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Not Skaken, Not Stirred


“I’d like a dry vodka martini up with an olive, please. What tasty brands of vodka do you offer?”

The cute bartender in the “I <3 London” tee smiled with that vacant look of hmm,I should know this.

“Um, how much vodka and how much Martini would you like?”

Bless. I can understand the confusion if I'd asked for a mind eraser or an Alabama slammer or even a slow comfortable screw up against the wall.

But this was basic mixology.

“If you could just take some of that vermouth, swish it in a glass and toss in a double-shot of chilled Absolut, it’d be great.”

You’d have thought I was asking him to circumcise himself right behind the bar. Apologizing profusely, he said he couldn’t do that.

“You can’t make a martini? At a gay bar? Not even on my birthday?”

He consulted with his manager, rambled on about special cocktails and pricing structures and teeth whitening and bar policy and hair product, chatted with some other customers at the bar, and then said he could make me a special birthday drink of “his choice” if I’d like.

“Any chance you’re going to choose a martini?”

“Sorry mate, I can’t.”

I guess I could have gone all Five Easy Pieces and ordered a shot of vermouth on the side and made it easy for him. Instead I went for the very dry, double vodka up … which he served to me in a martini glass.

“You have martini glasses but you don’t make martinis?”

:: :: ::

Later at the restaurant, the waiter asked what we’d like to drink before dinner. Gin and tonics seemed to be the order of the day, and the waiter seemed obliging. I, of course, was still hankering for my martini.

“Sorry, we don’t do cocktails here.”

:: :: ::

I’ve since been told you have to go to proper “cocktail bar" (which, until now, I had always considered redundant) to get a martini.

I can recommend those served at the St. Martins Lane (although I prefer drinking them over wearing them ... hi Ed).

Fortunately, we still do them quite well at M2, and we reacquainted oursleves with my lovely stemware collection last night. The birthweek continues, and all is good.