Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Bronze Jigger

Today it was pouring rain.

So I didn’t ride my outside bike: a Specialized Roubaix road bike.

I rode on old paint – a Rocky Mountain hybrid – on a trainer inside out of the rain.

So I was able to stream NPR on my iPhone.

I listened to several things before getting twenty miles on the trainer; the last thing was The Dinner party Download.

One of the segments on that feature was an interview with a famous bartender who talked about several things.

From my viewpoint the most significant of those things was martinis; specifically he contrasted different views of how much dry vermouth should be in a gin martini.

I love martinis and have made a large number of them over time; but they have never been the same since a disaster that occurred to me some time in 1992.


I once had a friend named Jack.

He and I went to High School together, went to different colleges, and reconnected as close friends just before we both went on active duty in the military.

That was Vietnam time.

So we even spent some time together there.

It’s worth reading Screen Saver and Saigon 1967 to find out more about those Vietnam adventures.

But that has nothing to do with the point of this post; it is merely an attempt to sell books.

But Jack is a vital part of this post because he gave me and my first wife a wedding present from Thailand; when he was in Vietnam he got to Thailand a few times; I didn’t.

The gift was a Thai bronze bar set.

Over the years I lost the whole set except for the jigger.

That jigger was a magical device.

I have never been able to duplicate it’s martini making traits.

It had two venturi shaped cups, one bigger than the other. 

They both had a characteristic that I have never found in another jigger: they were perfectly shaped to accept just barely any dry vermouth in their very bottoms; it was the perfect amount of vermouth for the perfect martini.

One night in 1992 I had just made one of those perfect martinis and was sipping the initial quaff when disaster struck.

An unrememberable sequence of events caused the jigger to be knocked off the counter and into the garbage disposal maw.

Unfortunately the disposal was on.

It is really disquieting how much damage can be done to bronze ware by a garbage disposal.

I lost one of my closest friends that evening.

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