Filmmaker Luis Buñuel Shows How to Make the Perfect Dry Martini

The once-sur­re­al­ist (and, in a sense, always sur­re­al­ist) Span­ish film­mak­er Luis Buñuel made such clas­si­cal­ly bleak, humor­ous, and bleak­ly humor­ous pic­tures like Virid­i­ana, The Exter­mi­nat­ing AngelThe Dis­creet Charm of the Bour­geoisie, and That Obscure Object of Desire. He also made per­son­al con­nec­tions with an inter­na­tion­al range of idio­syn­crat­ic cre­ative lumi­nar­ies includ­ing Fed­eri­co Gar­cía Lor­ca, Sergei Eisen­stein, Char­lie Chap­lin, Aldous Hux­ley, Pablo Picas­so, Bertolt Brecht, Octavio Paz, Alexan­der Calder, and Sal­vador Dalí (his col­lab­o­ra­tor on the noto­ri­ous short Un Chien Andalou and L’Age d’Or). Hav­ing lived a life like that, Buñuel sure­ly could­n’t help but write one of the most fas­ci­nat­ing auto­bi­ogra­phies in print. To become such a human cul­tur­al nexus, one needs not make motion pic­tures as endur­ing­ly strik­ing as Buñuel’s, but one must cer­tain­ly make a dry mar­ti­ni on the lev­el of his own. For­tu­nate­ly for the aspir­ing Buñuels of the world, My Last Sigh, that for­mi­da­bly intrigu­ing life sto­ry, includes his per­son­al recipe.

Dan­ger­ous Minds has post­ed the rel­e­vant excerpt. “To pro­voke, or sus­tain, a rever­ie in a bar, you have to drink Eng­lish gin, espe­cial­ly in the form of the dry mar­ti­ni,” writes Buñuel. “To be frank, giv­en the pri­mor­dial role in my life played by the dry mar­ti­ni, I think I real­ly ought to give it at least a page.” He rec­om­mends that “the ice be so cold and hard that it won’t melt, since nothing’s worse than a watery mar­ti­ni,” then offers up his pro­ce­dure, “the fruit of long exper­i­men­ta­tion and guar­an­teed to pro­duce 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 degrees below zero (centi­grade). Don’t take any­thing out until your friends arrive; then pour a few drops of Noil­ly Prat and half a demi­tasse spoon of Angos­tu­ra bit­ters over the ice. Stir it, then pour it out, keep­ing only the ice, which retains a faint taste of both. Then pour straight gin over the ice, stir it again, and serve.” In the clip above, you can wit­ness the man him­self in action, a sight that gets me won­der­ing whether Buñuel ever crossed paths with John Updike. Imag­in­ing such a meet­ing sets the mind reel­ing, but few quotes seem as apro­pos here as the New Eng­land nov­el­ist’s obser­va­tion that “excel­lence in the great things is built upon excel­lence in the small.”

via Dan­ger­ous Minds

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Two Vin­tage Films by Sal­vador Dalí and Luis Buñuel: Un Chien Andalou and L’Age d’Or

David Lynch Teach­es You to Cook His Quinoa Recipe in a Weird, Sur­re­al­ist Video

The Recipes of Icon­ic Authors: Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, Roald Dahl, the Mar­quis de Sade & More

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture and writes essays on cities, Asia, film, lit­er­a­ture, and aes­thet­ics. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­lesA Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on his brand new Face­book page.

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