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History Briefs

Not just any martini will do

In honor of National Martini Day, June 19, we raise a glass to most famous martini connoisseur in the firm’s history, co-founder Dick Taft.

But not just any martini would do for Mr. Taft.

According to long-time partner Terry Barrett, if you ordered a martini at downtown Oklahoma City’s Beacon Club back in the day, you’d receive an empty glass and a chilled beaker containing the perfectly mixed cocktail. “When you poured it, you would find that it wasn’t one, but two martinis — the beaker holding twice the contents of the glass.”

This tradition began when Mr. Taft served as president of the Beacon Club, because “it allowed members to truthfully tell their wives that they only had one drink,” he said.

Mr. Taft was also known to like his martinis strong — and garnished with an olive, never a twist.

“Once, an obviously new person at the Beacon Club took Mr. Taft’s order for a martini,” recalled Jerry Warren. “Taft was an olive man, but on this occasion, the martini was served with a twist. Taft, with his regal but gentlemanly best, said, ‘If I had wanted lemonade, I would have ordered it.’”

Cheers, Mr. Taft!

“Fancied-up Beacon Club, which tops the First National Bank Building, will celebrate its re-opening after a $200,000 reconstruction project.” Photo by Mandell Matheson, published November 14, 1960 in Oklahoma Times. Courtesy The Oklahoman and Oklahoma Historical Society.