I Wanna Know

PW exposes the tricks, scams and truth about the powers that be.

By Sammy Mack
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Mar. 3, 2004

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Q: What gets you drunk quicker: martinis or cosmopolitans?

A: "Martinis. They're straight liquor," says Montel Jackson of the International Bartending Institute, which has campuses in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill. About the alcohol content, Jackson adds, "If you're just having one, it's immediate." Deirdre Maher, spokesperson for the New York-based Grey Goose Vodka, agrees with Jackson. "A standard vodka martini certainly packs more of a punch than a cosmopolitan for the simple fact that a cosmo is cut with Cointreau, cranberry juice and lime juice, whereas a classic martini is vodka shaken over ice and strained," she says. Stirring in a splash of vermouth just adds more liquor. In theory, it seems obvious: Drinking martinis equals getting tanked faster. Of course this theory assumes you'll polish off a glass full of vodka at the same rate you'll sip a citrus-flavored froufrou cocktail. And let's face it--it's much easier to lose count when the drinks are pink and sugary. "Cosmos can be so darned tasty that some consumers don't realize how many they're drinking, and that can be a danger," says Maher. The comparison also assumes we're talking about a classic martini. The traditional martini is no longer just the shaken-not-stirred drink of choice for Brit cinema spies and the power-suited culturally elite. Bringing the drink to the masses with cocktails like the apple martini or chocolate martini means cutting the vodka with nonalcoholic or lower-proof mixers. Vodka hasn't always been such a swanky part of drink culture. Russians have been distilling alcohol from potatoes since the 14th century. Vodka was limited mostly to the liquor cabinets of Eastern Europe until World War II, when Americans and the rest of Europe started knocking it back. Though now distilled mostly from grain, vodka is still served straight and warm in the mother country. To learn what gets you shnockered faster, try some of the recipes listed on www.greygoosevodka.com. Or to learn how to perfectly pour a classic martini from behind a bar, check out classes at www.barinst.com. When it comes right down to it, how drunk you get on martinis or cosmos depends on how fast you're drinking and who's mixing.

What do you wanna know? Send queries and complaints to Sammy Mack at smack@philadelphiaweekly.com

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