Maybe it’s the realization that for years people have enjoyed this specific drink, or maybe it’s nostalgic for some—whatever the case, it’s always great to know how that drink came to be.
The Martinez has an interesting evolution. It’s known as the cocktail that began as a Manhattan, morphed into a martini, and then a dry Martini. The first known reference to this classic cocktail appeared in O.H. Byron’s 1884 The Modern Bartender, except no recipe was listed. Where a recipe should appear for the Martinez, Byron writes, “Same as Manhattan, only you substitute gin for whisky.” Because there are two recipes for a manhattan listed, which one gets followed? Manhattan no. 1 contains French vermouth while Manhattan no. 2 has Italian vermouth. Due to the placement of the recipes on the page, it’s concluded that Byron preferred Italian vermouth in his Martinez.
The main difference between a Manhattan and a Martinez is the spirit used. Historically, the cocktail has either Dutch jenever/genever or old tom gin. While a Martinez can have either juniper spirit, it’s typically made with London Dry Gin due to its popularity.
Along with most cocktail recipes, every bartender has a variation or spin on the drink. Regardless of the recipe, it usually consists of gin, vermouth, maraschino cherries, and bitters. Here is our go-to version.
- 1 1/2 oz. Gin
- 1 1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth
- 1/4 oz. Maraschino Liqueur or Curaçao
- 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
- Lemon Twist
Preparation: Shake ingredients together with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.