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Martinis, Bork, and Gibsons


I’m so sorry to be late to the party on the martini-Bork nexus (I slept late here in Hawaii where it’s five hours earlier). First, let me add that I think the Judge–as I’ve called him since I was a policy gnome at AEI–is one of the most impressive and honorable men I’ve ever met. And he’s also the only person I have ever met who can give one-word answers to very complex questions while sounding like he’s covered all the angles. “No, he explained,” works for the Judge.

Anyway, as fate would have it, the Goldbergs have recently switched (perhaps temporarily) to gibsons as our preferred cocktail. For me, this is a nostalgic turn, as my father drank gibsons when I was a kid. I have many memories of my dad telling waiters, “it’s a gibson, not a gimlet” after receiving some lime flavored swill. Charles Dana Gibson is credited with creating the drink, by the way. And it is merely a martini that uses cocktail onions as a garnish.

As for the vodka martini, I am with the Judge on this: There’s no such thing. Technically, the vodka and vermouth drink is a kangaroo. I can live with people saying “vodka martini” but I can’t stand it when waiters ask, “do you want that martini [or gibson] with gin or vodka.” That’s like asking, “Do you want that milkshake with ice cream or tofu?

Anyway, here’s Charles Bork writing about the martini as a barometer of civilization.

And here’s a very strange Russell Baker piece on Bork–and martinis–from 1987.


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