Not my mother-in-law's martini...

The Koi Pond

by Ali Berlow

The Koi Pond

Elizabeth Cecil

Martinis have made me a better daughter-in-law. Glacially cold vodka, less than no vermouth, shaken-off ice, and a couple of olives— this cocktail of ritual, respect, and bitter sting has been a salve in the many years Marjorie and I share as in-laws.

In part, it’s those simple acts of shaking (never stirring), pouring, and toasting la’chiam that’ve helped ease us through life, lives, and expectation. From the cocktails we’ve shared, I’ve learned that God and Man rest in the details of Marge’s martini. So it’s best to get them right— especially chilled and particularly dry.

So I was surprised to see her consider anything but the usual straight-up-and-clear, one night at Alchemy. After toying with the drink menu like a cat with a ball of string, passing over the Cosmos, key lime, and pomegranate, she seemed convinced that the Koi was it. And I followed suit, thinking that Marge was on the cusp of revealing something new, a side I’d never seen of her before. Keen to toast to new experiences with variations on a theme, I ordered this curious martini that burns coldly like dry ice smoldering over cut lime. Yet Marge secured her classic. Too fast and eager to please, I’d fallen not just for her hook, but the bait and switch as well.

Marge, I toast to you and my bright swim in the Koi Pond. Every girl married to someone’s son should be so lucky to learn her lessons so eloquently and with such quench.

Koi Pond Martini: Grey Goose Citron vodka, fresh lime juice, Cointreau, shaken with ice and cayenne. $12 @ Alchemy Restaurant, 71 Main Street, Edgartown, (508) 627-9999.