THE VANISHING MARTINI
By Robert Sconce
One of the staples at our house for 30 years or so has been the martini, straight up with a twist of lemon peel. Word has got around that I make the best martini in the West which helps my social life. That’s because lots of casual friends invite me to their dinner parties so they can ask me to make the martinis. They believe good martinis tend to improve their social status. And they are right.
Therefore, it is with deep dismay that I read the martini is on its way to history’s ash heap. One author I read even said that “to the young, Vermouth is a state.” All this caused me to look around to see what people were drinking on our St. Maarten trip, and I was devastated by the evidence that nobody but nobody ordered a martini.
I ordered one once at a fancy, haute cuisine sort of place and at first they didn’t seem to know what I was talking about. After I explained, they finally brought something in a brandy snifter. The liquid was cloudy, room temperature, and had a slice of lemon floating in it. I thought I would throw up.
I have done all I can to revive interest, especially among the young, but I’m not getting anywhere. Beer, fruity concoctions and exotic aperitifs seem to be the drinks of preference, don´t ask me why. One of my customers even euchred me into trying an Amaretto sour, whatever that is. It had a fetching flavor like an imported gumdrop, but it did absolutely nothing to bring on that glorious martini euphoria that wafts me into Elysian Fields.
The only ray of hope I’ve had in recent weeks came at an Omaha restaurant
known for its honest approach to food and drink. They served me a martini not quite as subtle as I like, but not bad at all. I told the waitress it was very good, and she said “We’ve been getting lots of compliments from our martini customers since we quit putting in Vermouth.”
POOR ROBERT SCONCE
(Ed. Note: The following was tendered by Mark Sconce, a newcomer to the Ajijic Writers’ Group. “My Dad wrote the piece below many years ago for a newsletter he sent out to the building trade. Poor Robert’s Almanac became so popular that he was given an award at a black tie affair one night at the Waldorf. ‘The Vanishing Martini’ is one of his droller pieces.”)