Before diving into the history of the Classic Gin Martini Cocktail recipe, which is one of the best American inventions ever, here are some other classic gin cocktails to check out: the Negroni
, the Adios Pink Lemonade
, the Tom Collins
, the Singapore Sling
, and The Aviation.
OK, now onto the history of the Classic Gin Martini, which, like so many other cocktail recipes, is murky at best. Why are so many historical events related to alcohol so murky? Why?! What could possibly be the reason for that?! Anyway, at least a handful of resources, including the Classic Gin Martini Wikipedia page
, point to an Italian vermouth maker who marketed its product under the brand name “Martini,” after its director, Alessandro Martini. With vermouth being one of the few essential ingredients in the Classic Gin Martini recipe, it makes perfect sense that that’s where the name for the classic gin cocktail comes from. Only problem is there are a bunch of other plausible explanations for the Gin Martini's origin. As Food52 points out
in a fantastic little article on the Classic Gin Martini’s history, “Like the dirtiest of Martinis, the history of this American drink is more than slightly murky.” See, we told you this sh*t is murky! It’s like the dirtiest of Martinis! Food 52 goes on to note that “One prevalent theory points to the town of Martinez, California, where historians and town inhabitants alike claim the drink was invented during the mid-1800s Gold Rush.” Seems like a gold miner in the town of Martinez, California (shout out to the home state of the Naughty Pig
bar on Sunset) struck gold — literally!!! — and went to the bar to celebrate. He ordered Champagne, but because it was probably a super-ratchet mid-1800s town, they didn't have any. Instead he got served what the bartender had on hand: maraschino liqueur, vermouth, bitters, gin, and a slice of lemon. But wait, there’s more! Boise Weekly
(shouts out to Boise!) points out that the Classic Gin Martini recipe also may have been invented by “Italian immigrant bartender Martini di Arma di Taggia at the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City….” before World War I. Boise Weekly goes on to note that “His recipe contained dry gin and dry vermouth, in equal parts, and orange bitters.” But none of that classic gin cocktail history really excites you, does it? No, of course not. What you want to know is: Is this classic gin Martini the cocktail James Bond is always drinking? Indeed it is, Cash Change. The Telegraph
points out that the original James Bond Martini recipe is six parts vodka, one part vermouth served from a cocktail shaker. It wasn’t until the 1964 Goldfinger with Sean Connery that the famous line “A Martini. Shaken, not stirred,” was actually spoken. If you're wondering about how to use all of those Martini cocktail ordering terms, like dry versus wet Martini, check out VinePair’s article
on everything related to Martinis. In that detailed Martini description page, VinePair notes the term “wet Martini” actually means that more “dry vermouth” is added. A dry Martini recipe on the other hand, includes less dry vermouth. How about the difference between a shaken Martini and a stirred Martini? Does that matter? It turns out, not really. As President of Belvedere Vodka Charles Gibb told the Telegraph, “Shaking and stirring basically gets the drink to the same temperature. You have to stir for 90 seconds to get the right elements of dilution and chilling; shaking imparts a lot of energy and you dilute the drink more quickly, but you get it down to the required temperature in 10 or 15 seconds.” If you're looking for other awesome variations on the classic Martini recipe, check out these bad boys: the Salted Caramel Martini
, the Blueberry Martini
, the Peanut Butter Cup Martini
, the Caramel Martini
, and the Oreo Cookie Martini.
CLASSIC GIN MARTINI
2 1/2 oz. (75ml) Gin
1/2 oz. (15ml) Dry Vermouth
Dash Angostura Bitters
1. Chill a martini glass with ice and set aside.
2. To an ice filled mixing glass add gin and dry vermouth. Stir for 30 seconds.
3. Remove ice from serving glass and strain mix inside. Add a dash of angostura bitters.
4. Garnish with olives.