A chilled crystal glass; the purest gin; a touch of dry vermouth - vigorously shaken, not stirred - and a plump, green olive. The Martini was and still is more than just a cocktail. Originally mixed in the nineteenth century, it became an American icon in the twentieth, and the favourite drink of such luminaries as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Jack London, and Ernest Hemingway. Bernard De Voto called the Martini the 'supreme American gift to world culture,' while H. L. Mencken declared it 'the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet.'
The Martini celebrates the drink's renaissance with a colourful look at this intoxicating symbol of the American Dream. As author Barnaby Conrad III writes, the very word Martini is 'a nostalgic passport to another era.... when women were either ladies or dames, when men wore hats, [and] when a deal was done on a handshake.' Along with this fascinating text, a fabulous array of Martini-inspired art, cartoons, collectables, advertisements, and film stills reveal how deeply this classic cocktail permeates every aspect of American culture, from literature and film to politics and high society. Complete with bar-tending lore, traditional Martini recipes, and literary excerpts, as well as memorable scenes from James Bond movies and more, The Martini satisfies that ultimate quest for perfection, whether you prefer it with an olive or a twist