gaz regan’s Library: On Drink by Kingsley Amis, 1973
A Case for Stronger Martinis
Kingsley Amis, author of Lucky Jim among other notable books, and father of prevalent author, Martin Amis, seemed to disagree with Bernard DeVoto’s declaration that martinis couldn’t be kept in the refrigerator, although, to be fair, in his book, Kingsley Amis on Drink, 1973, he did say that the fridge wasn’t really cold enough and pitchers of martinis should be kept in the freezer.
Amis also asserted that he liked cocktail onions in his martinis–which were made at a ratio of gin to vermouth of anywhere between 12: and 15:1–and the reason for this was that he had never mastered the knack of twisting lemon rinds to release their oils onto the drink.
“Experts will say that I have described, not a dry martini, but its drier derivative, the Gibson,” said Amis, “Well, yes, but few people, I think, who have sampled the formula I give, by which the vermouth flavour disappears as such and yet the total flavour is still not all that of straight gin, will want to return to the 4:1 or 3:1 ratios prescribed by convention.” He justifies his methods further by adding, at the very end of his missive on martinis, “And my version is stronger.”
Kingsley Amis on Drink by Kingsley Amis, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1973.