Monday, January 07, 2008

My Year of Martinis

In 2007, I started drinking martinis. (Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, it was probably some time in 2006, but let's keep it simple and say 2007). They're nice, so crisp and dry and cold, and then the olive at the end, like a punctuation mark after the drink. I make mine with gin (although vodka martinis are nice in their own, mellower way), and I use the biggest olives I can find, two or sometimes even three of them. The olive is my favorite part, all marinated in gin and vermouth. And I like the whole ritual with the cocktail shaker and the big, chilled glass, all this arcane hardware to make a drink with two ingredients. I guess what I'm serving them in are actually margarita or daquiri glasses. Real martini glasses are those little teacup-size things that Nick and Nora drink out of. Which, come to think of it, I'd probably be better off using...

There was something familiar about the taste, and I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but it seemed like a taste I knew from long, long ago. Finally, I remembered. I remember my grandma telling me how, when I was very, very young, and we'd go out to eat, I used to always eat the olives out of her drinks, and they'd ask the waiter to bring us extra olives. As far back as I can remember, I didn't particularly like olives, but apparantly when I was 2 or 3, I couldn't get enough of 'em. So I guess my martini thing was at least partially a nostalgic sense-memory.

So, like I say, I'd been on the martini tip all year, and then I got the penguin martini shaker. And I had to bring that out at the party, right? So as our holiday party was getting under way, I made a whole penguinfull of martinis, and poured myself one. Finished it up, poured another. Finished that up, continued drinking, until around 1 or 2 in the morning, when I found myself bending over the toilet throwing up. In fact, I threw up 4 times (or 4 rounds of vomiting, I guess would be more accurate). The third (or maybe it was second) time, I had gone downstairs to the back yard, and then it came over me. I hurried upstairs to the bathroom but just as I got through the kitchen, I lost it and vomited all over the dining room. And for some reason, it seems like the guests started leaving right around then.

The fourth time was the worst, because I'd really already vomited everything out of my stomach, so I was just alternating between dry-heaving and begging God for mercy. "Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh...please stop it please sto-ho-hop itBrooooooooooooaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuwwwwrrrrrrrrrrrr." Yeah, it's a Dane Cooke routine waiting to happen.

Thus ended my year of martinis.

This was the first time I'd vomited due to alcohol abuse since Spring Break '91, and the first time I'd vomited at all since visiting my parents in...couldn't have been later than '92. But I felt pretty bad for several days afterward, until Wednesday, the stomach flu finally hit me full-on. So maybe it wasn't the martinis at all--I really don't think I drank that much, and it was over the course of 6 hours or so. The stomach flu I caught in '92 hit right after eating a greasy garlic pizza, and I was sure I was just puking because of that at the time. Another stomach flu hit me after I had an omlette, and I couldn't look at eggs for months after that. But I think I am going to quit with the martinis. They're just too much! I mean, they're 2/3 liquor and 1/3 wine, in those big, weird, conical glasses that you can't really tell how much they contain. Or else I should get the Nick and Nora glasses...

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

2/3 alcohol and 1/3 wine? I don't know where you got your recipe, Chris, but you're using way too much vermouth, man. I recommend a vermouth mister to go with your penguin shaker -- just a few puffs of the V-stuff over the ice. Either that, or do it the old fashioned way: pour your vermouth over the ice in your shaker, shake it up, then pour out everything but the ice and add gin or vodka (or both!) to taste. Minimal vermouth, really. And use a lot of ice. Martinis are God's gift to middle age.

1/08/2008 3:18 AM  
Blogger Chris Oliver said...

Yeah, that should lower the risk of vomiting...

1/08/2008 8:06 AM  
Blogger Katanga said...

Yeah, sipping those badboys is the only way to go, champ. Work the room like Bond.
Hopefully the olives weren't stuffed with gorgonzola or bleu cheese?

1/08/2008 5:49 PM  

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