How Dry is Dry? Can a Martini by “too” Dry? It’s a subject that attracts a lot of humor, such as:
“A perfect martini should be made by filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy.”
“I would like to observe the vermouth from across the room while I drink my martini.”
Sir Winston Churchill
The subject also garners some waxing philosophical…. such as:
“I’d like dry martini, Mr. Quoc, a very dry martini. A very dry, arid, barren, desiccated, veritable dust-bowl of a martini. I want a martin that could be declared a disaster area. Mix me just such a martini”
Clearly a Martini can only be ‘so dry’, as once there is zero Vermouth in the drink, there can be no less and thus no drier. But the two quotes above provide an humorous implied ‘dryness’ level based upon how remotely the cocktail can be referenced to Vermouth, or its home country Italy.
Which brings me to my latest ‘driest martini’ story:
A man sits down at the bar in the RMS Queen Mary on its way from England to the US. He asks the bartender for a very dry Martini. The bartender responds, “Sir, we make the driest martini here on the Queen Mary”. The man looks a bit unsure and asks, “How do you know that you have the driest Martini?” The bartender replies, “Well half way through the voyage we will pass the SS United States. When we do that I go to the top deck with our bottle of Vermouth and the United States Bartender goes to the top of his deck with his bottle and we salute Italy”.
It seems there will always be some debate about the driest of the dry. And that’s a great thing as it is always in good fun and provides us with a laugh or three.
Of course I like my Martini with just a hint of Vermouth, what one bar keep referred to as “In-n-Out”*. A Martini without any Vermouth is really just chilled Gin in a martini stem.
As I’ve commented before, “A martini stem does not a Martini make”.
*In-n-Out Martini: Take a capful of Vermouth and pour it over your ice, swirl the Vermouth around the ice and then drain the Vermouth.