The Flat Possum Gazette
Courtesy of the Road-Kill Press
= Biltmore Martini Supreme =
As you know, the Flat Possum Test Kitchen has done a great deal of pioneering
research over the years into perfecting the Martini. This is an ongoing
research project, and I do not see the end in sight. However, one of our
diligent researchers was my old friend Doug Craig of Houston. May he rest in
peace. Doug passed away last summer. But, prior to his untimely death he made
several contributions to the art of Martini-Making, as well as winning World War
II in the South Pacific as an ace pilot and being awarded the Distinguished
Flying Cross, among other decorations.
"I would like to give you a recipe for the very famous Biltmore Martini Supreme. I came by this recipe back in the late '40's while doing a Humble Oil football broadcast of the SMU/USC game in Los Angeles. That was back during the Freddie Benners/Dick McKissick/Kyle Rote era. Humble put us up at the LA Biltmore Hotel. Ves Box, the announcer, and I spent a little time at the Biltmore Bar and while sampling the Martini Supreme, old Ves, who could charm a bird from a bush, whittled the "secret" recipe from the bartender. It goes like this:
"Using a full quart bottle, pour a fifth of very dry gin (I prefer Booth's 90 proof from "jolly old") into the quart, followed by 8 ounces of a very dry Vermouth (French or Italian) - whatever your kitchen test selects. Fill the remainder of the quart bottle with distilled water up to the neck. Cork the bottle and place in the refrigerator for FOUR WEEKS. The bottle should be removed twice a week and gently turned upside down, then replaced in the frig. If you don't die of thirst waiting for it to "mellow", remove the jug at the end of FOUR WEEKS and pour gently into a cooled stem glass - NO ICE! A slim slice of lemon peel may be added and lightly floated on top."
He added: "I don't make them this way any more - just as folks my age don't buy green bananas either"
He continued: "For your Vodka lovers, you might suggest a "Yellow Tail". Make your Vodka martini anyway you like, but instead of olives, onions or lemon peel, use a large, whole slice of a California navel orange. Makes a very tasty martini and the orange slice makes you feel like you're doing something healthy."
Yessir, old Doug had research in his blood; he rates right up there with Madame Curie, Marconi, the light bulb guy and a few folks in the healing profession. I am truly sorry he is not around anymore to continue his important work. But, with his loss and in the face of adversity, The Flat Possum Test Kitchen strives onward and upward to even greater discoveries. Someday, son, I'll let you know what they are.
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