Someone once came to one of our parties and said, “I’d like something that doesn’t taste too much like alcohol.  Can you make me some kind of a martini?”  (You know who you are.  I’m not telling.)

Martinis are evil.  They’re basically pure gin with a vague memory of dry vermouth, invaded by a twist or an olive.  I don’t normally go for them.  But I’ve been cutting down on the sweet stuff until the holiday blubber subsides, which oddly enough makes you crave sweet stuff less.  Here’s a little something I made tonight that is calling me a wimp.


2 0z Plymouth gin
1 oz Dolin dry vermouth
.25 oz Fernet Branca

STIR the damned thing with ice.  None of this pansy shaking stuff.  Strain into a cocktail glass.  Garnish with a lemon twist.  Plot the way in which Bond is going to die.  Design a clever, maniacal trap involving an industrial die-cutter, 17 purebred pit bulls, a rhododendron, and a guy named Norman.  Decide just to shoot him in the head instead.  Emit a sinister laugh.

This drink would have the Don Draper seal of approval, if he knew what the hell Fernet was.