Adventures in Martini Ordering

My husband, Rob, likes martinis. Dry, no vermouth. Gin (chilled), not vodka. And his gin of preference is Beefeater's. With a twist or an olive, depending on his mood. Served in a martini glass.

He has an ongoing dilemma when ordering this drink with bartenders he doesn't know, or don't know him. For years, he ordered it as "Beefeater martini, straight up, no vermouth at all, with a twist" (or olive). But then bartenders began to correct him. They’d say "‘We never use vermouth unless the customer asks for it." Or "You don’t need to say martini if you say straight up." Or "You don’t need to say straight up if you say martini."

So I googled it but didn’t find any definitive answer on how to order this particular martini. But I think Rob uses too many words when he orders, so I told him to just say "Beefeater, up, twist,” or "Beefeater, up, olive." It worked the first few times he used it, and we were hopeful that this dilemma was solved.

But then things took a bad turn. Three times in a row he ordered the way I told him to, and got warm gin in a short glass. So now he has gone back to ordering the way he used to, risking lectures from bartenders who are insulted by the extra words of explanation.

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