The Martini Geek

Over the years of identifying myself as a geek, I have pondered the definition of the word. The best I came up with goes as follows:

Geek: A person who obsesses over trivial details in a much more thorough manner than other human beings.

I didn’t give this definition much thought until I spoke about my latest unhealthy and totally useless obsession with my friend Yannick, today via MSN Messenger. It turns out I have, over the years, accumulated a number of very thorough, though short-lived, obsessions:

  • As a student in University, discovered Multi-User Shared Hallucinations (MUSHes, text-based predecessors to MMORPGs.) Poured hours of my life into those, until I was considered one of the best coders out there, and became an administrator on 3 different MUSHes.
  • Circa 1997, discovered and fell in love with cigars. Studied the field throughly, and purchased a humidor, a guillotine cigar cutter, a butane lighter, as well as several Cubans, including a box of Montecristos. Well-stocked humidor currently in my brother’s possession.
  • In 1998, fell in love with the Lego Mindstorms Robotic Invention System, and proceeded to code a short-term memory for my robot using a Visual Basic-based neural network, as well as a Lego-based, 8-bit Enigma machine. Abandonned both projects before completion.
  • In 1999, found a passion for professional wrestling. Joined a website just so I could write about it. Over the next 3 years, became Quebec’s most respected professional wrestling analyst, frequently ordered Japanese wrestling tapes over the Internet, and helped transform a professional wrestling website into one of the most visited sites in French, all categories confounded.
  • In 2002, became obsessed with creating the best scrambled egg humanly possible. Bought a coat-free pan devoted to scrambled eggs, and a heat-resistant silicone spatula. Resulting scrambled eggs tasted better than 99% of Montreal’s restaurant offerings.
  • Also in 2002, love for Asia deepened when it turned out to be a common interest with Helene. Some people would have considered a weekly walk in Chinatown to be enough to sate that passion. We moved here. Hey, Helene is a geek too, you know.

Which brings us to 2005.

For some reason I don’t even know myself, I am currently obsessed with creating the perfect martini. I bought all the necessary ingredients, and am currently hunting for good martini glasses. After a week of research, I am currently spouting off obscure trivia and amusing quotes about martinis through the ages, and I can understand the two sides of various martini debates such as ‘shaken or stirred?’ and ‘vodka martini: martini or not?’

Why do I do this?

I’m a geek. Do I need another reason?

About Daniel Roy

Daniel is a writer, backpack foodie, slow traveler, and endurance runner. He is the author of the upcoming book, "The Way of Slow Travel: A Hands-On Guide to the Best Travel of Your Life."

5 comments

  1. You’re a generous geek, should I add.

  2. would love to try the martinis and the scrambled eggs hope u have the receipe still!!!!

    • Certainly! But a lot of it has to do with equipment and experience. 🙂

      Scrambled eggs:

      Use a non-sticking pan and a very thin, very flexible spatula. The best is heat-resistant silicone. Use only egg yellows, and a touch of milk. Start at low fire, and constantly stir the eggs until ‘structure’ starts to form. When this happens, turn up the heat, and fold the eggs repeatedly to add ‘air’. When the eggs are still runny, quickly pour in a plate. VERY IMPORTANT: If the eggs are cooked in the pan, they’re overcooked on the table! You have serve them when they are still runny!

      Martinis:

      You need a shaker with a strainer, which you store in the freezer. Also store the martini glasses in the freezer. If possible, put the freezer at the lowest temperature possible… (My freezer is so cold the vodka ‘fumes’ when I pour it out of the bottle!) If you use gin, DON’T freeze it. If you use vodka, freeze it.

      Gor gin, my personal best is Bombay Sapphire. For vodka, a Russian vodka is the best, although Vincent Van Gogh vodka makes awesome sweet vodka martinis. For vermouth, you need the Martini brand, either extra dry or red. Don’t store the vermouth in the freezer.

      For a dry martini, simply fill half of the shaker with ice, pour 1/4 ounce vermouth, then 3 ounces gin. Stir slowly, until the ice starts to melt (approx. 1 min). Quickly take out the martini glass from the freezer, and strain the martini into the glass.

      For garnish, I like anchovy-stuffed olives, or Spanish olives with the pimento removed and replaced with spoon-crushed blue cheese. For vodka martini, I use a kitchen tool that creates a very thin strip of lemon peel, and I twist it into a small lemon ‘spring’.

      For a sweet martini, you can switch the vodka or gin for a flavored vodka, such as Vincent Van Gogh. Replace the dry vermouth with red vermouth.

      For a Cosmopolitan, start with a sweet vodka martini, and add 1 oz. cranberry juice and 1 oz. Cointreau orange liqueur. Tada! 🙂

    • By the way, anonymous, if you’re a friend in Shanghai, the easiest is to come by my house to try the martini. For the scrambled eggs, my equipment is back in Montreal, so I can’t garantee results… Hmm, I need to go back to the Restaurant Equipment Bonus Level and check out the spatulas!

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