The classic Martini features a mix of gin and vermouth with an olive – or lemon twist – to garnish. We look at its origins and provide you with the perfect recipe.
The origins of the Martini cocktail are somewhat uncertain, with several theories and legends surrounding its creation. The most popular story suggests that the Martini was first made in the late 19th century, but it is unclear who created it.
One theory is that the Martini was named after the Italian vermouth maker Martini & Rossi. It is thought that the cocktail was first made in the 1860s in San Francisco, California. A bartender named Julio Richelieu supposedly mixed vermouth and gin together and named the drink after the vermouth maker.
Another theory is that the Martini was invented in the 1880s or 1890s at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco. It is said that a miner who had just struck gold asked for a special drink to celebrate. The bartender mixed together gin, vermouth, and orange bitters and named the drink the Martinez after the town the miner was from. Over time, the recipe evolved into the Martini that we know today.
The Martini gained popularity during the Prohibition era in the United States (1920-1933), when the production and sale of alcohol were banned. The drink became a symbol of rebellion and sophistication, and its popularity continued to grow after the repeal of Prohibition.
The Martini has become a classic cocktail, and it has been adapted in many different ways over the years. Despite its uncertain origins, the Martini remains a beloved drink among cocktail enthusiasts and is a symbol of sophistication and style.
- 2 1/2 oz gin or vodka
- 1/2 oz dry vermouth
- Lemon twist or olive for garnish
- Fill a mixing glass or cocktail shaker with ice.
- Add gin or vodka and dry vermouth to the mixing glass or shaker.
- Stir the mixture for 30 seconds or until the drink is well chilled.
- Strain the mixture into a chilled Martini glass.
- Garnish with a lemon twist or olive, as desired.
Some prefer their Martini “shaken, not stirred,” which involves shaking the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice instead of stirring. However, traditionalists argue that shaking can “bruise” the gin or vodka, altering the flavour and texture of the drink.
It’s also important to note that gin or vodka to dry vermouth ratios can be adjusted to personal preference. Some people prefer a “dry” Martini with less vermouth, while others prefer a “wet” Martini with more vermouth.