It’s Time for March (Classic Martini) Madness

Photo Credit: Poul Lange

Slate.com has no shortage of excellent content, but their interactive Martini Madness contest is the most brilliant thing I’ve seen on the site yet. Their contributors researched most everything that’s been written on the world’s most iconic cocktail, distilling it into 80 drinks, with recipes and the occasional anecdote. Rules of the game? The drink must contain gin and vermouth. Everything else is up for grabs. Which recipes make it into the final NCAA-inspired brackets? You decide.

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Iconic Martini Moment from 1934

The 1934 film, The Thin Man, is known as one of the best chronicles of classic cocktail culture. The movie, based on a novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett, finds a detective (Nick) and his heiress wife (Nora) try to solve a murder mystery on a path lined with plenty of cocktails.

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The Case for the Small Cocktail

aperitif_glasses

These aperitif glasses from a 1929 book on etiquette hold 3 ounces.

In bygone times (as recently as, say, yesterday evening), some imbibers would be caught kvetching as they inspected the cocktail in front of them. “Do those glasses seem small?” “Hmm, not so generous on the pour.” Those comments irk me, and here’s why. A new generation of bartenders at quality-focused and Prohibition-style bars has realized that bigger is not better. In that regard, they’re actually doing us a favor. Truly, who hasn’t cringed at the prospect of choking down those last few ounces of a lukewarm Martini or Margarita. Not so tasty.

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