini, because it calls for Jagermeister and a LOT of it, and since Sue has the Jagermeister and didn’t really care for it previously, I don’t see her chomping at the bit to mix up another cocktail with it, and I certainly don’t have any burning desire myself. The Moll Flanders and the Sloe Gin Martini both require (you guessed it) Sloe Gin, which neither of us really wanted to buy. It’s not that easy to come by, nor is it cheap, and it just didn’t sound like something either of us would want cluttering up the pantry.

I think that’s it. We haven’t finished going through our respective copies of The Martini Book to match up recipes, so there may be a few others that fall by the wayside, but we are doing our best to stick to the original goal of 201 total, so you can count on that.

The other night I met a couple of former work colleagues, Maya and Donna, at a bar, and happened to have the Book along with me because I’d written an entry during my lunch break at work that day. I brought it into the bar just for the hell of it and asked the waitress if the bartender could make one of the drinks in it for me – the two I had in mind were either the Old Country or the Metropolitan, because I was trying to avoid buying either Madeira wine or currant vodka. I was willing to swap currant vodka for raspberry, although they aren’t technically the same, but the bar had no Lillet blanc.FAIL . Then they had a wine that would have done for Madeira in a pinch, but no cherry brandy, the other ingredient for the Old Country, which I already have. It was a little scary to realize that I have both Lillet blanc and cherry brandy (and now, alas, currant vodka and Madeira wine) … I may very well have one of the most well-stocked martini bars in San Diego! I counted yesterday and I have 15 different bottles of vodka. Do you think this constitutes a problem? I do. Only because my freezer isn’t big enough to hold that many bottles and hold a reasonable amount of food.

Until next time, or whenever I don’t have a cat sitting on my chest when I’m trying to type. 🙂

Cheers,
Cathy

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~ by rachelroust on December 22, 2009.

One Response to “The Martinis Left Behind”

  1. My new freezer can hold all that vodka, but my liver can’t.

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