The Martini Cocktail: A Meditation on the World’s Greatest Drink, with Recipes

Robert Simonson. Ten Speed, $18.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-399-58121-2
Drinks writer Simonson (3-Ingredient Cocktails) delves deep into martini lore in this breezy history of arguably the world’s most famous drink. Far from the beverage’s current formula of “gin, vermouth, sometimes bitters, lemon twist or olive, and lots of opinions,” Simonson writes, the original martini cocktails of the late 19th century were sweet, amber-colored concoctions, and where they first appeared is debated as contentiously as whether a martini made with vodka rather than gin still deserves the moniker. In tracking the martini’s evolution, Simonson touches on the stirred-or-shaken divide, where the martini glass came from (as murky as the origin story of the drink itself) and its rise to neon-sign ubiquity, the proliferation of ’tini drinks in the 1990s (there is no love for those in here), and garnishes. Simonson’s a fleet-footed writer, and his thumbnail history is easily satisfying without getting into the weeds. The bulk of the book is recipes, including early versions as they appeared in 19th-century cocktail manuals, various classic formulations, and offerings from restaurants famous for their takes (Musso & Frank Grill in L.A., the Dukes Hotel in London, Harry’s Bar in Venice, etc.) that will certainly encourage experimentation. This is a no-brainer for martini enthusiasts. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 05/30/2019
Release date: 09/17/2019
Genre: Lifestyle
Ebook - 978-0-399-58122-9
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