In my book, the Martini is perhaps the greatest muse for the creation and assertion of opinions. It’s the drink that has launched a thousand arguments.
I cannot think of another cocktail that has had as much ink spilled (and perhaps blood) concerning the proper recipe, correct preparation and, even, appropriate garnish. And that’s not to mention theories as to who invented the drink or named it—don’t worry, I’m not going there, not now, anyway.
It seems that I have a kindred spirit in recognizing the divisiveness of the Martini. In his entertaining and engaging new book, The Martini Cocktail: A Meditation on the World’s Greatest Drink, with Recipes, Robert Simonson deftly observes that the cocktail consists of “gin, vermouth, sometimes bitters, lemon twist or olive, and lots of opinions. Those are the ingredients of a Martini. But the last item is the most important. It’s the one that keeps us talking about a drink that is nearly 150 years old. Something about the Martini gets people worked up, certain that the world might have a fighting chance at decency if only people would adhere to their particular recipe.”