Monday, December 3, 2012


Size Didn't Matter, Auntie Mame Was Still Hung

FOR TOO LONG, COCKTAILS have been too big. A benchmark is the Martini: Consider the prewar versions favored by Mame Dennis, the chic Manhattanite of "Auntie Mame." We're told in the 1958 movie version that she abjures an olive garnish because it takes up too much room in such a little glass—which, in that era, might have measured anywhere between 2 and 4 ounces. By contrast, in modern glasses of 8 or 10 ounces (or more), there's so much space that three overstuffed olives have become the norm.

Trust us, Wall Street Journal: there's not a thing about Mame we haven't considered.

20 Comments / Post A Comment


I am going to the wrong bars if standard martini glasses are supposed to be 8-10 ounces these days.

The Lady of Shalott

@SarahP Jesus God, no kidding. Clearly I need to visit a better class of bar.

Jane Marie

@SarahP Applebees! Trust me, Applebees. But you have to watch them like a hawk to make sure they don't use a vanilla vodka.


@SarahP I suspect you are going to the right bars.


Glad I found it, though!@y

the angry little raincloud

I like the smaller glasses: martinis are supposed to be cold!

Old martini glasses are dinky in comparison to the vats of booze one gets today. It's also worth keeping in mind when reading Hammett, Nick & Norah books, or Raymond Chandler (although to be fair, Marlowe's mostly slugging rye): they're drunks but they're all not maybe as drunk as our current super-sized perceptions of glass size might suggest.

I'm also a huge fan of bars that serve their martinis in dinky glasses with the rest on ice in a little shaker.


@the angry little raincloud Right. You don't have to drink less, you just don't want it all in the glass right away!


@Ophelia That's the sad thing -- even if you're paying $12 for a martini, that's still cheaper than the 3-4 shots of chilled vodka you're actually drinking.

That's it, next time I'm at the bar I'm going to ask for a dry vodka martini, straight up, a shotglass, and a funnel.


@stuffisthings - I just ask for a "Double Vodka Soda, pint glass." I generally get 3 - 3.5 pours for the price of two.

(Uh, people should drink for pleasure and not just to get drunk etc etc)

dj pomegranate

"Run along to Ito and tell him to bring me a light breakfast - black coffee and a side car."


Is this where I get to say that martinis are supposed to contain vermouth and gin? "Martini" is not the word for "a huge swig of chilled vodka in an impractical glass," people! If what you want is 3 shots of chilled vodka, drink them from shot glasses like the lush you are.


@stuffisthings PREACH IT!


@stuffisthings Let's hang out.


@stuffisthings Seriously. It annoys me that I have to specify that I want gin in a martini. It's a martini!

Girl Named Jack

@Poubelle Also: does everyone else have a dryness issue? When I order a martini "not too dry," I mean it. Don't be standing there with a spray bottle of vermouth, spritzing the damn thing for an hour. POUR THE VERMOUTH FROM THE BOTTLE INTO THE SHAKER. Ugh.


@stuffisthings GIN FOREVER.


@Girl Named Jack Also yes. for fuck sake you know? A glass of gin isn't any more more a martini than a glass of vodka. If I order a martini it damn well have some real amount of vermouth in it.


I consider Auntie Mame the official guide to the correct behavior of an Aunt. I am currently waiting till my niece and nephew are big enough to handle liquor bottles (small hands drop large bottles) to teach them how to mix drinks for me. My uncle has already taught my niece how to play craps. My family is fun!


@ZogPDX My grandmother taught me how to bet on horses at the racetrack when I was a small child. I suspect similar theories on how to be an extended relative.


"Never shake a martini. Bruises the gin."

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