The temperature is in the single digits here tonight. Winter storms have attacked the midwestern US. Citrus crops are in danger in Florida.
But harbingers of spring thaw are present, if you look for them.
For example, less than three weeks remain until baseball spring training begins. And the Washington Post has just run a story on that venerable cocktail —the martini.
The martini, mixed of only two ingredients ...
The martini certainly is more a broad concept than a specific recipe, but there must be two constants: gin and vermouth. Beyond correctness, vodka and vermouth are just a terrible match. So call that drink whatever you'd like, but please don't call it a martini.
Stirrings of a Better Martini By Jason Wilson The Washington Post February 4, 2009
It was my father who introduced me to that mysterious rite of adulthood —mixing a martini. He taught me 5 parts gin to one part dry vermouth —not more, not less— stirred, not shaken.
Prime martini weather
The Post has another very important tip. In addition to using high-quality gin, use only fresh vermouth.
be sure to use a good-quality dry vermouth, such as Noilly Prat or Dolin. Also, keep that vermouth in the fridge once you've opened it, and get rid of it after a month (it's a fortified wine and will spoil over time; buy small bottles if necessary).
During the winter season, I may tipple a wee dram of scotch, but that sloped cocktail glass, chilled with condensation like beads of sweat ... that I save as a rite of spring.
So it's spring training soon. And it's Fat Tuesday soon, followed, for many, by 40 days of abstinence.
And, then, finally then ... it will be spring.
Another martini rant.