Apropos of nothing, today is my 900th post!
The Reverse Martini
In this season of a whole lot of fun—okay, maybe too much fun of the eating and drinking sort—it is always a good thing to find a way to appear to be doing it all without actually having to do it all. At least drink it all…..
Reverse Martinis are made for these times. As the name suggests, the Reverse Martini is a cocktail in which vermouth is the main ingredient and a splash of gin is added to remind one that this is, after all, a real, grown-up drink. Served ice-cold in a beautiful crystal Martini glass with the usual accompaniment of olive or twist, this is an elegant cocktail with significantly lower alcohol content than the traditional Martini. In the old days, Martinis were also served in reasonably-size glasses. Now with jumbo oversized saucers, one Martini can be enough to get you sauced, and fast.
Julia Child was a big fan—hers on the rocks—and it is important to note that the vermouth, which is a fortified wine, must be of the highest quality (we like Noilly Prat) and fresh—why is it that people think that a half full bottle of vermouth can sit in the kitchen cupboard for a year between uses? When vermouth has turned the color of Chanel Number 5 it is time to throw it out and crack open a new bottle. In his 1968 novel Couples, John Updike has one of his characters—in her first trimester of pregnancy—slip into the kitchen to dump her Martini into the sink and fill it with plain vermouth so that she can join the party, appear to be drinking and coincidentally not throw up, damage the fetus, etc.
Well, whatever your reasons are for wanting to drink light while appearing to drink like a character out of a Cheever short story, the Reverse Martini is for you. And at this this time of year, with parties everywhere you turn, the calories you saved on gin can be applied to your intake of lemon bars, mince pies and gingerbread.