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January 3, 2009

Martini bigotry

Filed under: Spirits,Wine — Mr. Henry @ 10:26 am

Foster Kincaid Says:

I was shocked to discover that Mr. Henry is advocating fruit flavored martinis. Good Lord, man, have you lost your mind? At long last, Senator, have you no shame at all? I still recall the day I tried something called–I am not kidding–an “appletini.” Sometimes, when I wake in the night, my mouth parched and caked from breathing through the only aperture available (I am a martyr to a deviated nasal septum), I can still taste it, its foul effluviant seeping from beneath an under-maintained filling. As for sage complementing the flavor of juniper berries, I keep an open mind, something for which I am well known among martini bigots.

Mr. Kincaid, clearly you are a man of fierce opinions well-grounded in experience. Carry on. Bigotry in the face of an appletini is righteous, sir, a mark of true character. It is nothing less than virtue itself.

The best Mr. Henry can offer by way of defense for his apparent lapse in judgment is that a) the altitude was high, b) Mr. Henry was low with a cold in the head, and c) there was nothing else in the liquor cabinet or in the fridge. The snow was piling up at greater than one inch per hour. Winds were gusting at 50 mph. The State Liquor Store was several thousand feet down the mountain. Interstate 80 from Park City to Parley’s Summit was closed. For the love of God, can you cede no quarter to a desperate man?


Admittedly a Meyertini is sweeter than a classic dry vermouth martini, but it is decidedly less sweet than a Tom Collins or one of those frightful Franken-martinis made with outré liqueurs. Because gin is more conducive to good digestion than tequila, and because dry sherry is less sweet than Triple Sec, however, the Meyertini has a friendlier, more refreshing profile than the Margarita. With Mexican food Mr. Henry prefers a Meyertini over a Margarita.mexcalendar_girls.jpg

With spicy, beany cuisine such as that which passes for ‘Mexican’ in the American West one’s choice of drink is not obvious. Beer, especially at night, poses the problem of too many carbohydrates. Which wines work best? Dark reds bursting with earth like Syrah or Zinfandel are the conventional pairings but Mr. Henry finds them too dense on the palate. They are insistent, overpowering, and usually too sweet, as well.

With southwestern style cooking he prefers the clarity of a Chablis or a Sancerre, which is to say a dry Chardonnay (without oak, por favor) or a Sauvignon Blanc.

But since ski bums don’t drink crisp whites, in ski towns Mr. Henry repairs to the next best potion for cleansing the palate between bites, the gin cocktail. Since he only skis once per year, thankfully he need not face this drinks dilemma once again for quite a while.

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