I do like a good martini. I can even turn out a pretty reasonable effort at making one myself.
But if I'm ordering one at a bar, I want the full rites. I want to hear the questions. I want to take my time over the answers. I enjoy the ritual. ( What can I say? I was raised a Catholic).
So, what does ordering the perfect martini look like?
"Vodka or gin, Sir?"
Obviously, this is a trick question with one correct answer and one for those who have spent far too much time reading Ian Fleming novels. We'll share a moment of disdain for those who might choose the wrong option and bond (never could resist a good pun...) for a brief moment over out shared good taste.
"Do you a particular gin in mind?"
I might have spotted something I'd like to try behind the bar or I might be looking for some guidance. Help me out here. Don't let me choose something that's going to disappoint. If you've got one that's perfect, tell me about it.
"And the vermouth?"
Tricky one this. Some places have a selection, others only one. At least let me know if I have a choice and, if not, tell me what I'll be getting. It may not have made any difference for Mr. Churchill - if you only wave the gin at an unopened bottle of vermouth, who care's what's in it? - but that's not how I want my martini.
"Shaken or stirred?"
Again, there's a correct answer and one for those harbouring fantasies of becoming MI6 officers. You'll look apologetic for having to ask and we'll both bask in our superiority for a moment or two when I give the correct answer.
"Olive or a twist?"
Full marks for giving a little guidance here and extra bonus points for offering something different based on the choice of gin. Extra bonus points if I opt for an olive and you ask if I want it dirty.
Get the ritual right and I'll have the perfect martini every time. And if the next customer orders a vodka martini, shaken not stirred, make them feel just as special but we'll share a knowing glance across the bar.