“I have no interest in an inferior martini.”
star Patricia Altschul
doesn’t mess around when it comes to her “medicine.” Yes, that’s what she calls her drinks. So, when ET visited Patricia at home in Charleston, South Carolina, we had to get a martini tutorial from the “martini master,” Patricia’s butler, Michael.
“He makes the best one,” Patricia gushes. “And believe me, I have tasted a lot of martinis in my day.”
Michael says the “perfect martini” doesn’t really exist, as it’s all up to personal preference. Put otherwise, how strong you want the drink to be. Michael notes Patricia takes hers “down the middle,” which looks to mean a couple shots of gin.
Patricia’s gin of choice is Beefeater. She never drinks a vodka martini, which she dubs “de classe.”
“Just let me explain something for you,” Patricia says. “Vodka is made out of a lowly potato, and gin has 18 botanicals, you know, there's 18 of them. So, when I say 'medicine,' I mean it. It's very healthy. It's not, like, a drinking disorder.”
The gin goes into a shaker over ice, along with vermouth, a fortified wine which Michael advises to be “very light with.” Patricia’s favorite vermouth is Boissiere from France, which she says makes all the difference in the drink’s flavor. Once that mixture is ready, grab a citrus peeler and put the peel of a lemon in the glass. Then, use the peeled lemon to line the rim of the martini glass.
“Back in the olden days, you always rimmed the glass with a lemon so you get a little bit of flavor,” Michael explains. “Every sip should be at a different point on the glass.”
Now, it’s time to put ice in those glasses -- but it should not come straight out of the freezer. Michael puts ice cubes in a Lewis Ice Bag, a canvas sack that comes with a wooden mallet.
“The ice should be the size of tiny shivers of glass,” Michael shares, as he bashes the bag with the mallet. The crushed cubes will dilute the drink less, he says.
Those shivers then go into the glasses over the lemon rind. Then, shake the gin and vermouth mixture in a cocktail shaker (Patricia prefers a silver chinoiserie one), and pour over the crushed ice.
“They taste sublime,” Patricia says. “You see, they're poured right up to edge.”
“It is a blueprint for everybody to have a fabulous life, southern style,” Patricia spills. “Everything you want to know, or don’t want to know, is in this book.”
That includes behind-the-scenes stories from Southern Charm, as well as dating tips.
“Young women are always asking me dating advice,” Patricia notes. “Just because I’ve had a million husbands, they think that I know all the tricks, and actually I do, and I tell them -- I divulge them all in this book.”