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I used to drink in Kudos bar, owned by Paul Martin, holder of several world records for cocktail mixing...in an article in a magazine, he claimed I was "the world champion Old Fashioned drinker"...anyway, one night we set out to improve the Martini. After some significant,er,"research" ..we ended up with a mixture of gin, a couple of drops of angostura bitters, and - instead of vermouth - we used a similar amount of Chinese distilled rice wine, from a bottle which also contained two entwined dead lizards. Stirred, not shaken. This, we both agreed, was the first ever advance on the dry Martini, and - in honour of the reptiles who had sacrificed their lives as flavour ingredients..it was christened the "Godzilla"!!

Excellent! Although the company that makes agnostura bitters just went under. You can no longer get the product, although we're all hoping they start production again soon!

Oh crikey...no more angostura? This is truly the End of the World. Then again, a large bottle of it was probably a lifetime's issue..heaven knows how old mine is. Wonder if the aromatics deteriorate even when sealed?

How fascinating and wonderful that you would write a nice big piece, literally about cocktails! Thanks. Anyone heard of exotic new mixes being offered? Something to celebrate the "new" decade and get over the mostly horrible aughts, or nillies or zilchies as I have called it.

Before reading this article, I had no idea that "shaken" meant "vigorously shaken". I always assumed that it meant something more like "wobbled". I have never actually made nor tasted a martini.

Other than that, all I can contribute is John McIntyre's video at http://johnemcintyre.blogspot.com/2009/10/martini-video.html

How fun to see someone else (besides me and my indoctrinated children and people who were born a generation before I was) who knows about Myrna Loy and William Powell. Oh, and who likes physics, too. Neat article; fun Winston Churchill take on dry vermouth's place in the martini.

After a few brief calculations, in a 10" shaker, to create a 2G force sufficient to induce full liquid flow around the ice without stagnation at the end of each oscillation, the mixologist should shake at a tempo of 7.54 one-way shakes per second. Since the shake includes both an up and down motion, and most people will determine the tempo based upon each "downbeat" shake, this results in a shaker tempo of approximately 226 shakes per minute. As researchers in music cognition have discovered, the mind tends to fuse high rate beats (such as this) into groups of two, so a perceived tempo of 112.5 beats per minute would require it to be in shaken in eight notes to create the coldest martini.

Given that a dry martini contains a higher alcohol content, a slower tempo would suffice, as it would cool at a slower rate.

A standard foxtrot is in the range of 120-160 beats per minute, while a standard ballroom waltz is typically in the range of 90-120.
SO, indeed, a dry martini could be shaken at a slower tempo, but perhaps the ideal tempo for shaking the coldest martini might be the Polka (192-232 beats per minute). Polish Polkas are generally on the faster side while German polka tends to favor the slower, and if mixing a vodka martini with Polish potato vodka, this might be the ideal music for this drink (further ethno-musicological research in this area is needed). An alternate might be the Quickstep (188-208 bmp) for extremely dry martinis.

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    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.