Thy Kup Needs a Light

January 3, 2010
Kup’s Indispensable Martini

January 4, 2010
Pall Mall Martini

If I don’t get caught up on some of these posts, I’ll have to actually drink these martinis again in order to remember what they tasted like.  Okay, wait, let me think about why exactly that is a bad thing …?

Still thinking …

Okay, I’ll get back to you on that.  We’ll start off with one I’d skipped over for some reason, or I think I just forgot it was on my list, “Kup’s Indispensable Martini”.  Heaven only knows why it’s called that.  I found nothing indispensable about it, but then again I’m not anyone named Kup.  I hope nobody is.  The ingredients are 6 parts gin, 1-1/2 parts dry vermouth, 1-1/2 parts sweet vermouth, and an orange twist for garnish.  This was a decent cocktail, but in truth, the sweet vermouth and the dry vermouth in this case with the gin ended up cancelling each other out in terms of taste … basically the drink tastes like straight gin.  Well, that might be a bit off, because I know personally I’m not a fan of straight gin, and this was okay.  For lack of a better expression it smooths off the rough edges, let’s say.  Now whether or not you achieve the same effect with using 1 part each of straight vermouth and dry instead of 1-1/2, or even just using a tablespoon of each, I’m not sure.  I’m guessing not.  There must be some mystique to the proportions involved, obviously known only to someone named Kup who felt it was vital.  I’ll give this one a 3.5 rating.

Now the only thing that I associated the term “pall mall” with is the brand of cigarettes.  I do know it is also a ritzy street or area of London, but I remember the cigarette boxes more.  Bless Wikipedia for letting me know that the brand has been around since 1899, which is almost as long as I’ve been looking at the current zit on my chin (or so it seems).  The martini of the same name is mixed with 4 parts gin, 1 part dry vermouth, 1 part sweet vermouth, 1 teaspoon white creme de menthe, 1 dash orange bitters.

Gotta love the warning, "Smoking is deadly" - I wonder if tobacco manufacturers just changed the pack to a giant skull and crossbones, would people still continue to smoke? Probably.

If you’ll recall my Nyquil-themed post wherein I used the green creme de menthe instead of the white because I didn’t have it, well, I had the same problem here, because I still never got around to buying the stuff!  But in this case, I thought, ahhh, heck, it’s only a teaspoon.  So the color will be off, big deal.  Which it was.  Normally this would have been a light orange/rose shade but adding a teaspoon of bright green creme de menthe produces … well, just kind of a yuck color.  Maybe what the insides of my lungs would look like if I smoked Pall Malls for about a dozen years.  Perhaps that’s where the name came from, and then someone decided to use white creme de menthe instead.  Okay, that’s quite a reach.  Let’s skip that theory.  At any rate, certainly using the green variety didn’t help this drink any, but I don’t the white would have made it much more appealing other than the visual aspect.  The creme de menthe with the orange bitters and the two varieties of vermouth was just rather on the icky side, taste-wise.  I’d have to probably rate this as only a 1.5 star drink.  I don’t think I finished it, even, which is rare for me.  Hopefully my liver thanks me.  I’m wondering if it might have tasted better if I’d had a cigarette with it?

I’ve never smoked cigarettes.  Well, that isn’t entirely true, my mother did offer me a drag off one of her cigarettes when I was about five years old.  What prompted her to do this, I have no idea.  What prompted my Mom to do a lot of the things she did, I have no idea.  I believe the term “bipolar disorder” comes to mind.  As does the less diagnostic expression, “bat shit crazy”.  Both of them suited her on some level, although I never did know a formal DSM-IV term for what was wrong with my Mom.  She passed away in 2004.  I suppose I should have thanked her for that long-ago puff of smoke, which had the expected reaction of me coughing and hacking at inhaling it wrong and thinking to myself I couldn’t understand what would make anyone want to take up the habit – thus turning me off cigarettes for life at the age of 5.  My Mom smoked for pretty much most of her adult life in varying quantities.  I can recall my brother and I both being furious with her for getting out of the hospital after a few weeks in intensive care after having a severe stroke at the age of 46 that wiped out most of her speech ability and partially paralyzed her right side.  She hadn’t had a cigarette in all that time, you would have thought that A) she would have lost the desire to, and B) she might have given some thought to her lifestyle habits after having a stroke that bad at a relatively young age.  Nope.  Not my Mom.  As soon as she got home again, she lit one up.

Thus you have one of many reasons why I really don’t miss my Mom, even though most of my friends still have parents that are living and I am one of the few with neither mother or father around.  The rest of the reasons are numerous enough to fill an encyclopedia.  Ironically, given the nature of this blog, my mother was a martini drinker (a cocktail I didn’t try myself until I was in my 40’s) most of her life, and one of the things I learned to do as a kid was how to mix my Mom’s nightly martini for her, probably from about age 8 or so on.  She drank hers in a highball glass, over ice – Seagram’s gin and maybe Beefeater, then she switched to Tanqueray – with about a 1/8 capful of dry vermouth, mixed directly in the glass.  She may have switched to vodka martinis later in life, I can’t remember.  I think I tried to block out a lot of memories of her once I moved out to go to college, and I definitely avoided seeing her.  I remember the ones I mixed for her were gin, her favorite glass was a dark blue one with some kind of white print painted on the glass, it might have been floral.  We went through a fair amount of glassware because my Mom had a tendency to get mad at my brother and myself frequently and she would yell and toss whatever was nearest at hand – usually her martini glass – at us.  Fortunately she had bad aim.  🙂

’til next time,


~ by rachelroust on January 17, 2010.

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