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Welcome to delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the charater of T.Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time we would love you hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.

Dirty Martinis….Cincinnati Chili and a Night to Remember???

Posted: April 26, 2009
by: Mark Stine

Ok …this is a combo blog with interesting recipes for the last gasps of late winter/and the ongoing chilly springtime we seem to be having in many parts of the country.


After seven months of a business travel freeze, courtesy of the economic downturn of 2008-2009, I had a sudden trip to New York City come up. Well this gave me the ability to follow up on a “reunion” with coworkers from Intergold, the marketing arm of the chamber of Mines of South Africa, where we had all worked back in the early 80s. My former Associate Laura had actually tracked me down via Google, after 20 some years and found me of all places through the GourmetStation blog listing and after getting hold of Kathy “Hubie,” another coworker we were finally able to make the reunion happen for this planned trip.


The weather was chilly…the sky kind of grey…but our hostess for the event “Hubie” had planned on Dirty Martinis as a warm up drink with appetizers. I was put in charge as bartender for the night and after being introduced to the shaker...the Grey Goose vodka and a bottle of Dirty Martini olive juice, the stage was set.


Many people prefer Gin for their more traditional Martinis…but when using Vodka…one is correctly to refer to the drink as a Vodka martini. Dirty Martinis for me are a perfect choice as I often buy jars of olives, pour out the juice and replace with vodka to let the olives marinate in the vodka, which can also provide tasty appetizers.


Dirty Martini Recipe


2 oz. Vodka or Gin
3/4 oz. Dirty Martini Olive Juice
1/2 oz. Dry Vermouth

Chill a Swank martini glass in the freezer or add ice and water to get it "very" cold or use a silver shaker with ice and make the best darn Dirty Martini you have ever had. For an added flourish, check out the following website for some really cool contemporary Martini glasses

( http://swankmartini.com/home.htm )




Needless to say our happy little reunion trio knocked back a number of these Dirty Martinis…which led to some “Dirty Dancing” ...a popular Patrick Swayze movie that came out in the 80s and we were on our way. It can be said that some among us were feeling no pain and the memories from our former working environment 29 years ago came flooding back.


Kathy, who I had always affectionately referred to as “Hubie” from a former name- Huber, prepared a wonderful comfort food menu to go along with the Vodka Martinis. Since I don’t have her special meat loaf recipe….I thought I would substitute a regional “delicacy” for the purposes of this blog from my own hometown region.


Cincinnati is noted for its Skyline Chili and local hometown derivations. This following recipe was given to me in 2006 by my Aunt and she has used this recipe for over 50 years!





Cincinnati Chili recipe from Audrey Ankenbauer 

2 lbs ground beef

1- 8 ounce can of tomato sauce

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce

1 quart of water

3 ½ tablespoons of white vinegar

3 medium diced onions

4 tablespoons of chili powder

1 teaspoon of red pepper

Salt and pepper to taste


Mix all of the above ingredients till the beef is smooth.


Put in a cheesecloth bag 2 garlic “toes”, pickle spices from a small box or tin, red pepper and bay leaves and tie it all up tight and add to the mixture.


Cook the mixture for 3 hours along with the cheesecloth ingredients and if you like a more traditional chili, you can add red kidney beans. When you are finished cooking you can also serve with oyster crackers as a garnishment on the side.




The preferred serving style  for Cincinnati chili is often served over spaghetti and topped with cheese, onion and hot sauce and variations are referred to as “two-way”, “three-way” or “four-way chili.” You can Google Cincinnati chili at Wikipedia and learn its greater history and origins, ethnic derivations designed to expand the culinary base in Cincinnati history.


According to the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, the local populace consumes over two million pounds of chili each year! Combine that with Dirty Martinis, a DVD of Dirty Dancing …drink Martinis and commence your own Dirty Dancing and you then have a fun filled evening for any rainy chilly night!


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Your Comments

Hey I know this lady she is awesome

Posted by: Jason at Apr 27, 2009 7:04:08 PM

My mother is a terrific cook, besides her chili she also makes a wonderful Apple Custard Pie and her Kale and Barley Soup is a speciality. Way to go Mom !!!!!

Posted by: Darlene D. at May 2, 2009 8:52:38 PM

Yum. That is a TRUE dirty martini. Deeeeelicious! Thanks> :)

Posted by: Dirty Martini at May 3, 2009 11:26:12 PM