Friday Red: Dirty Martini

February 21, 2009

So, I wasn’t kidding when I said the Wine Warehouse of Boca Raton, FL was going to be one of my top two things that I would miss. Iowa has many charms, but ready access to nicely priced quality wines is not among them. Example: our local grocery store sells Smoking Loon for $14.99. Wine Warehouse price: $6.99. Which is about right. Sigh. We’ve been drinking a lot of beer this year.

But, we’re getting by with a little help from our friends. For one thing, Snickerdoodle hooked us up with some Wine of the Month Club for Christmas (can’t thank you enough!!), and one of those will certainly be showing up during a blog post near you, except that normally we don’t drink it on Friday nights, we save it for when we need to take it over to someone’s house to be impressive.

Tonight we were in between bottles, so we decided to take Friday festivities in a slightly different direction, that suggested by my friend EME this past fall, right before she became EMB–the dirty martini. I had never had one until her bachelorette party, which included a truth-or-truth session, in which we learned her favorite drink was the dirty martini, and a trip to a martini bar, in which I ordered one in her honor.

I have to say, it was not love at first sip. A dirty martini is gin + vermouth + olive juice. It tastes like… gin and olive juice. I like olives. I like olives a lot. Olive juice? Well, it’s not quite the same thing, now is it? It’s even less so when you mix it with gin, which I can’t help but compare to the imagined taste of Off! brand mosquito repellent. But, I soldiered on, and finished my dirty martini with nary an envious glance at the glasses of those who had ordered cosmotinis, pomotinis, and bellinis.

I emerged from that party with a sense of purpose: I would become an adult. I would learn to love the dirty martini. With the proper practice, in my experience, almost anything is possible, and surely I can become a genuine fan of the dirty martini if I try.

Why would I do this? I’m not sure, exactly. To prove that I can? Because it’d be nice to have at least one non-sugary drink that I feel comfortable ordering at a bar? Those are plausible reasons, but I think what I really want is the sense of the constraint, like writing oulipan poetry. It has a ring to it, and it came into my life without my seeking it–if I can learn to love it, I can learn to love whatever is coming my way. I’m going to like it. I’m going to learn how to savor it and look good sipping it. I didn’t choose it, it’s just there, and that makes it mine.

So, tonight, I took the second step in a journey that may be a thousand miles. I hit up the grocery and got the necessary supplies to introduce D to the dirty martini. It doesn’t take that much gin or vermouth to make a single martini, so it appears we are stocked to make a long term assault on this cocktail.

After he had finished his, I asked D if he liked it. He nodded. I pressed him: did you like it, or did you like the idea of it? He said he liked it, and paused. Well, he said, maybe I like having finished it. I nodded knowingly. Yeah, I said.

It’s a start. I’ll let you know how it goes.


One Response to “Friday Red: Dirty Martini”

  1. Snickerdoodle Says:

    Woo! I made an appearance in a blog! So glat the wine’s a life-saver. 🙂

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