Thursday, February 21, 2008

Holy Perfect Martini!

The Perfect Temperature Martini Maker has got to be one of the coolest useless inventions, ever.

So, this thing ‘shakes or stirs’ (!!!) your fixin’s until they achieve the perfect 34 degree temperature required to make perfect homemade martinis.

From the ad: The stainless steel shaker moves up and down vigorously during the shake cycle and gently rotates in stir mode, melding the ingredients during either cycle for 60 seconds.

It also mentions having an ‘ice’ line and a one ounce cap to get that perfect ratio of ice-to-ingredients going.

But still. C’mon. How necessary is this thing, anyway? I have watched dozens a few bartenders mix martinis in my time. They all do it about the same way: They scoop a bunch of ice into a pint glass (yes, a pint glass) and then they magically ‘just kind of know’ how much vodka or whatever they’ve poured into it, and then they put another pint glass on top of it and shake like the dickens for a while, often while engaging in Witty Banter with the drunken customers.

And then they slap a little thingee on top and pour the drink through it into one of those Spill-Ensure™ elegant martini glasses and hand it to me whoever might have ordered such a thing.

I’m pretty sure they would scoff at the idea of a ‘perfect martini machine’.

That said, here in the Den, perhaps one of these could be considered an upgrade. Let’s go over the martini-making process around here and see what we find.

I have a real martini shaker! We got it as a gift from one of the husband’s old bosses, and at the time we did not drink any form of martini, fruity or otherwise so it was one of those “Wow, it’s a…well. It’s a…oh, look honey! It’s a martini kit!” kinds of gifts.

That I have since worn it down to the point where the seal on the cap is somewhat questionable is testament to how poorly suited for Mommyhood I am many years have gone by since then.

Anyway. I take the shaker and I put a bunch of ice into it. Then I get out my Starbucks espresso measurer. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to use it for (and I really can’t remember where I got it in the first place, either – I know I didn’t buy it, it just sort of appeared in my house one day and made itself at home), but I find that it works very well for measuring out my booze roughly an ounce of liquid.

ANYWAY. So I put one and a half measures of vodka, half a measure of Cointreau (or triple sec, depends on what I’ve got left over from the last party we threw), and between one and two measures of cranberry juice. I prefer the pure unsweetened stuff, but often settle for cranberry cocktail because I am easily wearied in the supermarket and the pure unsweetened cranberry juice can be like the Holy Grail of juices because apparently my fellow Americans feel that cranberries, left unsweetened and/or blended with other juices like pear, or apple, are ‘too bitter’ and they do not like them.

There is no accounting for taste.

And I resent that their lack of taste buds results in my finding pure cranberry juice hard to find in my local stores.

But I digress.

Where was I, anyway. Oh yeah. So. Then I add a highly scientific measurement of lime juice I like to call ‘a fairly robust squirt’.

Then I stand over the sink and begin shaking like the dickens, praying to $DEITY that the damned cap doesn’t spray sticky Cosmopolitan martini makings all over the kitchen like it did that last time.

Then I pour it into a martini glass (I have those too! THREE of them! I used to have four, but, well. Let’s just say that delicate glasses with HUGE rims balancing on stop of wee little stems which require things like Attention To Detail and perhaps good hand-eye coordination don’t tend to last long around here), and try to drink it fast before one of the kids comes by at Warp Eleven and sends it crashing to the floor.

Hey, did you know that martini glasses actually attract toddlers? It’s true. They can be playing with the coolest set of Cars From The Movie Cars, and the instant a parent tries to sip daintily from a martini glass?

BAM. There they are, trying to climb up into the parent’s lap.

The same is true of lace knitting. I have recently embarked on thorough scientific research and can tell you that if I even think about picking up my lace, Captain Adventure (previously playing happily with his cars on the floor in the kitchen and ignoring me completely) will immediately rush over and act cute: “Oh, HI, Mommy! Hi! Sit down, mommy? Mommy sit down? Captain Adventure sit down! Get pillow! Pillow for nite-nite, sit DOWN mommy!” If thwarted in his mission to sit on me, he will immediately pitch a monster tantrum. “I wannit sit wif MOMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

Behold, the abused, neglected, unloved child who never, EVER gets to sit on his mother’s lap.

