Over the years I've had many close brushes with the famous Julia Child but I never had the pleasure of meeting her face-to-face. I did however get to interview her once via phone, and her words on wine still ring through my ears each time I crack open a wine list. She said, "A restaurant is only as good as its least expensive bottle of wine." For that bit of wisdom my purse and my husband continually thank her.
Julia has left us with all sorts of invaluable information, recipes, and tidbits of advice. Many people know her favorite ingredient was butter, but tomorrow, August 15, 2012 is the 100th anniversary of her birthday and we'd like to toast her with something we know she'd love.
Many food fanatics will be toasting with her famous Upside-Down Martini, a crafty cocktail made up of one part gin and five parts dry Vermouth. In the States dry vermouth is mostly known for its supporting role in cocktails. For years the phantom pass of the bottle over a dry martini continues to deliver that mischievous smirk from both bartender and patron alike. Julia enjoyed dry vermouth much more like the Europeans do, as a bar star, not mere cocktail flair.
True, the Upside-Down Martini is a lovely aperitif but the big J.C. had another equally as refreshing adoration, and it pours up a mere percentage of the booze and calories as an Upside-Down Martini. In her book Julia and Company she notes: "Spirits and liquor are full of empty calories and need to be omitted by serious dieters," to which she created the Angosoda. Whether you're dieting or not it's delicious, and can be consumed midday sans guilt or swerve. It's refreshing and serves as a perfect aperitif and it's ideal for toasting her on this 100th birthday anniversary.
The food and wine world is very small and many people have their own stories of Julia, culinary wisdom, killer recipes and risqué tales alike. Ever meet Julia Child? Or perhaps she has influenced you in some more remote way. Please share your stories. We'd love to hear them!
The Angosoda Cocktail
Several ice cubes
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 slice fresh lime
6 ounces Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water
In a large, stemmed glass place several cubes of ice.
Dash a few drops of Angostura Bitters in the glass.
Add a slice of lime.
Fill the glass with sparkling water.
Maureen C. Petrosky writes what she knows, food, booze and parties. Author of The Wine Club, she appears regularly on The TODAY show to share her vices (and advice) with the world. For more info check out www.maureenpetrosky.com or follow her on Twitter @maureenpetrosky
(Images: John Uher)