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Dean Martin's signature "Flame of Love Martini"

Discussion in 'The Connoisseur' started by Tiki Tom, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Practically Family

    I love stories about the Rat Pack and carousing with Frank, Dino, Sammy, etc.
    This is the first I've heard about Dino's signature Flame of Love Martini. I'll have to try one if I ever find myself in a classic, old style oak-paneled bar in Hollywood or Manhattan.


    I always thought Dean Martin had an incredible amount of talent, but he generally settled for playing second fiddle. His material maybe hasn't aged as well as Frank and Sammy's classics. Nonetheless, he stands as one of the greats of his era. Happy 99th Birthday, Dino.

    Are there any other "signature drinks" of the golden era that I ought to know about?
  2. GHT

    GHT My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Another Dean Martin aficionado here. For years my wife and I took part in latin & ballroom dance competitions. Alas age, and age related aches and pains, have caught up with us, but we still dance, albeit just for fun. Dean Martin's version of "Sway" has a wonderful, story telling nuance to it that can be interpreted perfectly with dance. There's a line that goes: "When the rumba rhythm starts to play." If nothing else, that will tell you that the dance music is a rumba.
    Recently however, I came across a Tango danced to Sway, without any change in the arrangement, and it worked. In 2018, my wife and I will celebrate our golden wedding anniversary, grim reaper permitting. We are going to learn this Tango routine that we discovered, but only after we have done a few laps of the ballroom floor in a waltz. The waltz being somewhat slower, it's what's expected of oldies, that or a shuffle around the floor. There's a great buzz from shocking an audience. Here's Dean, along with that Tango, enjoy.
    Tiki Tom likes this.
  3. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Practically Family

    A very nice tango video indeed. Wish I was suave enough to pull off a convincing tango.
    Your plans for your golden wedding anniversary sound wonderful and will surely bring the crowd to its feet. Congratulations!
  4. GHT

    GHT My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Thanks Tom, you are very kind. We did something similar for our 40th, ruby wedding, although unplanned. For that event we flew out to Montego Bay, boarded a cruise ship, sailed around the Caribbean and then sailed back across The Atlantic to Southampton. It was on that crossing that our anniversary date came up. We were invited onto the dance floor where we did the obligatory anniversary waltz, and then, as pre-arranged we jived our socks off to, I think it was Jailhouse Rock. The Ooohs and Aaahs at two oldies defying the age process was a reminisce to remember and recall.
    You would have thought that I could remember the song that we danced to though.
    DJH likes this.
  5. greatestescaper

    greatestescaper One of the Regulars

    The wife and I are planning a bash for Dean Martin's 100th Birthday next year! In fact, at an estate sale this past weekend I purchased a red silk handkerchief. It seems the sort of thing I ought to wear for said occasion. The Flame of Love, though it takes an effort to prepare, is a fine cocktail. A few favorites of my own are a good old fashioned, a Manhattan (with real Maraschino Cherries, not the chemically created trash that has become commonplace anymore), and a Sazerac (as with the Manhattan it should be made with Rye) oh, and just line the glass with Absinthe, don't add anymore than that. You can dump the excess, or simply find someone in your group who really enjoys the stuff, and ask for their help while preparing the drink. I should add that, especially with the Manhattan and the Sazerac, stir, don't shake. There is a fantastic blog, and series of youtube videos on the topic of mixing drinks run by Jeffrey Morgenthaler. It is an excellent research tool.

    Edit: If I may, here are a few links that I found helpful in my ever-continuing quest to become a better bartender. So far my wife and our close friends have rather enjoyed this endeavor of mine.



    Specifically, his recipe for the sazerac, which continues to impress our guests:

    And, some of his videos (I feel I should add that his methods of delivery and of storytelling remind me of one of my closest friends, and may be, in part, the reason I have grown so fond of his videos)

    Oh, additionally, that Small Screen Network has an excellent video by Robert Hess that provides a great recipe for the Flame of Love itself.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
  6. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    To me Dean Martin was a better singer and had a better voice than Sinatra. Too bad he usually threw it away by hamming it up for laughs.
    greatestescaper likes this.
  7. A lot of good stuff in this (so far) short thread.

    First, I'll take Martin over Lewis (but that's not saying much, as Lewis' style of humor just doesn't work for me). Dino had it all, but as happens, he didn't get the icon status of a Sinatra or, kills me to type this, Lewis.

    Anyone who questions Martin's acting should give a watch to "Some Come Running" (an under-appreciated film, IMHO) as he takes a role that could have easily been hammed up and imbues it with depth and emotion. Gives lie to the "Martin was always about playing the ham when he could" view.

