We are neither of us tee-totalers; we just don’t drink very much. She hasn’t yet found a wine she’s enthusiastic about. I like a humble glass of red with dinner once in a while, but I’m often just as happy without. I found a recipe for a grapefruit soda-and-gin cocktail that became all the rage at her mom’s surprise birthday party last June, but as the summer wore on I usually drank mine without the gin, and eventually I switched to grapefruit juice and seltzer: less sugar, almost as flavorful, and I could drive after drinking one.
She’ll have a Manhattan once in a while–she, not her mom. (Her mom might like them, too, but that’s another matter.) Because she likes sweet beverages, I’ve learned to make a Manhattan so untraditionally fruit-filled that it’s nearly a new drink–maybe it should be called the Suburban. And I have learned to make it small: I usually make a single drink and split between us. Even then our glasses usually end up half-full, and not merely because we are optimists.
And so I giggled when I opened a Christmas gift that arrived from some old friends: the Teeny Weeny Martini Set: thimble-sized glasses, a miniature cocktail shaker, and an ice tray that makes positively Lilliputian cubes. I’m sure they thought they were being silly–or maybe they recall that I’m not much of a drinker.
We stayed in Friday night–no theatre, no movies, no restaurants, no takeout, just us–and as the chicken marinated for the recipe we planned, it seemed like the perfect time to try our new barware. I mixed a few drops of dry vermouth with a half-a-jigger of gin, chilled it with an ice-fragment, shook-not-stirred-even-though-that-meant-a-slightly-watery-cocktail-the-way-Bond-likes-it, and poured the result into our micro-glasses.
As for garnish: just a drop of pickle brine in each. I would have tried a twist of lemon peel, but we were out.
She took a sip, and made a face. It was nowhere near sweet enough for her liking. Fortunately, a sip is all there was. As for me, I had two. Two whole martinis. Well, G. I. Joe-sized ones. I might even do it again sometime. Maybe with a different garnish. Wonder where I can find a very small olive…