December 14, 2005

This Is Why I Passed The Bar

This letter from yesterday's Wall Street Journal is making the rounds of the office today:

Martini's Founding Fathers: Original Intent Debatable

Eric Felten's essay on the dry martini is itself near-perfect ("Don't Forget
the Vermouth," Leisure & Arts, Pursuits, Dec. 10). His allusion to
constitutional jurisprudence is faulty, however, since neither in law nor
martinis can we know the subjective "original intent" of the Founding
Fathers. As to martinis, the intent may have been to ease man's passage
through this vale of tears or, less admirably, to employ the tactic of
"candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker."

What counts in mixology is the "original understanding" of the martini's
essence by those who first consumed it. The essence remains unaltered but
allows proportions to evolve as circumstances change. Mr. Felten's
"near-perfect martini" is the same in principle as the
"original-understanding martini" and therefore its legitimate descendant.
Such latter-day travesties as the chocolate martini and the raspberry
martini, on the other hand, are the work of activist bartenders.

Mr. Felten lapses into heresy only once. He prefers the olive to the lemon
peel because the former is a "snack." Dropping a snack into a classic drink
is like garnishing filet mignon with ketchup. The correct response when
offered an olive is, "When I want a salad, I'll ask for it."

Robert H. Bork
The Hudson Institute

I am an original-understanding martini-ist myself. Damn all chocolate penumbras and raspberry emanations! And three cheers for the Bork-meister for standing up in favor of the lemon peel.

Posted by Robert at December 14, 2005 12:11 PM | TrackBack

Olives exist solely to be pressed into oil. Make my martini with a lemon, and use vodka.

Posted by: rbj at December 14, 2005 12:34 PM

Hear, hear.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at December 14, 2005 12:38 PM

Chert vozmi! There is no excuse for mixing good vodka with anything else. Vodka should be drunk cold and straight, in 250 mL portions.

And Pepper Vodka should be red. And chased with pickles and black bread.

Posted by: John at December 14, 2005 12:41 PM

I'd still rather have a dram of Islay Single Malt.

Posted by: Brian B at December 14, 2005 02:52 PM

I like gin-vermouth martinis with an olive. Preferable jalapeno stuffed, but can't be too picky.

Bork's as wrong about this as he is about the ninth amendment.

Posted by: JohnL at December 15, 2005 12:10 AM

I forsee the need for actual research into these endeavors. Perhaps some empirical testing, incluidng exhibit preparation on the possibility that it may end up before a Judge?
ANd, Ian Flemming is wrong: martinis are stirred not shaken.

Robbo, should we schedule a deposition to examine the exhibits?

Posted by: Lysander at December 15, 2005 10:15 AM

Definitely should seek leave of the court to do multiple depos on the same witness.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at December 16, 2005 10:39 AM

Just say when - to start, that is!

Posted by: Lysander at December 16, 2005 02:33 PM