In this little corner Roger Pretzel will review his favorite play of the week along with a thoughtful review of what beverage he was imbibing at the time.
Week 14: Mario Williams Smothers Sam Bradford for Big Loss
Sam Bradford gives up a huge chunk of yardage under pressure as he scampers backwards only to be tackled by the four-time Pro Bowler, who looks a lot like a heat-seeking missile on the play. Bradford completely fails to get rid of the ball, rolling out right at the first signs of trouble, but the big fella’s gotta eat, and Williams takes the Philly QB to the turf with a flying open-armed tackle.
The play happens on 3rd and 6, murdering that drive for the Eagles in what turned out to be a great game full of other highlights. But you know me; I always want to see that big sack. No innuendo intended, thank you.
Week 14: The Best Cocktail Ever
This Sunday I thought I’d treat myself to the best cocktail ever. It exists. It’s a thing. It’s not a subjective concept but an objective truth. Written in stone, hallowed in the deepest archives, and sung about by the oldest bards: when one reaches for the Platonic ideal of a perfect cocktail that can mean only one thing… a well-made gin martini with a twist of lemon. In this week’s brew portion of the column, I share my recipe for the ultimate mixed drink.
This is how I get down with the galaxy’s greatest combination of spirited beverages:
2.25 Ounces Plymouth Gin (eyeballed)
0.75 Ounces Dolin Dry Vermouth (eyeballed)
One dash orange bitters (optional)
Stirred with ice. Strained into champagne coupe. Peel of lemon squeezed over top.
I like Plymouth gin because it’s a little softer than a London dry style. If you want a sharper, more robust flavor, by all means go for the London dry. I like Tanqueray because I’m gross like that. There are also a lot of fun new American gins out there to experiment with too. These tend to be more in line with the Plymouth flavor profile, with a non-juniper aromatic, usually some sort of citrus, taking precedence over the old familiar Christmas tree taste.
So you know how everyone always wants a “dry” martini? That means it doesn’t have much (or any) vermouth in it. Part of the reason why that became so de rigueur is that for decades there wasn’t really any good vermouth being imported. Given the chance, vermouth and gin can be best friends, and they really should be. Trust me on this one. I like Dolin Dry. It’s cheap and delicious. Hell, you can drink it on the rocks and it’s great on it’s lonesome.
You’ll notice in the recipe I say “eyeballed” in terms of the gin and vermouth. When I make a cocktail I always use a jigger to make sure the proportions are correct. It’s just easier, and you know your spec will turn out correctly if you do so. That rule goes straight out the window when I make a martini. It reminds me of this Ray Bradbury short story where some little old auntie has terrible vision and a horribly unorganized kitchen even though she’s the best cook everybody in her family knows. The family tries to be nice, and they buy her a new pair of glasses and organize her spices and ingredients. Big surprise: her food tastes like shit until she goes back to her old haphazard ways. When it comes to making a martini, I feel like you’ve just got to use the force and free pour that bad boy. It keeps a little bit of the mystery involved in the process too, and ultimately you’re going to consciously or subconsciously make a drink more in line with your current mood/mindset.
There you have it, and if you’re reading this and your spouse, parent, stepparent, grandparent, dominatrix, landlord, best friend, worst enemy, first cousin, town alderman or local cobbler yells at you for wasting your time reading the sports pages, you can make them the greatest cocktail under the heavens and tell ‘em that you actually learned something!
Until next week, gang.