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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Puttin' on the poor mouth

Off to Paris in a fortnight and had hoped to renew our acquaintance with the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz. 
But the horror, the horror... the old place is being renovated and won't be open when we get there. 
Our charming hostess, Chantal, whose mother once had a drink with Hemingway at the very spot many years ago, will have somewhere else to treat us, I'm sure. I will report on that accordingly.
Mais pour maintenant...

The above publication, not long off the presses chaudes of the Ritz a la Place Vendome, alludes to the fab cocktails that can be savoured there. 
To quote: "It is said that the Hemingway bar makes the best Dry Martini in the world." 
Given that the head barman Colin Field was once voted best barman in the world by Forbes Magazine, that might seem a reasonable assertion. 
Yet it is, as are so many other claims about cocktail recipes, somewhat precious.
What makes a good dry martini after all is pretty damn simple:

  • it must be as cold as a mother-in-law's stare
  • secure the best gin available
  • include two or three olives on a stick...
  • and oh, I almost forgot – a passing acquaintance with vermouth is occasionally called for.
And you could replace the olives with les petits oignons and call it a Gibson.
Whatever! as the young ones say when they can't think of anything else to say.
Maybe it's just as well we're not going to the Ritz – we're far too poor. At 26 euros for a glass of the house champagne, we might need to remortgage the maison if we fancied a night out there.

The following is what they used to say in the old days...

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