The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Another fine recipe for a martini, this time from the elaborately curlicued and filigreed work of gastronomic fiction that is John Lanchester's The Debt to Pleasure.
In what I subsequently came to think of as my aesthetic period, during my early and mid-twenties, I used to serve a seven-to-one martini of Beefeater gin and Noilly Prat vermouth, stirred with large ice cubes and then poured into chilled cocktail glasses; twist of lemon on top, releasing a fine invisible spray of citric juices. As a subsequent refinement I borrowed W.H.Auden's technique of mixing the vermouth and gin at lunchtime (though the great poet himself used vodka) and leaving the mixture in the freezer to attain that wonderful jellified texture of alcohol chilled to below the point at which water freezes. The absence of ice means that the Auden martini is not diluted in any way, and thus truly earns the drink its sobriquet 'the silver bullet'.


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