The episode: “Fire Maidens of Outer Space,” ep. 416
The riff: Sung by Joel as a “New Atlantean” man fills a cocktail glass with some sort of concoction and says “refresh yourself!”
The explanation: Martini and Rossi is a popular and widespread brand of vermouth, specifically the “Martini” brand name. Vermouth, if you don’t know, is a wine fortified with herbs and flavoring agents, typically used as an additive to cocktails both in dry and sweet form. It is a requirement for cocktails like the true martini or Manhattan It is occasionally drunk by itself as an aperitif and that’s where this snatch of song comes from–a series of commercials in the 1970s that advertised Martini and Rossi vermouth as a drink of hip, young people, a “wine” to be consumed on the rocks.
Novelty factor: I recognize the brand because I love sweet vermouth in my Manhattan but I honestly can’t imagine wanting to drink it straight. I imagine my reaction would be just like Phil Connors’ in “Groundhog Day.”