Saturday, November 10, 2012

For Mr E


Now you've got me going. I have been re-arranging my work space and getting all paid-work stuff out in to another bookcase so I can consolidate and tidy my non-paid writing space. While toiling, I kept in mind to watch out for a certain book on a certain topic.

A few years ago, I bought MARTINI, a memoir by Frank Moorhouse. I have never read, never much looked at it but I liked having it, knowing I possessed a book that was entirely a love-letter to martinis.

This is the table of contents:

Martini city
The story
The pageant of learning
Email to Ophelia in New York
The venerated craft
A captivating observation
The question of coldness
This thing called gin
The vodka option
The lost vermouth
A disturbing observation
The breast: the bra: the glass
The olive and the lemon tree
The diamond: the pearl: the acorn
'The olive on the toothpick gives the drink an axis'

Don't you just love it? The mention of 'this thing called gin'. Is he going to be pro or con? And the coldness; Mr E you are specific about coldness. And finally, the olive versus the lemon (I guess) is what that section refers to.

Let's see.

Oh wait, there's more. Turned the page, more in the TOC:

They had a date with fate in Casablanca
Liberating the Ritz
The first martini film
The role of the martini in movie-making
A martini matinee
'The orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music...'
Canapés
Scuba and Martini's Law
Mademoiselle and the doctor and the martini
The cocktail dress
The whole question of the drinks' cart
A new drinks' trolley
The souls of animals
The thirteen awarenesses
The mysteries
Where are they now?
Memoir of a story: Story of a memoir

End Pieces
A letter to my drinking companions around the world
The classic martini
Acceptable variations and close relatives of the martini
Martini music
What is this demon? Alcohol and the art of drinking

So much good stuff here. Where to begin?

Deliberation is one of the ingredients of the martini... To care about the martini shows that you know what it is that goes to make that which could be called, in life, fine.

In life, there are drinkers and there are martini drinkers.

The gauge of a sophisticated household is the number of glasses it possesses which are appropriate to the beverage.

(Moorhouse's friend V.I. Voltz, Mahattan identity)

Among many interesting snippets there is this one: Malcolm Fraser was (is?) a martini drinker. Apparently he takes a swig from the bottle of gin, replaces it with vermouth, shakes the bottle and puts it into the freezer for ready-made martinis.

More snippets to follow.

14 comments:

Mr E said...

Malcolm Fraser was (is?) a martini drinker. Apparently he takes a swig from the bottle of gin, replaces it with vermouth, shakes the bottle and puts it into the freezer for ready-made martinis.

The horror.............

The horror.............

Interesting that you should choose today of all days, the 37th anniversary of The Dismissal to confirm what always thought about Malcolm Fraser.

The man is a pig.

Fraser's method for "making a martini" belongs in a world that would describe the Japanese Tea Ceremony as "putting a mug of cold water in a Hitachi Microwave Oven, zapping it on high for 90 seconds, then adding a Black and Gold home brand teabag and a couple of saccharine tablets before retiring to a Burmese Gold Fler Romp Sofa wearing socks and jocks to watch Australia's Funniest Home Videos On a Sharp widescreen TV".

Pig!

Melba said...

I have to agree Mr E. Barbarianism. Had no idea today was the anniversary, actually yesterday was, but now I think of it, I knew that.

Hope it didn't make you even more glum on that Terrible Day, nor that it shook your Maintenance of the Rage.

Malcolm's a lot better these days, though, or have you forgiven nothing?

And I love your otemae parallel: saccharine tablets and romp sofa. Oh my.

And I made a martini Sat night - used your method of coating the inside of glass with the Vermouth. Considered the lemon peel but couldn't. I just love the olives too much and to me, they go so well with the voddy.

Melba said...
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Alex said...

I was going to keep out of this, since I'm the kind of boorish pig who considers it totally acceptable to mix cocktails by drinking a bit out of a bottle and topping it up; but, I don't get your reaction to the lemon here at all, Melbs.

If you try it with lemon and find you don't like it as much as the olives, you can go back to the olives, having lost nothing. However, if you never even try the lemon, you might be missing out on something wonderful and never know it. Where's your sense of curiosity?

Mr E said...
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Mr E said...
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Mr E said...

I don't get your reaction to the lemon here at all, Melbs.

Yeah. What Alex said!

Melba. By all means experiment, it's not as if the Martini Nazis are going to kick your door in and drag you off to a Goon Gulag any time soon, in fact I've just checked the roster for the next few weeks and we are pretty much fully booked until it least the second week of December, please let us know if this would be convenient for you.

Doing the lemon thing does not preclude doing the olive thing. If anything, provided that you've got the temperature thing right, the lemon thing, used sparingly, will only add a certain sharpness that will accent the flavour of the olives.

Cut loose!, Experiment a little.

I mean, what's the worst thing that can happen? Apart from the front door of the house being kicked in sometime during the latter part of the second week of December and your physical person being confined in a secret location and rationed to one 4 L Cask of Fruity Lexia per week by a group of people sworn by blood oath to uphold the purity of both the race and the cocktail, what could possibly go wrong?

Melba said...

You're telling me to experiment, Mr E, and cut loose? After your previous two comments where you laid down the law. It sounds like you might even be suggesting I try both together - I thought you were a purist!

You're both right. I will try lemon twist this weekend. How do I do it, though? With a potato peeler?

By the way, second half of second week of Dec is fine with me, all the significant family birthdays will be done with. Can you keep me for Christmas? Want to avoid. And do I get to meet your son?

Melba said...

PS Mr E I casually mentioned Noilly Prat in a tweet today. Showing off, you know.

Alex said...

Can you keep me for Christmas? Want to avoid.

Havin' rellies 'round for Chrissy, then?

Melba said...

No they're not coming *here* but some are coming *down* from the north and I'm thinking being gagged and locked in a cupboard at Mr E's is preferable to Chrissy lunch with them just now.

Mr E said...

Melbs.

Funnily enough you never actually struck me as the bondage type, but I guess we all live and learn.

Perhaps there's a deal to be made here, I can provide you all the closet space you may require and any ropes and gags you may desire to get you through the Christmas period. Unfortunately prevailing financial circumstances do not make it possible for me to extend this offer to leather accessories.

All that I require is a reciprocal arrangement on your part, that would allow me to avoid the seriously fucking hideously bad Christmas dinner at my sisters place. I'm able to provide all the accessory items myself, assuming that my old straitjacket from my 30s still fits and I have a pair of genuine CIA issue handcuffs in a box somewhere, I don't know where I know they are here somewhere.

So the big question is Deal Or No Deal?

Melba said...

So I've got my solution. We are having Chrissy a deux just me and Princess. Clokes will go north with the other two, to his family. My mother will have the two from my family for lunch, and my daughter and I will suit ourselves and IT WILL BE THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER. Recalcitrant? Fuck yes, but I'm happy. Mr E, you are welcome to join us and you won't even need all those 'special' accoutrements, except for show and tell. I'm sure my girl would be facinated.

Ooh and guess what. Going to a martini bar tonight. To cap the week's theme. Will report back laterrrr.

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