Dating back to at least the mid 1880’s, the Martinez cocktail inspired a range of cocktails including the Martini and Dry Martini.

Created as a variation of a Manhattan, the origins of The Martinez are hazy. The first published copies of a Martinez recipe were published in 1884 by O.H. Bryan in “The Modern Bartenders Guide” and in 1887 in a revised edition of Jerry Thomas’ “The Bar-Tender’s Guide.” Each book had differences to the recipe and while Bryan’s called for Angostura Bitters, Thomas called for Bogart’s (Boker’s).

Most modern bartenders will have their own take on the cocktail, and strangle enough that’s true to the original. Bryan’s recipe calls for orange Curaçao in place of Maraschino and specifies a “wine glass” each of gin and Italian vermouth. Thomas uses Maraschino as well as “one pony” of Old Tom gin and one “wine glass” of unspecified vermouth. In short, however you want to shake will be true to form.

Depending on how you make your drink it will appeal to anyone who likes a manhattan. In fact, Bryan’s original recipe for the Martinez was simply to note it was the same as the Manhattan but swapped the whisky with gin. When made well the ingredients blend perfectly to create a complex cocktail that perfectly emphasizes the herbal and botanical notes of the spirits included. Because the cocktail is so spirit heavy, one of the easiest ways to switch it up is to adjust the type of gin and vermouth you’re using. Different gin varietals can bring more citrus, floral, or even marine notes depending on the profile.

Alcoholic Martinez Cocktail with Gin Vermouth and Orange Peel

Classic Martinez

Classic Martinez

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Gin
  • 1 1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth
  • 1/4 oz. Maraschino Liqueur or Curaçao
  • 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
  • Lemon Swath

Preparation: Shake ingredients together with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon swath.