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Dusty martini

Down and dirty over dirty martinis

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As I begin writing my column this week, I must warn you. Someone has wronged me, and the result has plunged me deep into a state of extreme irritation. So my tone may be a little more bitter than normal, but please bear with me. By the time this publishes, I hope for it to be all over, and I will be 24 hours away from jumping on a plane and heading for Hawaii. My mood should improve by then. With sunshine and crystal clear waters on my horizon, how could it not?

A month or two back, I wrote about respecting a restaurant’s menu and resisting the temptation to change the ingredients in order to fit your tastes. I need to back up and emphasize that this does not include your bar order. You see, I am really picky about how I like my drink of choice made and it’s not rocket science to get it right.

My drink of choice is a dirty vodka martini.

My parents had four daughters and my sonless dad didn’t really have a lot of life knowledge to pass on to his girls like mom did. But what he did pass on to us, and me in particular, was the art of making a dirty martini. Oh, and it is an art. Believe me. When I go to a bar, explaining it to a bartender is like speaking to a 3-year-old.

When I am feeling a little randy, I like my martini straight up, but for the most part I order it on the rocks. One olive, one onion, and rarely do bars have cocktail onions. Ever heard of a Gibson? Look it up. Anyway, this is my order; oh and never explain this to the server. Just head up to the bar and tell the bartender in person. Something always gets lost in the translation.

ME:  I want a vodka martini on the rocks, dusty.

BARTENDER: What’s dusty?

ME: I don’t want it DIRTY I want it DUSTY. Just a TOUCH of olive juice, no vermouth, and please do not shake it with ice ahead of time; just pour it straight from the bottle over the ice, add a TOUCH of juice and garnish with one olive and one onion. If it even looks slightly green, I’m sending it back. Kapish?

OK, I’m not that big of a jerk, but it usually works. I know you need to make your bartender your friend, but I do get a little irritated with bartenders that insist on dumping half a jar of frickin’ olive brine in your martini. You know that old saying, “It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission?” Well, it’s better to not add enough of something and add more if you need to.

More often than not, by observing a bartender I can tell if they can handle my drink. Some clues to watch out for: devoid of any life in their eyes, spits when they speak, or wearing a T-shirt that says, “These Guns Don’t Have Safetys.” If there is any doubt, my order is a simple vodka on the rocks with a side of olive juice. I’ll make it myself, thank you. Drink tragedy can be avoided.

Speaking earlier of wronging someone and drink tragedy, I must clear the air. I have wronged the husband. After last week’s column where I poked fun at him (just a bit) when he ordered a girly drink instead of his normal shot of whiskey with a PBR chaser, I stated that he ordered a strawberry margarita when in actuality he ordered a RASPBERRY margarita. My bad. He wanted to make sure I came clean on this important fact. Hugs!

By golly writing this has helped my mood and my outlook on the week. Don’t get me wrong, these people WILL rue the day they crossed me, or perhaps we can salvage the relationship.

Either way, the Islands call my name…

Eat out Tacoma. We need your love.

Sandee Glib has worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry for more than 12 years as a server, bartender, cook and owner. Her opinions are expressly her own and she is always right.

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