On this episode of the “VinePair Podcast,” host Zach Geballe is joined by Tim McKirdy, VinePair’s managing editor and host of the “Cocktail College” podcast, to discuss whether the current Martini craze has gone too far, and what it might mean for the drink if it has indeed done so. Plus, Zach talks about his experience at Taste Washington. Tune in for more.

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Zach Geballe: In Seattle, Washington. I’m Zach Geballe.

Tim McKirdy: In VinePair’s New York City headquarters, I’m Tim McKirdy, and today, I am arriving with good news. That is — yes, raise a glass everyone. I know it’s Monday morning, but feel free to crack a bottle open. Pop the Champagne. We’re thrilled to announce the arrival of Esti Rose Firestone-Teeter, 6 pounds, 1 ounce. Mother and baby doing very well. All of the family, very thrilled, and just on behalf of myself and the people here at VinePair, I just want to say congratulations to them. Zach, any messages for Adam, Naomi, and Esti?

Z: Sleep up. You can never get too much sleep in the first year but no, it’s super wonderful news. The VinePair family grows. Again, it’s great, and I’m jealous. I’m sure you will get to meet Esti before I do, but hopefully, not too long for me either. That would be fun.

T: If I can share this — I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing. Adam and I were actually having dinner recently, and we weren’t anticipating, or I know Adam and Naomi weren’t anticipating that Esti would arrive quite so soon, but we were having dinner recently and obviously he wanted to get back early and I’m like, “Do you want to stop for one Guinness on the way home?” He was like, “Oh, okay. We’ll have one.” I don’t know whether that might have been one of the last times he was out, but if it was, I’m glad we got that Guinness in, I’m glad we did.

Z: Exactly. When Adam returns to the podcast in a few weeks, we’ll have to ask what he’s been drinking. Hopefully, he had some nice Champagne on ice for the arrival and has had a chance to enjoy at least a few things. On that topic, Tim, what about you besides the Guinness that you had with Adam? The Guinness you had with me on Friday’s episode. Thank you for sharing that.

T: Oh, the Guinness.

Z: What have you had lately that’s been great or terrible? I guess you could go that route too if you want.

T: Which way do I go with this one? Do I go with the terrible experience? I’ll leave that to the person that usually sits in this seat. I’ll go with a good experience. Actually, we had our recent Irish Whiskey roundup just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, and that was great. I mentioned the Redbreast in the last episode that I enjoyed drinking. Another category, though, that we’re going to be covering soon for our annual roundup is gin. As you know, Zach, I’m a big fan of gin.

Z: I do know.

T: I love gin. Here’s the thing, I typically like to keep it traditional London Dry, maybe with a few interesting additional botanicals. I don’t really go for the New American, New Western style, but recently — and I wouldn’t put this producer in the category — but last week we were actually visited in the office by the team from Ginraw, which is a Spanish gin. It’s got like — it’s got really interesting people behind it. You can look into it. So Ginraw, I tried it for the first time last year and really liked it. We were actually the first people to get the taste of their three new flavored expressions.

Z: Interesting.

T: Flavored gin for me is like, that’s a redundant word because botanicals, it already has them. Those are the flavors, but this product is well — the three products. They’re placing certain hero botanicals front and center. They have an orange blossom one, a sakura cherry, and then also lavender. That was really wonderful, and these were flavored gins, but no added colorings, no sweetness. They did actually come in at 37.5 ABV, so they’re not technically real gin, or not in the TTB’s eyes, but I just wanted to shout that out because we had a really wonderful visit from them and we were doing different cocktails with it, and I know all the staff really liked it too. That’s something that stood out for me. How about you, Zach?

Z: That’s actually really interesting. I’m curious really quick, Tim, just to ask a question about these. What do you see being the, like either better application for these flavored gins, or how do you see people using them? Do you think people are looking at this as a cocktail base for a standard, the standard gin cocktails that they’re used to making, or what? How do they envision these being used?

