I’ve been collecting cocktail books for a few years now, but this is on a different level – it contains 3,000 cocktail recipes, all illustrated in colour. It also explains what all of those esoteric cocktail tools are used for and what the difference between shaking or stirring is anyway.
I’ve poring (and pouring) my way through the recipes since Christmas and one I’ve tried recently is the Nick and Nora.
On the face of it, it’s another gin martini, albeit stirred, rather than shaken (which does give me a chance to use my new cocktail stirrer).
But what got piqued my interest is that it’s named after Nick and Nora Charles, the protagonists of one my favourite film series, the Thin Man.
Nick and Nora were a husband and wife detective duo created by Dashiell Hammett. They appeared in six films in the 1930’s and 40’s.
The secret of their success was their portrayal by William Powell and Myrna Loy – they were witty, clever and had an impressive on-screen chemistry that made solving the murder seem more of a nuisance than anything else. (In the first film, Nick spends the second act avoiding people who want him to solve the case.)
And they drank martinis. Lots and lots of martinis. So it seems only right that there’s one named after them.
Nick and Nora
2 1/4 msr gin
3/4 msr dry vermouth
Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker, then add ice.
Stir, using a cocktail spoon.
Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an olive (or two)
It’s a really good martini – dry, but enough of the vermouth to make it interesting.