Were the three wise men to break from trailing the star and sit in a bar, they might well order something regal like a martini – it is, after all, the king of cocktails. Elementary maths should indicate that, were they to do it together, that would make for three martinis. And were they to partake around lunchtime, it’d be close to a three-martini lunch. Close, but no cigar (although without a smoking ban they might’ve hit the hookah), because the three-martini lunch was originally an imbibing intuition that encouraged 1950s businessmen to enjoy three martinis each as they dined. The theory being that with a little inspiration juice on the go, these warriors of Wall Street would nail down the deals our current bunch of business clowns can only dream of. And get this: it was a tax deductible.
While JFK was a fan, Jimmy Carter would later claim the working classes were subsiding the indulgence and so it lost its way, but as the Thinking Drinkers we have long campaigned for the reintroduction of this discerning drinking ritual. It is our assertion that the martini can unlock the shackles of economic restraint, an urgent requirement in these uncertain times.
Admittedly one martini now seems more sensible than three, and rather than escaping the office for lunch to return to the spreadsheets steaming, the aim should simply be to find a moment of separation in the day to inspire the relaxing of inhibitions. Rather than getting off your box, perhaps at least encourage thinking a little out of it.
Certainly it would be churlish to criticise anyone prepared to give it a whirl as we coast through the festive spell, so if you can find the time then our martini of choice would currently be a Plymouth Gin Martini. Thanks to its sweet citrus botanicals and rounded pot still mouth feel, this is a gin you barely need to touch. Stick a bottle in the freezer and you could arguably serve it with nothing at all. A little dilution is advisable, so may be stir it on ice. But in terms of vermouth, a very modest dash will do, indeed Winston Churchill insisted on Plymouth in his martinis which he had without vermouth, so don’t over power the gin. Plymouth is available at the absurdly affordable £20 in Waitrose, many, many other gins are obviously available.
Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham are the Thinking Drinkers, award-winning writers and performers who will be hosting their comedy drinks tasting The Thinking Drinkers’ History of Alcohol at the Museum of Comedy in London from December 12-23. Each member of the audience sips five different drinks as the show explores alcohol’s influence on human history. Tickets and details here: www.thinkingdrinkers.com