T: Purely in the spirit of experimentation and doing the legwork, I tried them in a number of cocktails just to make sure, in anticipation of this question, we did try the lavender expression in a dry Martini and that was delicious. We also made some Negronis with the orange blossom because the company also produces a Campari alternative, which is delicious too. I feel like these, given how fresh the botanicals are or the botanicals taste in them — I’m actually not a G and T drinker. I think we may have brought this up before, but I loved it.

Z: It has come up.

T: Yes, it has, hasn’t it? Yes, just gin and sparkling water, ice and it sounds counterintuitive, as you well know, when you’re adding water to a distilled spirit, it actually brings out more of the aromatics and highlights some of them. That’s how I’d go. Brilliant summer drink.

Z: Cool. Excellent. Well, that sounds delicious. I’ll have to keep an eye for them out here in Seattle.

T: What about yourself then? What have you been enjoying this weekend? Yes, anything good?

Z: Yes, this past weekend or I guess a weekend ago for those of you listening to this on Monday was Taste Washington, which is always a huge — well, traditionally huge wine event in Seattle for the Washington wine industry. It was actually the first proper Taste Washington since 2019 as it happened in mid- to late March. You can imagine what happened in 2020. They’d, of course, 2021 and ’22 decided not to hold it as well. This was back to business as usual, which was a lot of fun. A chance to try — I mean I had tons of wines. It was actually really fun. A couple of winemakers in Washington who were listeners of the podcast had reached out, asked me to stop by. It was really cool to talk to some of you all. It’s always nice to hear from the listeners in email form [email protected] or on social media, et cetera. It’s always nice to hear from everyone and talk a little bit about some of the things they thought we were right about, maybe a couple of things they thought we didn’t get quite right. That was interesting. Too many great wines to have or that I had there to go through, just upwards of a hundred easily. I will try not to enumerate all of them. A couple of other things that I had recently that were really tasty. I had a really nice Calvados, not necessarily a spirit that I drink a ton of, but I was at a friend’s bar and he pulled out a bottle and he was like, “You should try this.” I’m going to guess the producer’s name is Roger Groult, but it’s a G-R-O-U-L-T, which is not a standard French construction that I’m familiar with, but it’s a 12-year aged Calvados apple brandy, really interesting, tasty bottled cask strength, so 120 proof which was a little spicy for me, but-

T: Wow.

Z: -my friend recommended putting an ice cube in there, which I think did a nice number on it. Yes, it was good. There’s something about Calvados, it’s like you get a lot of barrel character for something that’s in there for 12 years, but the base fruit, the apples in this case do peak their way into the drink to some extent. It’s not a category, I’m not hearing Calvados, big spirit in 2023 or ’24, I think it will always remain very niche. It’s cool to me that people are still making it. It’s nice that you can find some interesting examples here and there, and it’s a fun thing to sip from time to time. I don’t know that I would make it a more regular part of my rotation. Also, maybe not this one, but other Calvados that are a little more affordable, make a nice cocktail base sometimes to get you out of your whiskey or even Cognac rut, tasting cocktails that you would make with those in a slightly different direction. Yes, that was a highlight for me. I’m not a big Calvados expert, but I do enjoy it from time to time.

T: Nice. If we can go back to your Washington experience for a second.

Z: Sure

T: There’s something I’m curious about. If you were to give maybe an elevator pitch for what’s going on in the region right now, what would you say are some of the defining themes in Washington wine right now and your takeaway from that event?

Z: That’s a good question. I’ll try and keep it brief because I could go on.

T: That’s why I went elevator.

