Shaken January 20, 2014Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
Thanks to a couple of high-end craft cocktail bars in faraway cities, thanks to the talented amateur bartenders among my local friends, I am well aware that I have become a bit of a martini/cocktail snob. Some of this, of course, is simply that I like what I like. But it makes it hard to order drinks in an unfamiliar establishment.
So when I was in New York City recently for a minireunion of high school friends, what I really wanted was a Vesper, and I should know by now that when ordering this simple drink, there are risks involved. I asked the waiter if I could get one, and he asked for the recipe. I told him three parts gin, one part vodka, one-half part Lillet, with a twist.
He came back to the table and reported that the bartender could oblige. “The James Bond drink, right?” he said. Right. Casino Royale. The people at the next table were amused.
It arrived. The flavor was pretty good, but it seemed a little . . . warm.
Clearly, they had stirred it.
But they had tried to accommodate me. I decided to say nothing. Until the waiter came back and asked how I liked it: I told him it was good, then hesitated, then mentioned that I had expected it to be a little colder.
Could he take it back and make it colder?, he offered. Yes.
Gawd. I’m getting high maintenance enough to start sending back drinks. (In November we insisted that my friend Lynda do this on her birthday when she got talked into a specialty drink she didn’t like. But it was her birthday! No one should accept a disappointing drink on her birthday.)
He came back with a colder drink (which seemed ever-so-slightly watered down, but whatever). “They’re stirring the cocktails tonight,” he said, explaining.
But it was a Vesper! You said James Bond! I certainly needn’t repeat the catchphrase.
Perhaps next time (if there is a next time) I should quote directly, with Bond swagger: “Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?”