It's not often I'm asked to share my favorite recipes--probably because I'm happy with a can of beef stew, a grilled cheese with Miracle Whip or--when I'm feeling exotic--conch fritters. That's why I was a little confused when the FeedingFrenzy folks asked me about my favorite recipe. After I realized they wanted to know what my favorite drink recipe is, I felt much more confident and jumped at the chance.
I keep it simple when it comes to drinks. Nothing too fancy. Therefore, at the risk of being boring, here is my favorite drink.
I think it's a killer.
John Pilate's Mystery Martini aka Simon's Stir
2 ½ oz Vodka of your choice (That's the "mystery." I prefer CLEAR10)
½ oz Lillet (I prefer its slightly sweeter taste--vermouth is boring)
Lemon or orange twist for garnish (an olive won’t be so great with Lillet.)
First, make sure your glass is well-chilled. (I can't abide a warm martini glass. How Hawkeye Pierce, et al. of M*A*S*H* could stand all those warm martinis, I'll never know. Then again, it was war.) You can put your martini glass in the freezer for an hour, or fill it with ice and put it in the freezer for ten minutes--just be sure to dump the ice out before you pour the drink into the glass.
Next, make the ingredients conspire. Pour them into a 20 oz mixing glass half-filled with cracked ice. Stir (sorry Mr. Bond, but stirring is actually better for the overall flavor of the drink. But do what you want--shake it if that's your thing) for 30 seconds (or 20 stirs clockwise, 20 stirs counter clockwise if you want to practice your safecracking skills). Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon or orange twist and serve.
You can imagine the look I got when I tried to order this at the saloon in Cross Township. (You'll have to read the book!)
I hope this solves the mystery of which drink to order. Enjoy!
John Pilate is the author of Murder 101: The Cross College Conspiracy, the story of how he unraveled a 40-year-old mystery and was nearly killed in the process. Pilate has been featured on 60 Minutes, Dateline NBC and in numerous national publications. He is currently promoting the book across the U.S. He pointedly refuses to explain why the drink is also known as "Simon's Stir."*
*"John Pilate" is actually the lead character in two mystery novels, Pilate's Cross & Pilate's Key by J. Alexander Greenwood. The books are available in paperback and ebook form at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and on order at your local book store. A third book in the series, Pilate's Ghost, is set for October release. Greenwood also enjoys Pilate's Mystery Martini every Friday at 5 pm.