Z: Yes, exactly. I think that the most exciting things that are happening are, one is a lot of really interesting experimentation with sites and with varieties to some extent. For example, one of the most famous regions in Washington, Red Mountain in the very eastern edge of the Yakima Valleys — famous for producing mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and some other Bordeaux varieties as well as Syrah. It is set up to do so because it’s this standalone south-facing slope at the, like I said, the eastern edge of the Yakima Valley so it’s very hot, gets a lot of sun exposure, great place to produce, and it’s got this intense volcanic soil. It’s a great place to produce these powerful, tannic, structured red. At the top of the mountain, on the north side, over the top of the slope is this relatively new vineyard called WeatherEye. That’s planted to mostly Rhône varieties, so Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, as well as whites like Roussanne and Marsanne. They’re all like bush vines, so head trained not trellis the way that a lot of other things are and it’s this almost like scrubby moonscape space. It’s very wind-exposed. Because it’s north facing, it doesn’t get nearly as much sun and the wines are just starting to come off this vineyard the last couple of vintages, I think 2019 was the first vintage that you saw anything with I think ’19 with any commercial volume, and so 2020 is 2021 starting to head their way onto the market. 2022, I guess for some whites, and it’s just really exciting and it’s like a microcosm of what’s going on in Washington, so identifying these places that are not yet planted that might be suited for other kinds of varieties and frankly, that are perhaps more resilient to rising temperatures as everyone is facing, so that’s one piece of it and like I said, ”Just a little microcosm.” I think the other thing that’s really interesting and exciting about what’s going on is moving towards, I would say more, how would I even describe this? I think Washington as an industry as a whole has at times suffered from not having a peg to put it in journalism terms for the industry, right? The reason you have to ask me this question is if I had just told you I’d come back from a big tasting in the Willamette Valley, you would’ve known exactly what I was tasting — Pinot Noirs mostly. If I had said I was in Napa, you’d have a pretty good idea of what I was tasting and Washington doesn’t have a signature variety. That’s been a topic of conversation around the wine industry for a long time, there have been efforts in the past to make it into to find a signature variety, but the truth is that the viticultural possibilities in Washington are both vast. Also, the state as a whole has so many different kinds of growing areas that it’s hard to say besides Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a tough, it’s tough ground to fight on in the global marketplace because it’s so saturated. I think you’ve seen a lot of people. There’s still lots of Cab out there for sure but like, there’s been a lot of growth in sparkling wine in Washington. A category that frankly practically didn’t exist 10 years ago with one notable exception and you’re seeing people getting really excited about making these Rhône varieties, Spanish varieties, all these kinds of things, so it’s not just about specific vineyards, but it’s really about rethinking how the industry in Washington thinks about itself, talks about itself, and the way it carries itself forward is, is like, we’re not going to ever be able to find one expression, one variety that is our standard bearer for the region, but we’re just going to put all this stuff in the market in various ways, obviously much more here in Washington than other places and hope that as the wine market globally maybe moves a little bit away from being purely Cab-centric that will be a benefit to us. Not a detriment.

T: Nice, long elevator ride, Zach, but maybe that was the Empire State. No, but I think great points there, and really exciting to hear what’s going on in Washington. It’s funny, you mentioned about that, like the signature hero variety. I’m pretty sure you guys have spoken about that on the pod before and I’ve actually even written an article about that for VinePair a couple years ago now, but you can search that out. Just this signature variety. Is it a helper, a hindrance for a region? It’s up in the air, but a really fascinating topic.

Z: For sure, and I’m sure we’ll revisit it on the podcast again before too much longer, so anyhow, but let’s get into the topic for today, which we couldn’t have picked something near and dear to your heart for these first two episodes in Guinness and the Martini. We’re giving you a soft landing, Tim, we’ll get into the hard seltzer talk next episode, maybe, but you had this really fascinating idea. You brought up this inflection point, let’s put it that way, so why don’t you take the listeners through this experience you had and what it made you think?

T: Fantastic. Thank you very much for the floor here, because you know what, Zach, this is a topic that I wanted to write about, and since moving from being the senior staff writer at VinePair to the managing editor, I don’t get as many opportunities to pen things as I would like. I got a take for us today and I don’t think there’s anyone else out there saying it, so mark your watches, I don’t know, you make a note, folks. We’re saying it here first on the “VinePair Podcast.” I think we’ve reached peak Martini.

