The Martini Variation That Was Julia Child's Favorite Cocktail

A true bon vivant with a bawdy sense of humor, Julia Child was known for her larger-than-life personality, ribald wit, and clever repartee. The beloved chef and cookbook author who introduced Americans to the world of French cooking was anything but circumspect when it came to expressing her opinion about food. In 2002, during an appearance on "Larry King Live" timed to coincide with her 90th birthday, Child didn't hesitate when the host asked her to name foods she didn't like, quickly identifying cilantro and arugula. "They're both green herbs; they have kind of a dead taste to me," she said. Her hatred of these particular greens was such that Child told King if either appeared on her plate, "I would pick it out if I saw it and throw it on the floor."

No question about it: Julia Child did not like cilantro or arugula. On the flip side, Child was equally effusive about the things she loved, including wine. "I enjoy cooking with wine. Sometimes, I even put it in the food," she famously said (via Thrillist). "Wine is one of the agreeable and essential ingredients of life" is another one of her memorable quotes. But Child's spirited take on spirits was not limited to the grape. She also sung the praises of gin — particularly when paired with red meat. "I believe in red meat. I've often said: red meat and gin," she noted.

Julia Child's preferred twist on a martini

Gin and a good steak are a classic pairing, which may explain Julia Child's favorite cocktail: an Upside-Down Martini (via Thrillist). This vermouth-forward take on a traditional gin martini consists of five parts vermouth to one part gin, served with a lemon twist. To get it right, you'll need Child's preferred French vermouth, Noilly Prat. According to Difford's Guide, the fortified wine has honeysuckle notes with tastes of orange bitters, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves. At a ratio of 5:1, we're guessing Child was drawn to the alternative martini's complex flavor profile.

Shannon Pratt, brand ambassador for Noilly Prat, has a more specific theory about Child's affinity for the French vermouth. "When I think of Julia Child, I think of how she loved all things French," Evans told Thrillist. "This is the original French vermouth and she made it American by adding gin, in a way. Like her, this drink embodies that care-free, Parisian spirit."