Martini Culture

I am not a martini drinker, but have some observations as a result of this trip, as the martini became a recurring mini-theme.

  • Don’t order a martini in an Indian Restaurant.
Anthony ordered a martini at Monday’s dinner. We should have known this was trouble when the waiter asked “what flavor” he wanted. More trouble – the waiter did not know what an olive was. Once Anthony explained that a martini composed of vodka and an olive, the waiter brought back a shot glass of warm vodka [hey, I guess I drank a lot of Indian Martinis in college, LOL]. Anthony ended up with two of these drinks (he requested another one from different waiter, hoping for a different result). It was rather humorous, and I wish I had brought my camera….

  • Many Martinis are mixed drinks in disguise, using the martini glass as the costume.
Lycee martini from Tuesday’s dinner at the Chinese dim sum restaurant, and the dirty cosmopolitan Andrew made on Saturday night. Don't get me wrong - they were very nice drinks, but do they really qualify as a martini? (I guess it is all in the name and presentation)





  • The olive is a key element to a traditional martini.
The traditional Martini consists of gin or vodka, maybe with a splash of vermouth or some other liquor, garnished with the olive. While the other martinis above were garnished with flower and orange zest, the olive is meant to be eaten, adding a nice saltiness to the drink. (Otherwise, it is just cold vodka / gin). It still blows my mind that the Indians did not know what olives were. Here are some of the olives I encountered during the trip:

A small bowl of olives at the Tapas restaurant


Jars of olives at Borough Market.


All this talk and pictures of pretty martinis - I think I’ll buy a set of martini glasses when I get home…..

agent713  – (January 29, 2008 at 1:44 PM)  

I actually collect martini glasses. I have a martini shaker too. I don't have any vodka though so I have yet to actually DRINK a martini out of my glasses. I usually just use them as dessert cups...

shirley  – (January 29, 2008 at 4:03 PM)  

That settles it, then - I NEED to get a set of martini glasses and probably a shaker, too.

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