My friend and I go back and forth on which is the right spirit for a Martini. Gin or vodka?
— Joe, Kensington
Gin drinkers are either old men or luxurious Noel Coward wannabes. Vodka drinkers tend to be powerful, soulless 1980s businessmen or James Bond. Gin drinkers make ludicrous claims about “bruising” the alcohol. Vodka drinkers are just looking for an icy cold glass of minimally adulterated booze; as they’re the same crowd who pushed for the increasingly dry “Martinis” of the 1980s, which is basically the darkest era of drinking’s thousand-plus-year history. The widely prophesied “gin renaissance” that people were talking about in the late-2000s didn’t go anywhere, though it did give us the bizarre rebirth of St. Germain, which appeared in everybody’s gin cocktails for about three years, till bartenders realized that the historical Gin Craze of 18th-century London was actually A Very Bad Thing, and that nobody really likes gin anyways, so why not dispense with the gin and just keep the sugary St. Germain around? As for vodka, there’s no need to make it into Martinis. In due time, the world’s whole supply of vodka will be mixed with Red Bull and quaffed by an array of frat boys in blue-and-white striped button down shirts and/or underage girls in clingy dresses attempting to impress said frat boys. Why deny them the pleasure by turning the vodka into something as un-rad as a Martini?
Anyway, the point is moot. The correct spirit is whiskey, and the correct drink is the Old Fashioned. Better still to just order Maker’s on the rocks. Perhaps if you were to grow a beard it would help?