Sacha Baumann is an artist and designer living and working in Los Angeles.

A word on the London Martini

Now James Bond may be the quintessential martini drinker, but while in London poor MC had quite a rough time getting his favorite martini: "Ketel One, up, with a twist."

Firstly, there is no Ketel One to be found. Absolute, Grey Goose, and a Polish one I had never heard of seem to be the standards.

Second, martinis are automatically served with no vermouth. In an effort to simplify the ordering, MC requested "a vodka martini with no vermouth."  This proved to be highly confusing to the English bartenders. "So you do not want a martini?" was the common question to this request.

Third, the request for "a twist" at the end of the "a vodka martini, with no vermouth" is greeted with a: a grimace, b: an inquisitive look, or c: a request to repeat the drink order.

Funniest drink received after ordering the above: warm vodka in a rocks glass with a wedge of lemon.

My own solution was to simply order "a vodka martini with olives." A lot less complicated. (I did ask one waiter for a "lemon drop" and was given a completely blank look...that's another story).

You know you have jet lag when...

A castle, some caviar, and a cognac