Pronouncing “TANQUERAY”

May 21, 2007

fddkspiritsby_namealltanqueray_special_dry_gin-resized200.jpgA common conversation I have with well meaning wait staff and bartenders is as follows:

Roger: “I’ll have a Tanqueray martini straight up with an olive.”
Waiter: “Ok, that’s a TanGERay martini straight up with an olive. No problem.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been “corrected” about its pronunciation. I look at the bottle and it is a Q and not a G, and thought that perhaps the Dutch pronounce their Q’s like G’s.

Resolved to get the question answered once and for all I wrote a customer service person at Tanqueray and got the following reply:

We value consumers such as yourself and we appreciate your enthusiasm. The
correct way to pronounce Tanqueray is Tanker-ray.

I am vindicated.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael May 21, 2007 at 7:57 am

It strikes me what’s going on here is that people are too lazy to take a good look at the letters on the bottle. If you’re not paying attention, I suppose the “q” can look like a “g”. Shrug.

I was going to make another bitchy comment about how one shouldn’t have to specify the olive when ordering a martini, because that’s part of what makes it a martini, but according to the timeline on Tanqueray’s web site (you’ll be asked to lie about your age), the garnish was originally a cherry. On the other hand, their bold claim that the martini originated in Martinez, California is a matter of dispute, so who knows.

Now, I think I’ll go fix myself a refreshing Tangueray quimlet on the rocks!

PK May 21, 2007 at 4:35 pm

Yeah, but after three or four it starts becoming ta.. tager… tan oh JUST GIMME ANOTHER! 🙂 Maybe the waiter is just saving time?

DJA May 22, 2007 at 1:32 am

What the they really ought to scold you on is the “straight” part. Assuming you are ordering a Martini, and not just cold gin with an olive garnish, than it’s not “straight” at all — it’s a blend of gin and vermouth (ideally somewhere in the 5-to-1 range). For a cocktail, the opposite of “on the rocks” is just “up.” It’s only “straight up” if you’re ordering, for example, a chilled vodka shot. (Not that any civilized person would do that.)

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