Why I created this Gin Martini:
In 2018 I spent quite a bit of time with my Aunt. We had somewhat of a unique relationship. She was my Aunt by marriage. She was a feisty Italian American, who taught me more than a thing or two about standing up for myself.
It was her and my Uncle that took me in for a year as a highly naive 15-year-old teenager while my parents were going through hard times. I think it was her goal that year to teach me ways to the world, and also to share her love of all of her favorite classic 80s and early 90s movies with my sister and me.
She taught me a lot of things that year that I lived with her. After though our lives sort of went separate ways. I quickly grew up and had a family of my own, and she and my uncle spent years on the road when he decided to change careers and become a journeyman lineman.
A couple of years ago though, while I was having difficulties caring for my sister who she herself was suffering through a loss and addiction issues, my Aunt and I reconnected more than ever.
They had been living in Prosser, Washington at the time, and I coincidentally was included in a press trip there so I stayed a couple of extra days with them afterward and rebonded.
Then, perhaps a year after that my Uncle took a job close to where I lived and they relocated. I suddenly found myself just 10 miles away from them. I made it a point to spend more time with my Aunt again.
While she was young, barely 50, her health was declining. She had multiple sclerosis, and I know the lesions in her brain had been increasing.
I’d try to stop by and visit once or twice a month, often bringing lunch and a bottle of wine. She didn’t eat a whole lot so sometimes I just decided to make an appetizer platter for two. She always appreciated the company and asked me why we hadn’t done this more often.
She’d tell me stories from her rambunctious younger days and press me to get me to open up to my feelings.
During one of our last conversations together she told me a wild story which included gin martinis. She told me how much she used to love a good gin martini. I told her I’d had to bring over supplies to make a couple of martinis sometime.
Some time never happened.
A few weeks later they once again needed to move for my Uncles work, and I never saw her face again. I imagine the lesions were increasing because her judgment and cognition were getting worse. I think leaving again depressed her and she couldn’t process what to do or figure out how to move past the moment. Two months after they moved she ended her life. I’ll forever wish I could have had a martini with her, just once.
Is there someone in your life that you haven’t visited in a while? Why are you putting it off? Make an appetizer platter for two and go see them for lunch, brunch, or just because. You don’t need too many things to create a platter, and you don’t need an excuse to see them.
You can also take a moment and make a gin martini with me, and raise your glass in thanks for all of those that were placed in this earth to teach us, and leave a lasting impact on our lives.
So go, stop by, enjoy good, and catch up with your loved one. You’ll probably never know just how important your presence is to them.
Gin Martini Recipe:
- 3 ounces of gin (I prefer Aria Gin)
- 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
- 2 green olives (I love a blue cheese stuffed olive) + a splash of olive juice
Add the gin, vermouth, and a splash of olive juice to a cocktail shaker. fill halfway with ice and shake until combined.
Strain into a martini glass and garnish with olives.