She might not be an official cast member of Southern Charm, but the reigning grand dame of Charleston, S.C. manages to steal the show whenever she's on camera. Patricia Altschul—known for her voluminous caftans, passion for dogs, and words of wisdom—leads an enviably glamorous lifestyle, complete with a 9,500-square foot, 10-bedroom home, high-profile friends, and her own personal butler.
Her butler, Michael, keeps things running smoothly in her mansion, but it seems like his most important job is mixing up what Patricia calls her "medicine"—a gin (never vodka) martini.
“Vodka is made out of a lowly potato, and gin has 18 botanicals, genièvre, you know, there are 18 of them," Patricia explains in a video shot by Entertainment Weekly. "So when I say 'medicine,' I mean it. It's very healthy.”
"And contrary to public thought, I do not start at breakfast," she clarifies.
Patricia prefers Beefeater gin, and she likes her martinis not too light, not too heavy—right "in the middle," says Michael.
To make Patricia's perfect martini, Michael adds a "secret ingredient"—French vermouth. Her favorite is Boissiere, which adds a subtle floral, citrusy flavor.
His other secret tool? The Lewis Ice Bag, a canvas bag which is used to contain ice cubes while they're being smashed with a wooden mallet. which he crushes with a wooden mallet. "The ice should be the size of tiny, tiny shivers of glass,” which will dilute the drink less, he says in the Entertainment Tonight article.
Michael also rims the martini glass with lemon before serving. “You always rim the glass with a lemon to make sure you get a little bit of flavor, so every sip should be at a different point on the glass,” he explains.
Once the gin and vermouth are shaken together with ice, the contents are poured over crushed ice in the martini glass and garnished with a lemon twist.
And there you have it—Patricia's ultimate martini. Watch the video for the full how-to and more gems from Patricia:
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