AND THEN THERE ARE MARTINIS:
I bought a sailboat, joined the Coyote Point Yacht Club, and started racing. Two of my competitors
were Dave and Kay Few. Dave was an excellent tactician and sail trimmer and Kay was an
excellent helmsman. We became best friends. After each race we would meet on their boat or
mine to have a glass of wine or two, or whatever, and have BBQ’d London Broil or some such
Dave was a Scotchman. He insisted on getting his fair share of everything. That included wine.
When he was doing the poring, he would line up identical glasses on the table, pour some wine in
each glass, bend over and sight the level in each glass. If they were not exactly the same he
would then adjust the level in the delinquent glasses, bend over, and sight the level in each glass.
If they were not exactly the same then he would adjust the level in the delinquent glasses, etc.,
etc., etc. It was excruciating to watch.
So I thought to myself, instead of using regular glasses why not have wine glasses that were
graduated? That way poor Dave could pour wine in each glass to the same mark and never have
to bend over. So I went to the science store that used to be on Park Blvd. and got three 250ml
beakers, one for each of us, and gave them to Dave. Problem solved. Except that –
Dave never bought the idea that the glasses were intended to be our wine drinking glasses. He
thought that it would be a more efficient use of the beakers to use them only as measuring cups.
So he left one beaker on his boat, put one beaker in his house number one, and one beaker in his
house number two. There was no talking him out of it. Well rats!
Quite a bit later I bought a power boat and went cruising on the gauche coast of North America,
from Alaska to Mexico. Somehow during this time it became an iron clad rule that come hell or
high water we had to have a martini every evening at 5:00pm. To this day, I like to have a martini
every day at 5:00pm.
Eventually it came to pass that good old Dave passed away. Thoughtful Kay, understanding the
original intention for the beakers, reunited me with the 3 beaker drinking glasses. Ah ha! Beaker
drinking glasses and martinis are a perfect match. You have to have some kind of glass to drink
martinis, but the traditional conical martini glass was designed to spill martinis! Annnd, you have to
be able to measure the contents of the martini in order to get the proper proportion of gin to
vermouth. Enter the Beaker. The perfect martini glass.
So I got on Amazon and ordered 3 more beakers (they never go out of style) to make a set of 6
martini glasses for entertaining. I have used them ever since. And each time I do, I think back to
the good old days of racing against Dave and Kay, and the good times afterwards.
A 4:1 ratio of gin to vermouth is the original and is still the best way to make a Martini, IMHO.
Gordon's is the best gin, IMHO.
Martini and Rossi is the best vermouth, IMHO.
Stirred not shaken, IMHO. (James and I always argue about this.)
p.s.: 1 jigger ≈ 50ml. FYI: one glass of wine = 5oz = 150ml = 123 calories; a single martini
contains ~125 calories; walking one mile burns about 100 calories if you weigh 180 pounds,
or 145 calories if you are 270 pounds (I burn 145 calories).
1. Get one or two 750 ml bottles with screw caps, ex. – empty 750 ml gin bottles.
2. Get a small plastic funnel.
3. Get a box of 3 1/2 inch plastic olive spears. (See Amazon.com)
4. Get a jar of large stuffed olives.
5. Get a jar of cocktail onions.
6. Put in 600 ml of gin (or take out 150 ml of gin if the bottle is still full of gin).
7. Put in 150 ml of vermouth.
8. Screw on the cap and put the bottle in the liquor cabinet until needed. (Some people store it
in the frig or the freezer. I prefer to keep it at room temperature until step 12 below.)
9. Wait for the need, then:
10. Pour 125 ml of the mix into a martini beaker. (For a double.)
11. Skewer 2 olives or onions, add them to the martini, and stir. I prefer one of each. (For a
12. Add enough ice to get the liquid level up to over 175 ml. (For a double.)
13. For a single, do the math.
OK, we have had our Martinis and our dinner, now what? How about an after dinner drink? But
what? A very good what is Tequila. Not just any Tequila, but Jose Cuervo, Especial, made with
Blue Agave, Gold Tequila. Jose has been making it since 1795. He knows how to do it right.
But you cant do the pouring just yet, you must first have a worthy glass - a brandy snifter. (it's
bigger than a goblet so I suppose it is a gob.) It must be crystal. Cut crystal is best but if you are
poor then plain crystal is OK. And when you flick it, it must have a ding that resonates for at least
5 seconds. Anything less is plebeian. Such a crystal gob is magical, it will enhance the flavor of its
contents by at least 3 db.