On a related note, Captain Adventure would like it to be known that Cosmopolitan martinis are, in fact, yucky. Oh, they might look like Kool-Aid, and the fact that Mommy is slurping one down faster than he goes after a bag of Go, Diego, Go Fruit Snacks (now with real juice!) may lead one to believe that it is some kind of priceless treasure of a snack.

But it is not.

It is yucky.

And his mother would like to submit to the Guild that the expression on the face of a three year old who has been warned repeatedly that something is “really yucky!” who then insists on giving it the old college try anyway is a riot.

Seriously. It was a face which clearly said, “And I thought vegetables were nasty! OH MY GAWD, woman, how can you drink that?!?!”

And then he said, “Oh. That YUCKY!” and went around the house repeating it over and over and over and over again. And each time I took a sip of it, he would stare at me with an expression of combined disgust and awe.

I’m cooler than that kid who eats beetles right now. Yeah, crunchy bugs are gross, but you should get a load of what my old woman sucks down every night sometimes…

Wow. Two digressions in one post. I’m on a roll!


I think it might be an upgrade, sure.


I can buy an awful lot of vodka for a hundred bucks, which is what that fool thing costs. And think of all the exercise I’d be missing out on, not having to shake them by hand. And then clean up the mess from the leaky cap. And then the broken glass off the floor, with the bonus weight-lifting involved from bodily seizing whatever kid knocked it over away from the razor-sharp shards they were about to start dancing on like the great Grape Stompers of France.

Yeah, I think I’ll just keep doing things the old fashioned way around here, and leave the perfect martini maker to the MI6 folks.

Although I’m willing to bet theirs would have some kind of nuclear power source that could also control satellites, and a handy laser cutting tool in the cap…


Sunny said...

I know you are in no-spend mode right now, but there is something you need to know about: These are stainless steel martini glasses that DO NOT BREAK and that keep the drink cold, all while looking really cool.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how awful it must be to be the cool kid in Cap Adventures eyes! :o)

I have been lurking around for a while, I can't remember if I have commented previously, but I love reading your blog. Thank you for sharing the humorous fragments of your life as well as the warm-fuzzy or frustrating ones.

buffi said...

Captain Adventure's reaction is just further confirmation of my theory that the most successful way to keep you child from drinking at a young age is to let them taste your drink while they are LITTLE. Because really, all of that liquor IS nasty tasting. At first. But you don't tell THEM that. Then when faced with their peers telling them to "just try it," they can say that they have and it is GROSS.

This doesn't work if you let them taste a strawberry daquiri or a pina colada. Make sure it's a martini or Long Island Iced Tea. Or better yet, give 'em a shot of Jack. That'll last for YEARS.

Please don't call CPS on me.

PipneyJane said...

Guess what my 40th birthday present was from DH? A set of 4 silver martini glasses! They may tarnish, but they'll never break. Thoughtful of him.

- Pam (who has even managed to smash the food processor bowl)

ellipsisknits said...

I think I'm familiar with that face. My sister whipped it out for pickles.

What makes the story memorable was that she then proceeded to eat, then spit out about a half dozen more pickles because we continued eating them, and she just couldn't parse that they could actually be that bad.

Science PhD Mom said...

Ah yes, the Cosmopolitan! That delectable delight of vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice & lime! I agree with you on the unsweetened juice--much better that way. Hard to find unless you're willing to pay through the nose at the natural foods store. Do you use lime grenadine? I like that but regular lime juice works too. And try it with cranberry vodka--mmmmmm! Yep, right up there with an Amaretto Sour in this house on the Convivial Cocktail list. Yum! But what would be the fun in an automatic shaker??? Part of the joy is shaking the thing so hard the juice foams because it's been One of THOSE Days!

Marianne said...

mmmmm. Try pomegranate juice instead of cranberry sometime. Yum. (I bartend part time, have been for 14 years).

Anonymous said...

A real martini shaker? Wow, there's posh! I shake mine up in a big plastic peanut butter jar with a screw top lid. (No, really)

And now I'm off to drink from the milk carton and wipe my mouth on my sleeve. Yep, we sure is elegant in our house.

RaplhCramden said...

You know, if you are only starting to get over one of those coughs where it feels like your reddened dry throat is ripping out ever time you cough, reading a blog post that makes you repeatedly laugh out loud is a bit of a masochistic thrill. You turn me right round, baby, right round, like a record player.