After seeing the newest James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace (which I applaud for the expanded vocabulary in the title as well as the movement to normal, non-titillating names for its female characters), I was reminded of a drink I used to love so well... the martini. It brought back memories of days when I was obsessed with Frank Sinatra, swing dancing, and the era that I thought epitomized cool. BFF's S and P will remember those days well...
As a result of this obsession I posess a lifetime's supply of martini glasses...
The ubiquitous phrase "shaken not stirred" made famous by Bond has not really seemed to increase the popularity of the original martini, while sweet mixed martini cocktails have seemed to multiply in number (blech... a drink served in a martini glass does not a martini make). An original martini, made with either gin or vodka (or both), blended with vermouth and garnished with a cocktail onion, a lemon peel or an olive is an acquired taste... strong tasting and certainly not sweet.
Anyways, as someone who appreciates a good martini (I recommend Bombay Sapphire gin for its great taste) the martini ingredients Bond orders in the movie sounded so good... after some internet research, here it is (from Esquire):
The Vesper, 2006
Shake (if you must) with plenty of cracked ice:
* 3 oz Tanqueray gin
* 1 oz 100-proof Stolichnaya vodka
* 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
* 1/8 teaspoon (or less) quinine powder or, in desperation, 2 dashes of bitters
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and twist a large swatch of thin-cut lemon peel over the top. Shoot somebody evil.
Here's a quote from Bond from Ian Fleming's book, Casino Royale about why the drink is so strong,
When I'm...er...concentrating," he explained, "I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink's my own invention. I'm going to patent it when I can think of a good name."