Some cocktails will never go out of style and the Martini is one of them.
No matter how many flavored bourbons, clothespins garnishes, and yuzu flavored syrups there are, a Martini’s classic ingredients will always dominate in the cocktail game. Not even the latest trends can replace its basic structure.
Over the years, Martinis have become one of the best-known mixed drinks. They’re made with gin and vermouth and garnished with either an olive or lemon twist. There are a few theory’s on where this classic drink came to light.
One theory is that a Martini evolved from a cocktail called a Martinez. In the town of Martinez, California, many of the historians and inhabitants of the area claim the Martini was created during the mid-1800’s Gold Rush. It is said that a gold miner went to the local bar to celebrate his good fortune. He asked for a glass of Champagne and learned they didn’t have any. The bartender mixed up a drink with what he had on hand: gin, vermouth, bitters, maraschino liqueur, and a lemon. And bam — the Martinez was created. The drink soared in popularity and was published in the Bartender’s Manual in the 1800s.
Not everyone is convinced this is where the drink came from. The author of a book on the Martini’s creation, Barnaby Conrad III, claims the drink was invented in San Francisco. A gold miner ordered a pick-me-up drink on his way to the town of Martinez.
Whatever theory you believe, a Martini is on the menu in every bar you’ll go to. There are a few ways to order this classic drink. We all know how James Bond liked to order his. “A Martini, shaken not stirred.” The difference between a shaken and stirred Martini is the stirring method ensures the drink isn’t too watered down.
Martinis can come in different variations too. A wet Martini will contain more vermouth, while a 50-50 Martini is equal parts gin and vermouth. Dirty Martinis have a splash of olive bring and are typically garnished with a green olive. And the perfect Martini has equal amounts of sweet and dry vermouth.
Here is a classic recipe for the beloved cocktail.
- 2 1/2 oz. Gin or Vodka
- 1/2 oz. Dry Vermouth
- Lemon Peel or Olives
Preparation: Chill the Martini glass before serving by placing it in the freezer. Place the gin or vodka and dry vermouth into a mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 30 seconds. Strain the mixture into your chilled Martini glass and garnish with a lemon peel or olive.
Tip: Pinch the back of the lemon peel over the Martini. Rub the peel around the rim of the glass then drop it in.