19 June

Today is Martini Day & A.S. Crockett's birthday

So we are drinking a...

Gin Salad Dry Martini

Whether, like James Bond, you like your martini shaken not stirred, or not, as today is Martini Day you now have the perfect excuse to enjoy one.

Our recommended recipe today is a synthesis of two executions: the Gibson, with two cocktail onions, and the classic Dry Martini, with gin and olives. On such a special day we suggest combining both, and enjoying a Gin Salad Dry Martini, with both olives and onion.

Then sit down and ponder just how complicated the simplest of cocktails has become. There are thousands of different options to choose from and some very passionate arguments between what's right and what's wrong.

Basically, there are five key variables to a dry martini, they are:
1. Base: gin or vodka
2. Method: shake, stir, or direct/naked
3. Ratio: we list the 10 most common ratios
4. Seasoning: optional dashes of orange bitters, brine, sherry etc.
5. Garnish: olive, lemon zest twist, onion, caperberry etc.

I (Simon Difford) explore each of these five variables in How To Make A Dry Martini. Or you may prefer Dick Bradell's take on the Dry Martini.

When it comes to famous bartenders, Salvatore Calabrese also has a lot to say about the Dry Martini and his role in its development. I reveal this and some of the other people and events that have influenced Dukes Bar and its famous Martinis in The Truth Behind the Naked or Direct Dry Martini.

Talk of Dukes and the Dry Martini inevitably leads to The Story Behind Bond's Vesper Martini and to end, perhaps start back at the beginning with the Martini Cocktail And Its Evolution

It's also Albert Stevens Crockett's birthday

The "dean of correspondents", the ultimate old soak, a connoisseur who preserved some of the great pre-Prohibition cocktails in his Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book, Albert Stevens Crockett was born this day in 1873.

Although, sadly, the gentleman died a stripling, aged only 96. Described by HL Mencken as "a high authority on bar life in America", Crockett knew everyone who was anyone in his New York, from millionaires to bartenders. He preserved recipes and etymologies for a stack of cocktails, from the Gibson to the Bronx and Bobby Burns, as well as lesser-known gems like the Ampersand and the Tip-Top.

A good 70 years before the profession of cocktail historian existed, Crockett was delving into minutiae such as the first name of the Colonel who created the Rickey, and chatting to Johnny Solon about the Bronx. We are toasting him with one of the best recipes he preserved, a Chanticleer Cocktail.

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