There are certain prudes and old fuddy-duddies out there that say Martinis can only be made with gin. And some of these weirdos even use Vermouth! As if anyone would drink something that sounds like a rat poison--Vermin Out, am I right? We all know that the Traditional Martini is just vodka and ice with an olive on a little plastic sword. But that gets boring fast.
Fortunately, bars and restaurants across the country have learned that anything counts as a Martini. You can serve nonalcoholic beer in a cocktail glass and--presto!--it's a Near-BeerTini! After months of experimentation at the Benito Cocktail Lab, here are my four favorite Nouveau Martinis:
Several of our researchers have spent time in Italy, and if there's one thing that Italians love in their cocktails, it's pasta. Rumored to be a favorite of Lucrezia Borgia, this modern adaptation combines 1⅞ oz. grappa and 1⅛ oz. vodka with a few pieces of cooked rotini pasta (the exact number depends on the lunar calendar and most recent score of the town's futbol team). Recommended for the carb-craving after breaking up with a woman who was strict about the Atkins diet, or as an authentic companion to the antipasto classico italiano first dish of fried mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce. Other pastas can be substituted, but lasagna noodles are difficult to work with. Consider serving shooters in plugged manicotti tubes!
The Light Sweet Crude
Despite the rush for alternative energy sources, most of our cars still run on good ol' Texas Tea. In honor of this viscous life blood of our economy, our team chose to combine 1⅓ oz. freshly brewed espresso, 1¼ oz. blackstrap molasses, and 2⅝ oz. black rum. In lieu of garnish, float a skim of olive oil on top for that rainbow sheen of a Wal-Mart parking lot after it rains. My beloved readers, this cocktail would sprout chest hair on one of them nekkid dogs from Mexico. The sugar/caffeine kick will keep your heart racing for hours, the alcohol will slow things down enough that you don't enter cardiac arrest, and the olive oil will ensure smooth sailing for that egg and pig ear burrito you had on the shady side of Amarillo.
The Orchard Cropduster
Many popular cocktails are all about fruit and rum. We're getting back to the farm here with a glass of raw kumquats. The bartender stands on a stepladder and uses a spray bottle to mist a combination of Barbados silver rum and a dash of orange bitters over the fruit. For effect you can make airplane noises with your mouth, but our marketing department is working on a toy airplane that sprays the liquor. Depending on your clientele the delivery plane can be a Grumman Ag Cat or the Rockwell Thrush Commander. Get to know your local ag pilots before ordering one or the other.
Inspired by molecular gastronomy, this martini serves to deliver the essence of the cocktail in a way that will challenge your bourgeois preconceptions. Combine top shelf Russian Vodka (only if it's made west of the Ural Mountains), Lillet Blanc, and a few drops of an organic Pinot Grigio in a cocktail glass. Swirl in a clockwise direction 15 times and then pour the entire drink down the drain. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Serve after the contraction of air pressure has pulled in the plastic. Upon serving the customer can remove the plastic and lick the inside of the glass like a desperate teenager cleaning up after his parents' cocktail party. Cutting edge mixology meets ironic nostalgia. Here at the Lab we're working with Swiss glass experts to develop a special set of stemware that will amplify the Vaccutini experience.
Confused web-searchers or newer readers might want to check out my April 1 articles from 2007 & 2008. And check out the Dregs Report for more hijinks.