Z: Oh. Spicy.

T: I think that the only way is downhill from here. You’re talking about — I’m a person here, that this is my favorite drink. That’s never been in question. I think as we came out the pandemic, one thing we saw was like, we predicted here at VinePair too, that we would see this return to the classics because a mixture of people bartending at home and then wanting to go back and getting the real bartender version of those drinks they’d been perfecting, including the Martini. Then, just nostalgia, whatnot. I was very, very excited for this Martini moment to happen. It wasn’t like, “Oh, this is the band that I’ve loved for ages and now they’re big and now I hate them.” I’m like, “This is cool.” Since then, we’ve started to see some, frankly, terrible crimes made against the Martini happen in recent times. I wanted to share a personal anecdote first, which was the moment and the day that I think we reached the peak and the downhill started. This was two weeks ago. I truly believe that one of the most tired tropes of drinks media journalists out there is going to social media to complain about bad pitches from publicists. I just don’t like that. The second most tired trope is talking about events that you went to as media and that the general public couldn’t go to. I apologize in advance because we’re about to do that. A couple weeks ago I was at an event for the launch of Music to Drink Martinis To, which is a record which has been produced in collaboration with Fords Gin and Fords had flown in Agostino Perrone, who’s, I hope I pronounce that correct, who is the head bartender or runs the bar program at The Connaught in London. Very, very famous for their Martinis. Now, in another part of the city, during that day, I actually couldn’t find the listing for this on the internet, but one of the other writers who was there and who I trust was telling me that Salvatore Calabrese, who invented the Dukes Martini in London, another icon was in town doing a pop-up in Dante. You have this incredible Martini moment going on in New York and probably around the country. I don’t want to speak for the rest of the country. Then you have two of the most notable figures for Martinis, possibly in the world, in the same city at the same time doing Martini stuff. I’m like, this is it. This is the zenith. It’s all downhill from here. Unfortunately, we’re starting to see the downhill.

Z: What does that downhill look like? Can you give me some examples?

T: Absolutely. We’re seeing — you can go out there, listeners, and research this. I don’t want to call out specific bars because I like experimentation. This is just a matter of personal taste, but the Martini riffs have gone too far. It started with one bar here doing the MSG Martini, which I personally think is a fine drink, but calling that out, I don’t know, that wasn’t too bad. Then we saw a bar doing the dirty pasta water Martini, which no comment needed. Finally, not finally, actually, second to last one here, we saw a bar infusing their gin with smoked salmon for their Martini. I don’t need that. I don’t know about you. I’ll leave the last one for later on in the episode actually. What’s your take there, Zach? What do you think about these riffs? Am I picking knits here or is it too far?

Z: I think it’s interesting to me because a thing that got brought up, it has been brought up a few times in this Martini renaissance, is what happened to the Martini last time around, which was the co-opting of the — it’s not even a suffix, but it got used as the suffix term for basically any drink that was served in a vertical glass, in a V or whatever. It didn’t matter what was in it, it didn’t matter what it tasted like, didn’t matter if it had any of the constituent parts of a classic Martini in it. It was just something teeny and that lives on in the Espresso Martini, which is not a Martini, but is a delicious cocktail nonetheless. There’s the problem of anything, right, where popularity breeds both imitation, but also as I think we’ve seen in the cocktail culture more recently, not just innovation, but a frenetic, almost out-of-control pace of iteration. I think this is an area where the modern drinks landscape really, unfortunately, suffers because not to put on my old man hat, although I will. Almost 20 years ago, when I got into the bar industry, it took a long time for trends to disperse throughout the drinks world. Someone invented a cocktail or even something got trendy — an ingredient — and the way it made its way from wherever that started getting popular, New York, London, San Francisco, et cetera, to other markets, other countries, was a sometimes years-long process, right? It had to hit. Maybe there was a little bit of an underground network of bartenders who knew each other, but it needed to hit big drinks conventions, it had to hit the drinks publications that existed at the time and get disseminated outwards in a pre-social media era. Now a drink can go from invention in wherever it’s invented to trending on social media to a hundred bars around the world in what? A week? 10 days? Two weeks? What that means is that everyone is looking for something that will be trendy. You take something like the Martini, which as a whole is having a moment, obviously, and then someone says, “Okay, well, what can we do, right? Well, let’s put MSG in there. Let’s put pasta water in there,” which apparently is having a moment. Can you, as a former chef, we’re not going to have a long sideline on pasta water as a thing that people are purchasing, but what the f*ck is wrong with people? You can make pasta water at home. It’s called making pasta. It’s not a hard thing to come up with. God. Anyhow. Sorry.

