I’m currently having a re-read of Spanish director Luis Buñuel’s fantastic autobiography, My Last Breath (known also as My Last Sigh), and in it he describes making the perfect dry martini. The infamous Spanish filmmaker also invented his own variation known as the Buñueloni, and in his book, the famed surrealist devotes entire pages to the pleasures of booze and fags. Then warns us, comically, neither is good for our health.
In the chapter titled ‘Earthly Delights’, Buñuel discusses his fondness for certain bars and haunts whilst delivering the ingredients for the perfect dry martini. This chapter is very funny mostly because of the solemn and deadly serious way Buñuel explains the best way to make the drink. After looking around on Youtube, there’s an actual clip of him prepping said beverage. It’s like watching a scientist in the lab.
Here’s the director in his own words discussing the perfect way to make a dry martini:
“At a certain period in America it was said that the making of a dry martini should resemble the Immaculate Conception, for, as Saint Thomas Aquinas once noted, the generative power of the Holy Ghost pierced the Virgin’s hymen “like a ray of sunlight through a window – leaving it unbroken.”
Another crucial recommendation is that the ice be so cold and hard it won’t melt, since there’s nothing worse than a watery martini. For those who are still with me, let me give you my personal recipe, the fruit of long experimentation and guaranteed to produce the perfect results. The day before your guests arrive, put all the ingredients – glasses, gin, and shaker – in the refrigerator. Use a thermometer to make sure the ice is about twenty degress below zero (centigrade). Don’t take anything out until your friends arrive; then pour a drops of Noilly Prat and half a demitasse spoon of Angostura bitters over the ice. Shake it, then pour it out, keeping only the ice, which retains a faint taste of both. Then pour straight gin over the ice, shake it again, then serve.”
So if you’ve ever fancied following the director’s recipe, now you can! Also watch the master in action below.