    But what I'm really stunned at is that I've never heard of the flame of love martini. Two things I regularly read about are the Rat Pack and classic cocktails - always amazing when "new" stuff pops up, but it always does.

    I love the idea of using the natural oils from the orange - my girlfriend incorporates them and the lemon's into her cooking and baking as they have an intense flavor - but I wonder how all that heating doesn't make the drink tepid at best, which would be odd for a martini. But maybe it does't or maybe it works anyway. Has anyone tried one?
    greatestescaper likes this.
  8. greatestescaper

    greatestescaper One of the Regulars

    I agree whole heartily. Martin is very underrated, and has always been my favorite of the bunch. I also think he was hysterical.

    I've followed the instructions from the video by Robert Hess, which I'll provide now, and the results were fantastic. I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor of the orange oil, especially considering I really am not a fan of vodka. Another suggestion was to use a vodka distilled from potatoes (I can't remember why).

    I think too that we need to remember that historically martinis and other cocktails were not 8, 10, or 12 ounces. They were smaller, and I feel that going back to the classic sizes for drinks makes it a better overall experience.

    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
  9. ⇧ Great video - thank you for posting - now I understand why the heat doesn't effect the drink.

    While he emphasized its complexity - yup, that is no simple drink to make - what he flew by is how the heck did someone ever think of doing that in the first place.

    Small pet peeve - I'm sure he's an outstanding bartender, but hate when they measure out weights and can't just do it by feel.

    As you can tell, big Dino fan, but his one off moment for me is when he rolled his eyes mockingly at the Rolling Stones (bad form for a host) - he, like many of his generation, just couldn't see it / couldn't get it, it was too foreign to them.
  10. greatestescaper

    greatestescaper One of the Regulars

    I've not heard or seen that Dean Martin and the Stones moment, though I agree, bad form for a host. As far as the measuring, I figure that's more for the viewer than the bartender. Even though I feel he could just run through it and list the ingredients at the bottom, it would seem other people really need to see each individual step. And, as for the creation of the drink, perhaps it was the desperate act of a bartender trying to impress a legend, although I've come up with a few things in the kitchen by adding a certain technique or odd ingredient from one form of cooking or recipe to another. Perhaps to someone familiar with various cocktails, and some cooking would know that caramelizing the orange oil would provide that little something extra that would make the drink stand out. Either way, a fine drink, and well worth the effort, even if one of your guests slams it down and immediately asks for another...yes, that is the voice of experience on that last bit.
    Fading Fast likes this.
  11. Check out Martin around 1:35 in, not his nicest or classiest moment.

    greatestescaper likes this.
  12. greatestescaper

    greatestescaper One of the Regulars

    Certainly not his finest moment.
  13. One of the things that's funny in retrospect is that the Stones of '64 that so "shocked" Martin and many others look and sound kinda innocent to us today - with their sport coats, Brain Jones in a turtleneck and slightly turned up rhythm and blues sound - especially compared to what was to come as the '60s shifted into overdrive.

    With the complete benefit of hindsight, Elvis - who also shocked the establishment when he started in the mid-'50s - seems closer to the crooners he followed than the psychedelic-attired, hard-drum-and-guitar-driven rock and rollers that owned the music scene by the second half of the '60s.
  14. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Practically Family

    A lot of "classic" stars found it challenging to gracefully change with the times as the sixties started to gain traction. I'll never forget how surprised I was when Fred Astaire started playing the father of Alexander Mundy in the TV series "It Takes a Thief". Actually, he added a little class to the show, IMHO.

    Well, let's try to remember Dean Martin at the top of his game.

  15. greatestescaper

    greatestescaper One of the Regulars

    Some of my favorite Dean Martin moments are on his show when he just could not keep a straight face. These moments are especially hilarious when Jonathan Winters was on his show. However, my wife found this gem a few years ago and we're still enjoying it!

    I find it especially funny because, to me, Phil Harris will always be Baloo from the Jungle Book.

    Additionally, and perhaps a bit more on topic, in terms of classic drinks, last night the wife and I had dinner at our friends, Manhattans were mixed and thoroughly enjoyed. We used Rittenhouse Rye, with Martini Sweet Vermouth (red), a dash or two of Angostura Bitters, and a real Luxardo Maraschino Cherry.

    PS- I really love it how on these old shows when some word had to be censored they had that cuckoo sound. That was way better than our current methods of censorship.
  16. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Practically Family

    Greatest, I truly enjoyed that clip. What a riot. And they made it look effortless!
  17. You are so right, the best part is when Dino can't keep a straight face - you can tell he's having a great time and it's infectious.

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