Thar’s GOLD in Them Thar Glasses…

On my last visit to London, whilst (that’s what they actually say!) looking for a cute upscale bar (not a pub) at nearly 11pm with my Brit friend, we decided to head into this trendy looking bar on the ground floor of a quaint boutique hotel. 

Sitting in a couple of hugely over-stuffed leather armchairs (sort of like what I imagine Sherlock Holmes sat in to do his deep thinking) we were approached by a very friendly waitress.  Not wanting my usual straight-up Grey Goose Martini with olives, I suggested that our server choose my beverage du nuit.

A few minutes later, I was totally astonished when regally presented with a Gold Martini.  Real gold dust was gently floating on the surface, while some sort of edible flower (not eaten by this ‘tini Gal!) lazed nearby.  OK…not only was this the most expensive Martini in the world, there was no way that I would drink it or even sip it.  A milk moustache is one thing…a gold one? Eww.  The recipe is very similar to a typical Cosmo, but here it is:

Gold Dust Martini
4 parts Citron Vodka – Grey Goose is preferred of course!
2 part Cointreau or Triple Sec
1 part fresh lime juice
2 parts cranberry juice
Edible gold dust
Foo-foo flower for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice.  Shake well
and pour into chilled Martini glass.  Dust surface with edible
gold dust, garnish with edible flower and serve.

Memories of The Drake

(Ed. Note: I’ve reposted this entry because it is so dear to my heart.  I’ve recently returned from a visit to Chicago and was able to spend time at the Drake.)

My mother had a fascination for collecting cocktail recipes as you might have guessed.  The photo of her book that I am using for this blog is here and my first replication will be The Drake Martini.  If you’ve ever seen the movie, My Best Friend’s Wedding, then you’ve seen The Drake Hotel (see photo).  Not only is it a monolithic structure looming on the corner of Michigan Avenue and East Walton Place, it is one of the most iconic hotels in the city. (Maybe the old Conrad Hilton would vie for first place).  Built in 1920, The Drake has stood the test of several owners, management and demanding celebrities.

It was in the Coq d’Or Martini Bar and Restaurant that The Drake Martini was invented. 

Gin has never been on my must-try drink list.  My parents drank Beefeater gin Martinis with an olive; they’d never allow me a taste of course, but I would lean over their just-poured glass and catch a whiff of gin and vermouth and an olive.

Tonight I tried my first gin Martini.  Not sure if I like it; I only bought enough gin today to sample the drink and it probably isn’t the “A” list gin.  Is there a gin equivalent to vodka’s Grey Goose? I’ll admit, gin has kind of a rousing taste, oddly, almost a bit minty when mixed with the vermouth.  This is a drink that could make someone feel oh-not-too-good the next morning, should several have been imbibed.

Here’s the recipe for The Drake Martini. This Martini formula has remained unchanged since 1933.

Ingredients for one (very potent!) cocktail
4 oz dry gin
1/4 oz dry vermouth

Pour into a shaker filled with ice. After a gentle stir, carefully pour into Martini glass.

These are the instructions of Ernie Byfield, a famous Chicago hotelier who also once ran the Pump Room.  He is said to have created The Drake Martini. He felt that the stirring of The Drake Martini is considered vitally important.

Ernie recommended only the “very slightest disturbance of the mixture – just enough to bring about a complete and peaceful marriage of the elements.”  Who am I to argue?  Here’s to you, Ernie!

Mindful Musings…

Mindful musing of the moment: 
Someone asked me the other day if I thought that two people who have been married for fifty-plus years would be as happy in that relationship as they might be if they had divorced thirty-five years earlier and found a new spouse.  Basically…

can you achieve the same degree of happiness with more than one person?
The answer to that question is best debated over a really nice Pinot Noir carefully poured into a beautiful piece of Reidel stemware.  Since that isn’t possible right now, if anyone has some insight to contribute, please leave a comment.