3 cl of Old Tom Gin
6 cl of sweet vermouth
2 tablespoons of Maraschino liqueur
2 drops of Orange bitter
Martinez is a milestone in cocktails’ history, yet its genesis is shrouded in mystery. Martinez is believed to be the father of the Martini cocktail. The recipe (itself descended from the Manhattan cocktail) is similar: gin, maraschino, and red vermouth, to which a few drops of bitters are added.
Martinez comes from the Californian city of the same name, where bartender Julio Richelieu allegedly served a Martinez Special to a miner who wanted something unique. Over time the name would change to Martini, the most important exporter of vermouth in the United States since the early twentieth century.
The first written source is as often happens in Jerry Thomas’s bible: the famous How to Mix Drinks or The Bon-Vivant’s Companion, in which the recipe appears, but it is prepared with Old Tom Gin.
The recipe is a masterpiece, a supernova of aromatic flavors of herbs and juniper that caress the palate under the sweet push of the maraschino. Slightly sweeter and more delicate than Martini Dry, if you are a martini purist, you may not like its soft touch, but try it, if only to understand the evolutionary path of cocktails. Know that it is really what they say with its roundness is the cocktail suitable for all hours, both as an aperitif and after dinner.
But let’s go to Jerry Thomas’s original recipe (1887) of the Martinez cocktail, the most reliable, even if we added the squeeze of the lemon peel to make it even more aromatic. If you can’t find Old Tom, use your favorite gin and add 1 cl of sugar syrup.
Martinez ingredients and doses
- 30 ml of Old Tom Gin
- 60 ml of sweet vermouth
- 2 tablespoons of maraschino
- 2 drops of orange bitter
- lemon peel
How to prepare the Martinez cocktail
Old Jerry used to prepare it in the shaker, but I highly recommend mixing glass not to ruin the vermouth, which loses balance when shaken.
Freeze a cup, put all the ingredients, apart from the lemon peel, in a mixing glass with ice, mix gently, and pour into the cup, filtering. Take the lemon peel and squeeze it over the cocktail and the Martinez is ready!
Variations of the Martinez cocktail
The cocktail lends itself to experimentation. For a much more aromatic, dry, and potent cocktail, try to reverse the gin-vermouth ratio, and you will have a fantastic cocktail for after dinner, on which to meditate while looking at the stars.