In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 7, 2007 / 27 Kislev 5768

Holiday Cheer

By Greg Crosby

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As the song goes, "It's the most wonderful time of the year!" And what better way to make spirits bright than to whip up a batch of your favorite holiday cheer, invite a few friends over, and throw another log onto the fire. I assume this column is being read by my usual readers, that is to say highly intelligent adults who do not need to be reminded that one does not drink and drive, so I will dispense with that pedantic admonition and get on with the fun.

To begin with, there is nothing quite like a properly mixed Martini. When I speak of "Martini" I mean a real, honest to goodness, no nonsense Martini. No "appletini," no "cran-tini," no "wartermelon-tini," no "Chocolate-tini" or "Kool-aid-tini." I hate the way cocktails have been made childish and ridiculous. A Martini is an adult drink made with gin and vermouth. Period. Anything else is …well, anything else - but it most certainly is not a Martini.

Although there are some who swear by vodka Martinis, the true, traditional, classic Martini is made with gin and French dry vermouth and garnished with a pimento-stuffed green olive. There are a couple of variations on this based on the garnish. If you substitute the green olive for a black one, you have what is called a "dirty Martini." If you substitute a cocktail onion for the olive, you have a Gibson.

The best Martini as far as I'm concerned is made with Plymouth gin and Noilly Prat vermouth at a ratio of 4 to 1. That silly stuff about keeping your Martini "very, very dry" (meaning very little or almost no vermouth) is fine if what you really want is just a straight glass of gin, but if that is your pleasure why beat around the bush? - just go ahead and ask for a straight glass of gin. A Martini, on the other hand, needs the proper amount of vermouth in order to taste like a Martini. And again, the classic 1930's ratio is 4 to 1.

Now that you have the right brand of gin and vermouth in the proper ratio, here are a few other little tricks to know in making a really great Martini:

1. Use smallish Martini glasses. They're not easy to find since most of the cocktail and Martini glasses being sold today are enormous compared to the more traditional size glasses used years ago. Today's stupid glasses are anywhere from 6 oz. to 12 oz. - which means if you fill them up, you will ultimately wind up with a warm drink. The ideal size of glass should be 4 oz. But if you're stuck with the large glasses, don't fill them up all the way - pour just half. You can always refill.

2. Chill your glasses. A large part of the pleasure of a Martini is having it icy cold. Put your glasses in the freezer for an hour or so before you serve.

3. Use a metal cocktail shaker. Stirring in a glass pitcher or using a glass shaker won't keep your drinks as icy cold as they should be. Besides, there is nothing quite like that delightful sound that a metal shaker makes. Music to my ears!

4. Use cracked ice, not cubes. The cracked ice gets the gin and vermouth colder, faster. And remember, cold is the name of the game with Martinis.

5. Serve the olives skewered on those little picks or swords, don't just drop them into the glass. First of all, with the little picks the drink looks more like what a Martini should look like, and isn't that part of the fun? Also, it makes it nicer to eat the olive by picking it up with the pick as opposed to fishing it out of the glass with the fingers.

6. Mix only the exact amount of drinks you need for a first round. If you make too much you'll have the remaining Martinis languishing in the shaker with the ice getting watery. If you want another round, then mix that batch fresh.

7. Have plenty of munchies to eat with your drinks. A cocktail without appetizers is like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the jelly. Put out a nice spread of hot and cold finger food to go with the Martinis.

8. Set the right mood by putting on the right music. Ambiance is very much a part of it.

If you enjoy the adult pleasure of having friends over for drinks during the holidays then invest in a good cocktail recipe book and keep good quality liquor in stock. Bargain booze is no bargain. I wanted to get into a couple of other cocktails, but no space this week. I guess you're stuck with just drinking Martinis until then. There are worse fates in this world, believe me. Cheers!

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2006, Greg Crosby