Wednesday, December 19, 2012
IF I WANT A SALAD, I'LL ASK FOR ONE: (N.B.: This post was granted a No Action Letter under the Rule by ALOTT5MA Headquarters; this is not a place to discuss the politicization of the judiciary or the politicization of anything that does not threaten the health of your liver). Judge Robert Bork died today at the age of 84. We will leave the discussion of his legal significance to any other site on the internet. For now, in memory of his long service on the bench and in academia, I present to you his letter of December 2005 to the Wall Street Journal, probably the most practical thing he ever wrote: Eric Felten’s essay on the dry martini is itself near-perfect (“Don’t Forget the Vermouth,” Leisure & Arts, Pursuits, Dec. 10). His allusion to constitutional jurisprudence is faulty, however, since neither in law nor martinis can we know the subjective “original intent” of the Founding Fathers. As to martinis, the intent may have been to ease man’s passage through this vale of tears or, less admirably, to employ the tactic of “candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.” What counts in mixology is the “original understanding” of the martini’s essence by those who first consumed it. The essence remains unaltered but allows proportions to evolve as circumstances change. Mr. Felten’s “near-perfect martini” is the same in principle as the “original-understanding martini” and therefore its legitimate descendant. Such latter-day travesties as the chocolate martini and the raspberry martini, on the other hand, are the work of activist bartenders. Mr. Felten lapses into heresy only once. He prefers the olive to the lemon peel because the former is a “snack.” Dropping a snack into a classic drink is like garnishing filet mignon with ketchup. The correct response when offered an olive is, “When I want a salad, I’ll ask for it.” Robert H. Bork The Hudson Institute Washington To wit, with the Christmas and New Year just ahead ahead -- and Hannukah just passed -- it's always a good occasion to discuss your favorite holiday drinking traditions. Is there a new cocktail you've discovered? A bottle of scotch you mean to try? Or, of course, if you have anything you want to add to expand the penumbra of appropriate gin concoctions, let us know in the comments.
Posted by The Pathetic Earthling at 2:12 PM