Now what you do is to pour 75 ml of Tequila and a splash of water into your crystal gob. My
splash is about 75 ml, but you will have to determine yours on your own.
No ice. No anything else.
Vaya con dios.
I was born and raised in Philadelphia.
Then I joined the Air Force. Ended up a gunner on a B-36.
Got out and looked for a job. Nobody needed a gunner.
So I went to school - Santa Monica City College, and then Cal. Got an Electrical Engineering
degree - Bachelor of Science.
Been a bachelor ever since.
Worked for Philco-Ford Aerospace and eventually became a Systems Engineer. Mostly RF
communication systems but worked the whole spectrum from DC to daylight. Analog and
digital. Hardware and software. Mostly system design and analysis. 30 years.
Retired. (For other jobs I have had, see the bottom of the page.)
After getting out of the service and out of school, I went skiing. Loved it. So I took up day
hiking to get in shape for skiing. Loved it. So I took up back packing. And fly-fishing. And
peak climbing. Ski touring. Ski hutting. Snow camping. Snow caves. Igloos. Ice axe.
Crampons. Avalanche training. Led some Sierra Club trips, summer and winter. 15 years.
Did some river rafting – Glen Canyon of the Colorado before they built the dam, Middle Fork
of the Salmon, Hell's Canyon of the Snake, and the American.
Also did some house-boating up the Delta.
Had a few sport cars - 2 Porsches: a 356C and a 911S; leased Mustangs for a number of
years (a perk while working for Ford); and 2 BMWs: a 325C and a 330Ci. Spent several
days vacation at Willow Springs Raceway at the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School, driving
Formula Fords. Went to a BMW driver safety class and later to a driver training school at
Laguna Seca raceway.
Got interested in sailing so I bought a sailboat. First a Catalina 27, then a Catalina 30, and
finally a Wylie 34. Raced every chance I got. Mostly in San Francisco Bay but also in the
ocean. Mostly day races but some long distance too. See the San Diego Race. 26 years.
Also did some bare-boat chartering during this period – San Juan and Gulf Islands, Princess
Louisa Inlet, Desolation Sound, Virgins, Grenadines, and down east along the coast of Maine.
Then I got a Krogen-39 powerboat, "Sea Horse", and did some left coast cruising – once to
Mexico, twice to Alaska. 7 Years. Sold it at the end of 2006.
I’ve played the piano, drums, ukulele, and recorder. And the radio. I excel at the latter.
Love classical music. Some jazz.
Also did some painting. And a stained glass window.
After getting my baccalaureate I felt compelled to get heavy into wine. So I did. Read
books. Took classes. Did a gazillion blind tastings. Took wine tours. Built a wine cellar.
Formed a club - Friends of Bacchus, i.e. FOB's. Made our own wine. We leased an acre of
grapes one year. Did the picking, stemming, crushing, fermentation, pressing, racking, and
bottling. And the drinking.
Cooking, and eating good cooking, is fun too.
Traveled a little - Greenland, England, Hawaii, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Cong, Japan, British
Virgin Islands, Grenadines, Canada, Alaska, Mexico, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy.
(See Provence and Tuscany.)
Life is tough...
At Bishop Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada, aboard "Sea Horse".
|"Coyote.", my Wylie 34.
My primordial sloop with a primordial spinnaker.
El Palo Alto
View From the Vally Floor, Yosemity
|From north of Tuolumne Meadows, looking
|"Sea Horse" up the Delta, at
Potato Slough, Bedroom 3.
|Me on My Patio
I took a Photography class at Foothill
Collage and one of the assignments
was to take a self portrait. This is one
of those portraits.
OTHER JOBS I HAVE HAD:
Lawn cutter, snow shoveler, caddy, janitor, pin setter in a bowling ally, fruit and produce truck loader and
unloader, delivery truck maintenance man, soda jerk, busboy, dish washer, short-order cook, assembly line
worker, boxcar loader, parking lot attendant, collected stuff and sold it to junk dealers, movie usher, box boy in a
grocery store, dance band drummer, machine operator, machine set-up man, machinist, assistant outside plant
engineer for the telephone co., electronic equipment tester,
|1.5 liter Bottle
Hosay Cuairbo's Nectar