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 "Shaken? Stirred?" by Marti Ronemus

For our Faithful Readers who want to show off their class, style, flair and elegance at holiday time, we offer you this guidance. Serve the PERFECT martini and watch the smiles of approval. Some suggestions from winners of bartending competitions.

Eschew vodka. It's GIN, do you hear? GIN! GIN! Anything else is sacrilege. Don't even THINK of appletinis or chocotinis. Those are for amateurs and poseurs. Also, vermouth is a must, as it is the civilizing aspect of the drink. Don't forget to add some orange bitters for balance. Just a touch makes a real difference.

Next, contrary to what James Bond recommends, STIR, don't shake. Stirring creates a taut, cold surface without ice shards. Lastly, choose the perfect glass for presentation, and add a lemon peel rather than olives.

Now, before we imbibe this miracle of deliciousness, we need to earn it with some excellent bidding.

Question 1

  Your Hand
 A Q J 10 9 5
 K J 2
 5 3
 3 2
Q: 1 - South:
1p1 No-trumpp

 Your choice:
A: 4: My goodness. Pard opened and we've got this rock? There's nothing to be afraid of. Pass the gin.

Your result so far:
Open Question

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Question 2

  Your Hand
 A Q 9
 K J 8
 K Q 10 9 8 2
Q: 2 - South:

**Negative double

 Your choice:
A: 5: We hate game in minors, but sometimes we just gotta do it. Our other choice of course is to double for penalty, but we like our chances for game. Pard was willing to bid 4.

Your result so far:
Open Question

Question 3

  Your Hand
 J 9 3
 A 10 4 3
 8 4 3
 K J 9
Q: 3 - South:

 Your choice:
A: 3: We told our story with our 2 bid. We showed 8-11-ish points and a preference for Hearts. Pard's naming his own suit, after making a double, shows a monster hand and is forcing. Let's just show our slight Spade support and make it his problem.

We'll see Pard's hand in the next question.

Your result so far:
Open Question

Question 4

  Your Hand
 A K Q 10 3
 J 9 5
 Q 3
 A Q 10
Q: 4 - NORTH!!!:

 Your choice:
A: 4: Pard gave us a wishy-washy 3 bid, but we like the fact that he supported our suit. Our 19 pt hand opposite his 8-11 spells game. No reason to back down now.

Your result so far:
Open Question

Question 5

  Your Hand
 K J
 10 9 8 7 6
 A Q 2
 9 3 2
Q: 5 - South:

 Your choice:
A: 4: A strong case can be made for a Redouble, but we like a preemptive jump to 4. Our goal is to scare them and take the contract. We might as well bid what we think we can make.

Let's play a hand and then head for the bar.

Your result so far:
Open Question

Play this Hand

Now that you've bid five hands, let's see how your play goes.

Overall Results

Your results:   out of    Average: 

What next? You may enjoy playing our prepared hands series.
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