June 19, 2012

National Martini Day

"One martini is alright, two is too many, three is not enough." - James Thurber

It's National Martini Day!

My girly drinks of choice used to be just about anything in the "sour" family. Didn't matter if it was an amaretto, whiskey, or Midori sour - those were my go-to drinks when my friends and I went out to dinner and were in for a long night of booze and boys. But those drinks, while visually stunning (a Midori Sour is the same color as green ecotoplasm, after all), didn't come in fancy glasses. When I watched Sex in the City, I always felt like I was doing "it" (drinking girly drinks and being girly with my girlfriends) wrong, because my beverages never came in really sexy cocktail glasses.

Like a martini does.

Made with gin and vermouth, garnished with an olive or a lemon, the original martini is one of the most popular alcohol beverages in the world. Where it comes from is a bit of a mystery though. Legend has it that the drink evolved from another cocktail called "the Martinez" which was served at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco in the 1860's. People would there stop for a drink before taking the ferry to the town of Martinez, which is how it got it's name. Others say that a bartender living in Martinez created the cocktail, while there's also rumor that a bartender named Martinez working at the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City around 1912 created it.

History shows that gin's popularity rose during the Prohibition because of how easy it was to manufacture illegally. And, once Prohibition was over, there was plenty of the alcohol to go around thus solidifying it as a staple drink in our country regardless of where the martini cocktail originated.

And now you're all the wiser, lushes foodies.

Tonight will mark the third (and fourth) martini I've had in my life. The first was when I was very young, and the bartender thought I was joking when I told him I wanted Jack Daniels straight-up (because apparently little girls don't drink big boy drinks), so he brought me a white chocolate martini instead. Boo. Hiss. Boo. The second 'tini was a couple summers ago. My friend and I were craving cake at midnight, and the only place in town that still served desserts that late at night was at the martini bar. So we went and got espresso martini's and rum-soaked banana cake. I don't remember the martini, but I do remember how much I wanted to make love to that cake.

I went back to that same bar to have another go at a martini (sans cake, because otherwise I'd just be distracted). Part of me wanted to get an apple 'tini, light on the 'tini, but in the end I got a key lime martini. Which, by the way, literally tasted like key lime pie. The glass was rimmed with graham cracker and everything (the second martini was a peanut butter cup one; it also tasted exactly as advertised...very trippy).

Well, I'm feeling good after tonight. Who's with me!?

Happy National Martini Day!