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December 24, 2008


Filed under: Spirits,Wine — Mr. Henry @ 7:44 am

Snowbound by a fresh nine inches, exhausted by skiing in high altitude, and hopelessly out of wine, Mr. Henry sensed now was not the time for caution or for retreat. He called upon his pioneer spirit of rugged individualism, the hallmark of his character.

Luck favors the prepared drinker, and as luck would have it days before Mr. Henry had purchased a sack full of lovely little Meyer lemons despite bitter recriminations from his otherwise even-tempered consort. “And just what do you intend to do with those?” she asked with rising tone and rising eyebrows.

At that instant he wasn’t sure exactly what, but yesterday inspiration struck.

Last week Naughty Mary had come over to the apartment, you see, carrying her traveling martini field kit: one shaker, one bottle of Hendrick’s gin, one bottle of St. Germain elderberry liqueur, and a handful of fresh sage leaves. To everyone’s delight she made a sage martini (borrowed from restaurant I Sodi in Greenwich Village).

Drop a few sage leaves into the shaker, add a gargantuan pour of Hendrick’s and muddle them together with a wooden spoon. After a few minutes add ice and much less St. Germain, shake and strain into cold glasses. (Quantities are approximate with Mary, but she never falters.)

Elderberry liqueur tastes remarkably like fresh lychee fruit, by the way. In the martini its sweetness is nicely undercut by sage’s aromatic bitterness.

Inspired by Mary’s success, Mr. Henry improvised.lagitana.jpg Making-do with what’s at hand – isn’t that the American spirit?

Seizing an open bottle of La Gitana dry manzanilla sherry, he mixed his first original cocktail. Dry sherry is slightly salty on the palate and seems to bring forward the tartness of the Meyer lemon.


teaspoon or so of Meyer lemon juice
liberal pour of dry sherry
double that amount of gin

Shake and strain, or else find a handy motel glass and just drink it, for Lord’s sake.

Mr. Henry’s high regard for the original martini, peerless expression of the bartender’s art, made him hesitate to name this gin cocktail a Meyertini. After drinking one, however, cleverness clouded his better judgment – precisely the state of mind he had been seeking.


  1. 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.

    Comment by Foster Kincaid — December 31, 2008 @ 8:47 am

  2. It sounds like a lovely drink, Mr. Henry, bit it is NOT a Martini.

    However, I maintain that the drink I enjoy, made of Tanqueray and Alvear’s Fino Sherry with three Calamata Olives IS a Martini. Although the delicious drink I had two months ago with vodka, a dash of green Chartreuse, and a sprig of rosemary was not a Martini.

    Two ingredients and a garnish, no more. You don’t want to start the slide into girl drink territory. There is no such thing as the bi-curious Martini.

    Comment by raincoaster — January 26, 2009 @ 1:21 pm

  3. Well, the second one was not a Martini because I think the subordinate ingredient should be an aromatic wine of some sort. One must draw the line somewhere, and I am quite the metaphorical sketch artiste as you may have already guessed.

    Comment by raincoaster — January 26, 2009 @ 1:22 pm

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