Thermal Flow Thoughts – Keeping the Martini Cold!

We mentioned thermal flow several times as part of discussions on keeping a drink cold.  So I started wondering exactly what are the typical thermal paths for a Martini?

First lets understand that cold doesn’t exist, there is only the absence of heat.  Heat flows from warm to cold… or from cold to colder.  So to make a Martini cold you pull heat out of the fluid by using something colder; using cold ice when we shake (or stir) the Martini.   We sometimes think its the other way around, so some of my comments below may seem backward.

So heat flows to warm your Martini, or other cocktail, in the following ways:
From the air, through the glass bowl, and into the liquid.
From the counter, table, or bar top into the stem and then up into the liquid.
When being held, through the fingers or hand into the glass and then into the drink.   (Note that heat flow is inversely proportional to length, i.e., heat flows less, or slower, through a longer path.  A tall stem will conduct less heat up through the glass into the Martini that a short squat, bulbous stem.)

So where does most of this drink warming heat come from?  Without doing a complete thermodynamic model (I’ve thought about it), it seems pretty clear that it is from the surrounding air.

The thermal path up through the table is limited by a long thin stem.  Heat from the hand is temporary, assuming your not holding the stem constantly.  (See: “What’s the best way to hold the Martini?” for previous comments on how to hold your Martini.)  Which leaves the air which is constantly in contact with the bowl of the Martini, as the significant culprit warming your martini.

So what’s the best solution?  Other than moving to the Arctic or Antarctic, drinking in the freezer!  Kidding aside, I’m stumped on this one.  Surely drinking in an air conditioned bar will keep your drink colder than outside in the sun.   But having a nice Martini on a deck over looking the beach is just marvelous.

Here are a couple suggestions to consider:
Hold the stem as little as possible and by the rim or stem of the glass,
Use a coaster; its a thermal insulator and will minimize heat flow up through the stem,
Keep the drink in the shade if you’re outside.  No need adding the sun’s warmth to the liquid,
Use a Martini ‘coozie’???

OMG, did I really say that?  Sacrilegious!  I’ll suffer penance with a cold Martini….

Random Martini Quote For The Day

“A perfect martini should be made by filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy.”
Noël Coward


For more fun Martini quotes check out the appropriately titled “Martini Quotes” page, or click the link: Martini Quotes.

Random Martini Quote for the Day

“Be wary of strong drink.  It can make you shoot at tax collectors … and miss.”
Robert A. Heinlein


For more fun Martini quotes check out the appropriately titled “Martini Quotes” page, or click the link:  Martini Quotes.

Bar Review: Del Frisco’s, Philadelphia, PA

Martini at Del Frisco's Philadelphia
Martini at Del Frisco’s Philadelphia

Let me start by saying up front that Del Frisco’s is my favorite Philadelphia restaurant.  Del Frisco’s is an impressive Steakhouse, for the Steaks, the service, the wine list, the magnificent bar, and the extraordinary interior.

The restaurant occupies the former location of the First Pennsylvania Bank.  In fact you can book a special occasion downstairs IN the bank vault.  Very cool!  The building itself, the Packard, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The main dining room is three stories tall.  There is a secondary bar at the back of the restaurant up a flight of stair at the mezzanine level.  There are also second floor balconies with tables on either side of the main room.  However, IMHO, the most impressive single element of the interior is the ceiling: obviously hand built, very intricate, ornate, and very beautiful.  The second most impressive element is the three story wine ‘cellar’ in the center of the restaurant.

The food is great and the steaks are excellent.  The service has also always been excellent; accurate, helpful, and attentive yet discreet.  The main bar is long curving with comfortable chairs.  That is where I usually find myself, IF I can find a seat.  This place is very popular and often crowded around the bar.

The martinis here are excellent; ample, well shaken, well chilled, and served with a smile.  My favorite barkeep is Ebony and is highly recommended.  She is always happy, energetic, and helpful.  For their Martini’s Del Frisco’s should get two Martinis.

However, for Gin selection at Del Frisco’s only gets a “C-“.  Their gin selection is limited to a rather pedestrian Bombay Sapphire,  Tanqueray, Tanqueray 10, Hendrick’s, and Beefeater.  Which is really quite surprising considering their impressive wine list and good selection of Scotches and Cognacs.  (I don’t even look at anything else…… )

Overall I have to give Del Friscos’ one Martini.  While they stock my preferred Gin, Bombay Sapphire, if you prefer something else you may find yourself disappointed by the lack of selection.   Martini Glass Upright

*****   Rating Definitions   ****

Del Frisco’s Philadelphia web site:

Bar Review: Tutti Mangia, Claremont, CA

Tutti Mangia is a very quiet quaint smallish Italian Chophouse in Clarement.  Very easy to miss if you’re not looking for it.  Which would be a shame because it is very good.

And did I mention small?  The bar only has about 8 seats and the lounge area has an additional 4 two person tables.  The restaurant itself it a bit bigger.  So get there early because it does fill up.   Or make a reservation via the link below.

The place itself is clean, bright and well organized, if a bit tight, with lots of windows.  Overall the impression is upscale cosmopolitan and yet with a touch of romantic.

The barkeep is Phil.  I can only assume he has a backup somewhere, but every time I’ve been there he’s the bar master.  And rightfully so!  He does a great job of mixing the cocktails.  The martinis are plentiful, cold, dry, and served promptly.

Phil is the perfect barkeep: attentive, suggestive, helpful and discreet the rest off the time.  And never too far away if you need a second drink.  Or even a third.

Tutti Mangia get two Martini glasses!     Martini Glass UprightMartini Glass Upright

For Gin Selection Tutti Mangia gets a “A”.  They have a nice selection and a few examples that are just a bit different:  No. 209, No. 3, Bombay Sapphire, Bombay Sapphire East, Tanqueray, Tanqueray 10, Boodles, Hendricks, Leopold’s, Sipsmith, and Hayman’s

*****   Rating Definitions   ****

Tutti Mangia’s Web site:

Random Martini Quote for the Day

“I would like to observe the vermouth from across the room while I drink my martini.”
Sir Winston Churchill


For more fun Martini quotes check out the appropriately titled “Martini Quotes” page, or click the link:  Martini Quotes.