State Shell of New Jersey: Knobbed Whelk
The Field Notes County Fair edition. Our tribute to the 50 states.
Trust us, we don't take this lightly. With the holidays upon us we felt it was of the utmost importance to let you know about an important change we have made to our Perfect Martini tutorial. Perhaps you've seen that there have been significant changes to the formulation, color and packaging of Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth. The issue is outlined quite well in this Journal article by Eric Felten. (Thanks to John Gruber for the link.) You'll also notice that the article is almost a year old. So WTF? Why did it take us so long to update the holy scripture? The answer is simple. While essential to the martini, vermouth is used in very small portions and we tend to stock up on things. So, we had been mixing merrily along using our reserve of the "old" Noilly, and thinking that all was right with the world.
But the plain truth is that things were very, very wrong and it pains us to think that during the past year we have likely steered more than one person to a sweetish and yellowy end. The Noilly you buy in the states now is unacceptable. Full stop. Unless, like us, you have a reserve, you'll need to find a substitute. We have tested many brands and are now happy to include Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambéry. It's every bit as good as, although not by any means identical to, the old Noilly. We find it has just a hint more bitterness and is less "wine-y." Those are good things. Our apologies for the delay in making this announcement and remember, "Repeat as necessary."
We're not sure why you'd want to, but if you'd rather order up something different from the bartender, you'll find a ton of ideas in our huge collection of Friday Drink Links. Happy Holidays. -jc.12.22.10 #
A post from the daily flow of linkage called Fresh Signals, at Coudal.com.