Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours….

Yes! I am so lucky that I have good neighbours. Here’s a little tale about a lovely encounter I had with a neighbour on the bus home on a Friday evening recently. I do not know her name, but she is fab.

Planning to go to my “bring a bottle book group” last Friday, I found out a few hours beforehand that I had the date wrong. No book group. A Friday evening to myself.

Stupidly excited, I was sitting on the bus, wondering how I would fill my evening when my lovely neighbour got on. I told her my good news and mentioned that I had a nice bottle of wine that I was going to take to the book group but now I was going to drink it all myself! She said that she was planning exactly the same kind of evening.

Then I remembered, that when I was single, my Friday night tradition was to tune my radio to the Desmond Carrington show on R2 and make myself a lovely ice cold bone dry martini.

Much missed…

I sighed when I realised that although I had both gin and vodka and vermouth and olives, I had no ice. My neighbour announced that she had party ice!

With her!

On the bus!


We felt like drug dealers standing on the steps outside my block of flats as she busted open her party ice and gave me a couple of handfuls which I stuck in the front pocket of my rucksack.

So my martini had a few particles of goodness knows of whatever had been in that front pocket in the past, but it was delicious nevertheless.

Here’s Martin’s recipe – Mr Rathbone has christened this the Martini Landau.

2 oz good quality vodka, 1/2 oz or splash of vermouth, 2 pimiento stuffed olives or lemon twists.  Chill martini glasses in freezer.  Pour vodka into cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake until very cold, (at least 10 seconds).  Pour vermouth into cocktail glass, swirl and dump out.  Strain martini into chilled glass.  Serve straight up (no ice in the glass) garnished with 2 olives on a cocktail pick or with a twist of lemon peel.

A big thank-you to Greg Swenson who included this in his Recipes for Rebels cookbook. I have a little cooking adventure planned with Greg to celebrate James Dean’s birthday so watch this space on the 8th of Feb.

Here’s some I made earlier, with the alternative twist of lemon rather than an olive

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