T: I enjoyed that.

Z: Thank you. Whatever, you’re smoked salmon-infused, whatever, right? Maybe in some of these cases, it’s about, and you said the MSG Martini is good. I don’t find that shocking. Umami is a tasty flavor to people, me included, but the whole thing seems like you’re trying to get attention, you’re trying to trend and what the drink — we’ve talked about this on the podcast before in ways, like what the drink looks like or how it carries on social media has become perhaps more important than how it tastes. I think now it’s like, well, if you can also piggyback that on the Martini trend, you’ve got yourself a selling point that’s not just going to make it perhaps appealing on social media, but is going to get you earned media, whether maybe on this podcast as it turns out, or just in the various publications that either specifically focus on the drinks industry or it’ll just be like, “Oh my God, look at this. You thought the Martini craze had gone too far? Now, look at this thing.” That’s a lure that for bars, for a certain business, is hard to avoid or it’s hard to resist.

T: Definitely. I think that really does a good job of leading into another thought that I had here too, which is that I’m actually quite conflicted about whether or not I want to see a Martini on a bar’s menu because the Martini is such a personal drink. If you’re ordering one, chances are, you know how you like your Martini, and therefore, you should be pointing the bartender in the right direction. Maybe you say, I want it dry, but I do want vermouth in there but I want it on the dryer side and they will go from that. They will know where to go. Yes, I get that putting a Martini on a menu is planting your flag in the ground and saying, “This is how we do it here. This is the version that we stand behind,” but as a Martini drinker and lover, even if you do have your Martini on the menu, and even if it’s a classic Martini, not one of these weird riffs, I’m still going to ask for mine ordered the way that I want it. Then when you get into riff territory, because the Martini is more of a category of cocktails than one recognized recipe, then the riffs don’t resemble the drink itself in any way. They’re, again, we’re getting back to the ’80s here, where we’re basically just profiting off of the name and fame of the Martini and I don’t know, I don’t like that. To me, they’re not Martinis and we saw what happened last time around. How do you feel about that menu question, though? Actually, before you answer I will say there’s one exception: Maison Premiere. It’s not the only one, but Maison Premiere here in New York, they have a stirred tableside Martini which is made in a very elaborate and nice way but it is true to the soul of the drink. Yes, I want to see that kind of Martini on a menu but otherwise, not for me, how about you?

