Martini Quotes

"I'm not talking a cup of cheap gin splashed over an ice cube.

I'm talking satin, fire and ice; Fred Astaire in a glass; surgical cleanliness, insight.. comfort; redemption and absolution. I'm talking MARTINI.

Anonymous

Friday, July 1, 2016

All About The Rye



Solitude      

      As it happened, I found myself quite alone one evening. There was a time in my life when this was just cause for celebration. Married with children can stir one's life in many directions at once, a veritable maelstrom of birthday parties, soccer games and school activities, not to mention the monotonous chores of everyday existence. Then, a respite from the frenzy was a rare and welcomed treat.  Yet on this particular evening, I noticed that something had fundamentally, and perhaps irrevocably, changed.  An uneasy perception began to permeate my soul like a dense and heavy fog creeping in from the ocean changing the mood to one of disquiet. The oldest boy, now a man, was off to a reception for law school, the middle son was away with a friend in the wilds of Maine, and the wife was off to her tennis friends.  This was all well and good, as I always had my youngest heir of the three boys to lighten my heart, he being a bounding fountain of good heartedness and genial aspect.  But now that friendly outgoing young man having reached the ripe old age of twelve, was off as well, visiting a friend and doing those things that 12 year old boys are want to do.  And thus I found myself experiencing a void, for it was not just that the people who were always around me had gone out, but it seemed to represent a general passing to a new time of my life.  I guess this just triggered a thought- that I am nearer to dusk than dawn.  And so, I find myself wanting to hold onto things a bit more.  As wonderful and satisfying as it is to see your offspring grow, mature, and succeed, there is part of me, a little bit of Holden Caulfield, that wishes them to stay young forever, to stop growing up- to catch them in the rye field before they run off the cliff.

The Catcher

      There are novels which are considered better, more philosophical or enlightening of the human condition, other authors whose skills are perhaps more practiced and polished, but my favorite character in all of literature, inimitably brought to life by J.D. Salinger, is Holden Caulfield.  He offers a look into the adolescent and precocious mind like never before, better I think than Joyce's Stephen Dedalus from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.  In Stephen's case, we can almost presume that he is destined for fame of some sort, that his childhood insecurities will be resolved, but the same cannot be said of poor Holden.  To the contrary, Holden's precarious grasp on reality is continually tested and it is his failings that most often prevail.  It is when his younger sister Phoebe asks him what he wants to do with his life that the title of the book reveals itself along with Holden's character as well.  He asserts that he wants to be a catcher in the rye.  He falsely believes that a tune in the book  “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye” by Robert Burns, contains the line  “If a body catch a body comin’ through the rye,” but the actual lyric is “If a body meet a body, coming through the rye.”  What Holden envisions is a field of rye full of playing children which is situated on the edge of a cliff. He says he would like to protect the children by “catching” them if they were in danger of falling off.  Even as he struggles with adolescence and his insecurities, he wants to keep the children from growing up as well.  It is unclear if Holden will ever straighten out his life. However, that is in a sense the real appeal of Holden-he is teetering on that cliff edge, straddling the line between what is real and what is "phony", between adolescence and adulthood, and between sanity and lunacy.



Rye Gin

      The vast majority of Gin is produced from a neutral grain spirit, a rather flavorless proposition, to which the flavor is added through the use of a plethora of botanicals. There are a few exceptions: potato in the case of Cold River Gin, sugar in Dry Line Gin and grape for the base of Flight 69 Gin are some that come to mind.  Each of these bases leaves an imprint upon the spirit prior to the addition of the botanicals.  Now, imagine if you will the flavor of rye blending not in whiskey, but instead with the multitude of gin botanicals.  Well, the distillers at St. George Distillery in California have done just that.  The rye base adds a smooth malty flavor.  To this are added six botanicals:
Juniper
Black Peppercorn
Caraway
Coriander
Grapefruit Peel
Lime Peel
According to the site, they were chosen to "play up the peppery nature of juniper that we love so much."  I think they were quite successful.  To the warm malt base, the earthy spice notes are added with dominant pepper and juniper with just a background of citrus.  It is quite a unique taste profile for a gin, one which may not appeal to those accustomed to Bombay for instance.  I enjoyed it most in a very dry martini with a lemon twist.  

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I'm pretty sure Holden would think that drinking a Rye Martini is phony, but it would be pleasantly ironic if he did.
" All you do is make a lot of dough and play golf and play bridge and buy cars and drink Martinis and look like a hot-shot."  Holden Caulfield on becoming a lawyer.