As this is a blog that makes claims to be about martinis as well as journalism, ethics, politics and whatever catches my eye now and again, it is time to embrace an aspect of martini culture that is often overlooked.
I’m talking about the martini glass; sometimes they’re too heavy, or otherwise clumsy. I may have found a good alternative.
Afficionados may well be familiar with Frank Moorhouse’ mystical drinking companion “Voltz”. He appears frequently in Moorhouse’s homage to the classic cocktail, Martini.
[Can someone pls advise: should I put the possessive 's' in Moorhouse's or not]
Readers with a good memory will also know that I’ve mentioned Voltz before too. After reading Martini I feel as if he is also now part of my life. [Summer reading, some are drinking]
When I visit London later this year I will find the time and the excuse to visit many of the locales in which Voltz and Moorhouse meet to drink and talk about the martini.
A frequent topic in their discussions is the martini glass. I feel that I’ve now made an important transition in my own quest for the perfect martini – a new glass in which I can enjoy the Domestic.
Eagle-eyed readers will also notice that the Domestic has been elevated – it now comes with its very own capital “D”. This is a recent shift and it comes after Moac and I realised that most often the martini made at home is superior to most made in bars around town. [good bars gone bad].
Anyway, Voltz and Moorehouse are on the fanatic’s quest for the best martini they can find – a journey that takes them all over the world. The conversation in which they discuss the perfect martini glass continues at one point in the Ritz hotel in London.
As we know – in the sense that we know rain beating on a tin roof – Voltz believes tht the martini is at present served in glasses that are too large. He dismissvely describes them as ‘buckets’. [Moorhouse, 2005, p.73]
I am partial to the martini bucket – particularly on a busy Thursday in the Brooklyn, - but I take the point.
Voltz goes on to describe the various style of glass in which martinis have been served. He argues persuasively for a smaller glass – to keep the drink chilled and to maintain the decorum of the occasion. This is important because the martini is not a drink to take lightly and there are cheaper and more effective ways to get drunk quickly.
This leads Moorhouse into a long reminisence about breasts, which I won’t go into. Suffice to say that Marie Antoinette, Madame de Pompadour and Madonna [in the Gaultier 'cone' bra] figure prominently [ah hem].
For some time, I have been inspired by this chapter to find a suitable and stylish alternative to the current array of martini glasses we have at home. As happens, from time to time, we break one or two and so there’s a need to constantly replenish the collection. Most of the breakage occurs in the washing up process, I wouldn’t want any of you to think that I stumble around breaking glasses in some sort of alcoholic stupor.
That wouldn’t do at all.
The issue is actually about the comfort of guests. If you come to my place for dinner, or a party, it’s almost certain that you will be offered a martini. Moac and I take some pride in the fact that I can always supply a glass appropriate to the occasion.
Like Moorhouse, I would be offended if you came to Casa Refugio and were forced to drink a martini from a paper cup. Though I can see how necessity is the mother of invention.
Once when I was living out of New York City in Westchester, I would sometimes take the commuter train from Grand Central Station: on the platform near the doors to the train would be a man seated at a table with ice and premixed martinis and a stack of large paper cups… [Moorhouse, 2005, p75]
I hope that that man, or one of his descendants, is there when I transit through NYC in September. I will go via GCS on the off chance.
So, to the point of this post. I’ve come across a range of glasses that I think are perfect for a martini. Not only are they lighter than the traditional wide-brim, thick stem variety. This brand comes with a handy groove cut into the glass. This is helpful if you only want a certain quantity of drink; the smaller size it helps with the chill factor and the groove gives you an eye’s guide to how much you’re drinking.
This glass is long of stem, light and perhaps even suitable for champagne as well as martinis. It has a wide opening, which Moorhouse says Voltz says is crucial for sniffing the drink. Having just sniffed a Domestic [at 4pm on Sunday] I can only agree.
This glass is made by Krosno, I’m sure that you can find something similar in your local homewares shop.