Likes the first huge homage to our most beloved Dino came our way from our pallies at google Dino-'lerts that sent us over to the beau-ti-ful beast of a blog pad, The Daily Beast where Mr. Noah Rothbaum, who get this dudes "is The Daily Beast’s Chief Cocktail Correspondent and the author of The Art of American Whiskey and The Business of Spirits. He’s also the associate editor of the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails."
So Mr. Rothbaum is sorta likes the King of Cocktails, bein' Chief Cocktail Correspondant and all. And likes how woulda the King of Cocktails hugely homage our King of Cool...well, of course with a post tagged "Toast Dean Martin With His Signature ‘Flame of Love’ Martini." Likes dudes, how better to celebrate our one and only Dino's day of birth then to enjoy the liquid libation of his one and only martini?!?!?!?!
Noah has crafted wise and witty words tellin' the tale of how the 'Flame of Love' martini got to be and offers this as a wonderful toast to our wonderful man. To checks this out in it's original source, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-gram. We thanks cocktail connoisseur for his potent post celebratin' our most beloved Dino's 99th anniversary of his birth in Steubenville, Ohio. Dino-toastin', DMP
btw, we deeply digs the powerful image that Noah has chosen to grace his post....our fav two members of the Rack Pack, of course our most beloved Dino and Mr. Peter Lawford.
RAT PACK06.07.16 12:00 AM ET
Toast Dean Martin With His Signature ‘Flame of Love’ Martini
In honor of what would have been Dean Martin’s 99th birthday, we celebrate his special Martini, involving a showman’s infusion of sherry and flaming orange peel.
If anybody deserved a signature cocktail it was legendary bon vivant Dean Martin.
Dino, who would have turned 99 today, was, of course, an integral member of Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack--and that’s not to mention producing dozens of hit songs and staring in a range of television shows and movies, including 16 screwball comedies with partner Jerry Lewis.
Martin was also no stranger to bars, like Sinatra. He supposedly worked as a teenage in Prohibition speakeasies in his hometown of Steubenville, Ohio, including a stint as a croupier.
While Ol’ Blue Eyes was a very strict Jack Daniel’s drinker, as the story goes, Martin was generally a whiskey drinker and was in need of his own tipple.
However, James Kaplan, author of Dean and Me: (A Love Story) and Sinatra: The Chairman, is quick to point out that Martin’s well-known public drunkenness was for much of his career a shtick, which he started in the late 1950s after his partnership with Lewis ended. In fact, Martin was usually actually drinking apple juice on stage.
One night in 1970, as he was wont to do, he was drinking at celebrity hangout Chasen’s, the historic Los Angeles restaurant, which was started by New Yorker founding editor Harold Ross and failed comedian Dave Chasen in 1936 and stayed open for 59 years. (A New Yorker obituary for the establishment didn’t underplay its cultural importance and called it “a restaurant that has meant to Hollywood what Maxim’s has to Paris and “21” to New York.”)
Martin was talking to Chasen’s long-serving bartender Pepe Ruiz “and he was sick of drinking the same Martini all the time and he was like “Pepe don’t you have something different?,” says Robert Pulcini who directed the documentary Off the Menu - The Last Days of Chasen’s with his wife Shari Springer Berman. (It was the first of many movies the couple co-directed, including the Oscar-nominated American Splendor.) After all, the restaurant was a good place for a celeb to find a signature recipe: it was where the non-alcoholic Shirley Temple was dreamed up for the child star.
Ruiz’s two major twists on the standard Martini recipe, according to famous bartender Dale DeGroff’s book The Essential Cocktail, was that he replaced the traditional dry vermouth with some very dry sherry, which he used to coat the inside of a cocktail glass.
The other interesting step was that Ruiz dramatically flamed large orange peels over the empty glass, which covered it with a film of toasted orange flavor. The oils in the zest of an orange are flammable and the burst of fire can not only add a dash of citrus but also a bit of excitement to a drink’s preparation.
Ruiz would then shake some vodka with ice and strain it into the prepared glass. To maximize the orange quotient he would flame a final piece of orange peel over the finished drink.
“There was a drama, there was a showmanship to it,” says Springer Berman. At Chasen’s, “the food wasn’t just about the food. And the drink wasn’t just about the drink. It was about the performance.”
It quickly became a staple. “Heaven,” is how Barbara Sinatra described how it tasted in her book, Lady Blue Eyes: My Life with Frank.
There was one small problem. Once the other celebrities saw Martin and his friends drinking the cocktail it, like the Hobo Steak and the Snowball dessert, became a signature of the restaurant. And “it takes a really long time to make, so it would cause a huge backup at the bar,” says Springer Berman. “The waiters were like, ‘That damn Flame of Love it takes forever.’”
The Flame of Love
1 dash Tio Pepe Sherry
2 oz Vodka
Add a bit of sherry to a cocktail glass and swirl it around. Pour out any excess. Then flame two large orange peels over the glass. Add the vodka to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake and strain into the prepared glass. Flame a final piece of orange peel over the finished drink and add it as a garnish.
Based on the recipe in Dale DeGroff’s book The Essential Cocktail
Hey pallie...I have tried this drink & man o man...it is yum! Def worth askin' your bartender to do their bestest & create this Dino inspired masterpiece! Takes a little time & a little practice...but well worth the effort.
What better way then to celebrate AND honor the memory of Dean then with a great cocktail and this sounds like a winner. A wonderful story also that goes along with the creation of this drink. Since it does get the seal of approval from Danny G. hopefully i will be able to try it some day myself. Thank you DMP for this fun story.
Have a wonderful weekend.
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