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a moment of silence: the martini wagon

Restored 1958 Cardi trailer and how to make a martini


The DWR wasn’t the first caravan. The “Martini Wagon”, a 1958 Cardi remodeled to feature the inherent kitsch of the period, was towed hard up and down the western states to Yosemite and back for nearly ten years. It sadly developed a terminal leak in the ceiling in 2006 and had to be sold on eBay. (It retired to a good home; the wacky new owners were planning to use it as a guest house/party pad out in back of their property in Renton.)

Ralph is pictured here enjoying the official trailer cocktail at Honey Lake in California, (“awl driedup now” as described to us by the mouthbreathing youth who took our phone reservation).


The perfect bruised martini (serves two)
Inspired by the bartender at the Savoy Hotel, Kansas City

1. Remove 2 pre-chilled martini glasses from freezer; pour 1/2 tsp dry vermouth in each, swirl to coat inside of glass, pour out excess. Return glasses to freezer.

2. Fill cocktail shaker halfway with large ice cubes. Add 6 oz (3 shots) Tanqueray gin; let stand.

3. Spear 2 each Santa Barbara martini olives on picks; let stand in runoff juice in the shot glass.

4. Wrap cocktail shaker in a dish towel and shake hard for several seconds; let stand.

5. Remove glasses from freezer, garnish with olives on picks. Drizzle a few drops of juice into each.

6. Return to shaker; shake hard for an additional ten seconds. Pour icy gin into glasses, serve immediately. Repeat as needed.

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