There’s a letter of critical importance on the subject of original understanding — albiet of a different variety — in today’s WSJ by Judge Robert Bork. Let me quote the central tenet:
What counts in mixology is the "original understanding" of the martini’s essence by those who first consumed it. The essence remains unaltered but allows proportions to evolve as circumstances change. Mr. Felten’s "near-perfect martini" is the same in principle as the "original-understanding martini" and therefore its legitimate descendant. Such latter-day travesties as the chocolate martini and the raspberry martini, on the other hand, are the work of activist bartenders.
Wonkette has the full text of the letter and her own thoughts.