“Audrey Wilder’s Recipe for the Perfect Martini”

(as told to Cameron Crowe, in his book-length interview with Audrey’s husband, Billy Wilder:)

“I use a bitters bottle … and I do it by eye. I pour enough vodka for one or two martinis, then add the vermouth. These days Billy likes Ketel One vodka. Noilly Prat vermouth is the key. I use seven or eight drops, stir, and pour it. Originally we drank gin martinis. The martinis that Garbo drank were gin. After the war, vodka crept in. We started using vodka. But originally it was gin.”

Billy Wilder met his wife Audrey when he was directing The Lost Weekend (1945) starring Ray Milland. Cameron Crowe asked Billy how they met:

CC: Do you remember the first time you met Audrey, your wife?

BW: She was under contract to Paramount, and I was a director. They sent her to the set to play a small part as a hatcheck girl. I said, “Stand here, hand him [Ray Milland] his hat.” I was directing a scene in Lost Weekend where Ray Milland goes into a nightclub and he gets boozed. And then he also sees a purse lying next to him, belonging to a lady who belonged to a man. And he steals some money from that thing, because he has got no money, and they get him, they catch him. The strongman, you know, in the nightclub. Then I saw the arm of the hatcheck girl come in, with the hat of Ray Milland. They throw him out, then they take the hat and throw it out with him too. And I only saw the arm, and I fell in love with the arm.

They were married for 53 years. He died in 2002.

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6 Responses to “Audrey Wilder’s Recipe for the Perfect Martini”

  1. red says:

    Followed by incessant drunk-dialing of old boyfriends …

  2. mitchell says:

    HA!!!!!!!!! That was so friggin fun..then passing out cold fully dressed on ur bed!!

  3. red says:

    Right, and it was, what, 10 p.m.??

    PATHETIC! so hysterical!

  4. Scotter says:

    I liked their agreement: as long as she was good with being #2, she’ll always be #1.

  5. red says:

    Scotter – ha! Love that!!

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