Z: Adam has talked about the Hawksmoor Martini which has to be a menu item because it’s made ahead of time and kept incredibly cold and you’re going to have it cold. I think I will say two things. I would say one that I think there are places for on the cocktail menu, Martini or even Manhattan or other drinks, I mean, even if that has maybe the wrong comparison because it has a little more of a prescribed recipe than a Martini would. I think this is where you get a little bit of the conflict between someone like you, a die-hard Martini-lover, who regardless of the trendiness of the drink will always drink it. People who are interested in Martinis maybe because it’s for them, prior to this current Martini renaissance, thought of it as a drink that just had gone out of fashion. It was a drink that James Bond drank a long time ago and it was like cold vodka served up or whatever. They might be prompted to reconsider the cocktail or give it a try when it’s on a menu because it prompts them and maybe they think, “Oh, this is interesting, this bar has a specific formulation that they think is great and I’m interested to try it and I maybe haven’t drank a Martini in two years.” I know that it seems like a fate worse than death but people do exist here, I assure you. I think that for people like that who are open to experimentation, having it on the menu can be interesting. Restaurants and bars I’ve worked in, we’ve often had a Martini on the menu and our approach to it was this, it was like, we wanted to have a way for someone who maybe liked the Martini but wasn’t as — for them it was something that had — a person who drinks Martinis regularly like you almost certainly has your preferred format. You have your preferred gin, you have your preferred amount of vermouth, if you have preferred garnish and you’re going to come into a bar and if that’s the drink you want, you’re going to say, “Here’s what I want.” The bartender should be able to just be, as long as they have the gin or whatever they should have to make it for you, no problem. Then there’s another category of people who like Martinis but they’re not as much of a regular part of their drinking regimen, whatever. They may not be 100 percent sure what they like so having something on the menu that’s within the parameters of a classic Martini, gives them a way to say, “Oh, Martini sounds good but I’m not sure what my gin preference is. I don’t remember if I like an 8-to-1 or a 4-to-1 Martini, maybe I prefer olives or a twist, maybe I know that.” It just gives them a way to order the drink with confidence without feeling like they have to have a recipe memorized. Again, to you and me it’s like, well, how would you not possibly know your preferred Martini order? I think those people are out there and those are a lot of the — part of who’s being served by those drinks. I think there is something that when you step meaningfully outside of the classic formulation, even if there isn’t a specific ratio that is truly classic, it is where you get into trouble not so much because the drinks themselves might be bad. I mean, again, I think I remain open to the idea that many of these Martini riffs might be tasty cocktails, I don’t think they’re inherently bad, but that they stray away from what people’s expectations might be and are hard to anticipate in ways. I can imagine the smoked salmon-infused Martini, if it’s a faint salmon flavor. Salmon works great with gin, sounds good to me. The MSG one again, not going for the pasta water.

T: How do you feel about that?

Z: I don’t feel like it’s when I finish making pasta and immediately, let me pour myself a glass of this remaining liquid but whatever, that’s fine, people can do that if that’s your thing. To me, it’s more about not confusing people, not misleading them, and setting expectations properly, which is a challenge for any bar that they have to meet and especially with a drink as famous and as iconic as the Martini. It’s important that the drink you put on your list as your Martini hits the notes that we expect a Martini to hit, however, you get there.

T: Yes, 100 percent and I think you’ve actually done a very good job of talking off the ledge there. With regard to my take about having the drink on the menu, I think, yes, there are people like yourself and myself who have their spec dialed in or their idea of what they want the Martini to taste like but if you don’t, then it’s a very intimidating drink to order. Because then, it’s one of the only drinks that when you order it, you will receive questions about how you want it made. Like most cocktails, they’re not going to ask you, you want an Old Fashioned, great, amazing, coming right up. Manhattan, same deal. Martini? Oh, vodka or gin? Shaken or stirred? Wet or dry? Yes, and that is intimidating. How do people get into them? What, they need a friend like you or I to make one? I think that is good. I think when it comes to these riffs, though, my question is, would these bars have invented these drinks were it not for the Martini moment that we’re having now, or how are they being purely fueled? A less skeptical take is that they’re building off of the popularity of the drink at the moment. An even more skeptical take is they’re making these drinks to get media coverage, which they’re getting right now, but maybe not in the light that they would want so that’s my question there. Again, I also think to your point, too, if the drink does resemble a classic Martini, but maybe you change just one element. Yes, that’s good. I’m happy with that going on the menu and chances are I’ll try it. It won’t be the first one I have, but I’ll try it while I’m at your bar.

