In case you don’t already know, today is National Martini Day. I assume you are celebrating appropriately. That not only means that you are drinking a martini, but that the martini is made with gin. Because if it has vodka, you are consuming some other cocktail. I mean, if the substitution of onions for olives creates an entirely new drink (the Gibson), the substitution of the core spirit certainly does as well. Also, the extra dry martini that either doesn’t use vermouth or barely uses it shouldn’t really count either. Vermouth is a wonderful thing. Get used to it. And while I do like an olive in my martini, the dirty martini is an abomination. Who wants to drink olive brine? I also recommend a more active gin than your standard London dry. Damrak is the nectar of the gods, if you can find it. Death’s Door is quite delicious recent addition to my world of gins. My brother describes it as “gamey,” which I think is accurate. If you are going with the more mass market gins, I have recently found New Amsterdam somewhat more interesting than Tanqueray or Bombay, although I certainly wouldn’t say anything bad about those gins, especially Tanqueray. Again, I have come to like a wet gin in my doddering old age.
Normally, National Martini Day would be cause to celebrate. Unfortunately, James Gandolfini’s death makes that harder. I am going to watch one of his last roles with my martini–Zero Dark Thirty, which I haven’t seen. If the torture scenes are too intense, I’ll just have to make a second martini.
….Also, here is a 1988 article about people moving from apartment to apartment in New York, featuring the 26 year old part-time actor Jim Gandolfini.