Z: I think that the answer to your question is twofold. One is, to some extent, most cocktail bars should be and are responsive to trends, right? You shouldn’t write your cocktail list completely ignorant of what people are going to come in looking for. In the same way that a few years ago, not having something analogous to a Negroni on your cocktail list was probably a bad idea, even if people could come in and call it a Negroni and probably did. You know it’s going to be on people’s minds, and people like walking into bars and feeling like they have some, they look at it and listen and go, “Oh, okay, I can categorize this drink. I know what this is going to be. I have a sense for what this drink is going to be like.” Whether or not they order it, it gives them comfort and familiarity. If you have nothing but unusual, I mean, an individual bar could maybe succeed doing this kind of thing, but bars, at large, can’t make their customers completely uncomfortable with what their drinks are. That’s one part of it, I think it’s important that bars do be aware of trends and do put things that are going to be top-of-mind for cocktail drinkers on their lists with your own take on it generally. I do think that there is obviously some playing to whether it’s to media, to social media, something that’s going on with some of these drinks, right? In the same way that people put ridiculous Bloody Mary garnishes out there because they know it’s going to get attention. Whether or not the cheeseburger that’s garnishing your Bloody Mary is any good, that’s not really the point, right? It’s there so that it’ll end up on social media. It’ll end up in your various publications that focus on that stuff and people will order it when they come in. If they never eat the cheeseburger, that’s not really the point, generally, I don’t think. The last thing I was going to say about this, though, is that I also think that you mentioned this, and I think we both mentioned it, but I want to reiterate it, that the Martini is a drink that comes with a lot of anxiety for people in some cases. It’s not a beginner’s cocktail. It is not generally a very accommodating cocktail to new drinking palates because it’s very typically quite spirit-forward. Even when it’s not super spirit-forward, it’s then got a fair bit of dry vermouth in it generally, which is also not always super approachable to newer drinkers. It’s possible that some of these Martini riffs, maybe not the truly goofy ones, but some of the ones that take the drink in a slightly different direction, encouraging people to then check out classic Martinis over time, that a slightly more palatable Martini or a slightly easier to access Martini might turn someone over time into someone who’s like, “I started out with the MSG Martini or whatever, but I found that my true love is a classic Martini.” I don’t know that that happens en masse, but I think it does happen.

T: Yes, definitely. I think that’s a good point and you’re right, this is a tough drink to get into. I do think, though, to one of our earlier points, I do think that what we’re seeing now will be the equivalent of, we’ll be looking back at some of these and scratching our heads in a couple of years’ time and being like, “Really? We were infusing gin with salmon? Is that where we went now?”

Z: Tim, it’s been a pleasure. I don’t think I can follow that up. Appreciate you stepping in again. I think you’ll be with us for at least a few more episodes while Adam et al adjusts to life with one more in the house. Again, thank you so much. If you folks have comments, questions, other hideous Martini riffs that you’ve come across please [email protected]. Love to hear from you all and, Tim, I will talk to you on Friday.

T: Thank you very much, Zach. I just want to say thank you. Appreciate the two softballs there as I stepped up to the plate now, and I’m expecting the change-up when I come back next Friday. I’ll be waiting for it.

Thanks so much for listening to the “VinePair Podcast,” the flagship podcast of the VinePair Podcast Network. If you love listening to this show or even if you don’t, but I really hope that you do, as much as we really do love making it, then please drop us a review or a rating wherever it is that you get your podcast. Whether that be iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, anywhere.

If you are listening to this on a device right now through an app, however you got this audio, please drop a review. It really helps everyone else discover the show. And now for some totally awesome credits. So, the “VinePair Podcast” is recorded in our New York City headquarters and in Seattle, Washington, in Zach Geballe’s basement. It is recorded by Zach, mastered, and produced by Zach. He loves all the credit. Keep giving it to him. Drop his name in the reviews. He’s going to love hearing how much you love him. It is also recorded in New York City by our tastings director, Keith Beavers, who is the managing director of the entire VinePair Podcast Network. I’d also love to give a shout-out to our editor-in-chief, Joanna Sciarrino, who joins us on every single podcast as our third and most important host.

Thank you as well to the entire VinePair staff and everyone who’s been involved in making VinePair as special as it’s become. Thanks again for listening and we’ll see you next week.