What's a Martinez?

 

On the surface of it, the question of ‘what’s a Martinez’ seems pretty self-explanatory; after all, you can walk into any good bar, order one and be pretty confident about what you’ll get in your glass. The chances are you’ll get a lot of sweet vermouth, a little bit of gin, a splash of maraschino and a dash or two of bitters. Occasionally there might be a bit more gin and a little less vermouth, or you might get Boker’s bitters or orange bitters; you might even get a splash of curacao instead of maraschino, but all in all you’re likely to receive a sweet vermouth and gin cocktail, with a splash of liqueur and a dose of bitters.

Over the years there has been much debate about the intertwined history of the Martinez cocktail and the Martini, with speculation about whether the Martinez might be the forefather of the Martini or, if in fact they were once the same drink, known by similar names but got confused over the years. The truth is we’re never likely to know, but somewhere along the way the two drinks have diverged to become completely different cocktails. It’s now accepted that the Martini is made with dry vermouth and the Martinez with sweet, the former has no liqueur added but the latter is usually enriched with a barspoon of maraschino. The Martini is heavy on gin, with vermouth playing a supporting role, whereas the Martinez is a vermouth-led cocktail. In other words they are only connected in as much as that they are in the broad family of gin and vermouth based drinks.

So when I recently made a drink using the same ingredients as a modern Martinez, but in vastly different proportions, and posted the recipe on Twitter, I was shocked to hear people calling it a Martinez. After all, three parts gin to one part sweet vermouth makes a completely different cocktail, in fact it was closer in profile to a Gin and It. An online discussion quickly ensued about what people consider a Martinez cocktail to be and what the original spec was; it soon became clear that this is a cocktail with a hazy past, and even a somewhat muddled present.

Inspired by my previous blog about the Corpse Reviver, I thought that with a little help I might be able to unravel the past of this delicious, but misunderstood drink. I immediately posted some questions on Facebook and Twitter and started to put together a timeline for the Martinez cocktail. Once again Adam Elmegirab and Craig Harper came to my aid contributinging various recipes for the Martinez in the hopes of understanding how we have arrived at the modern version we know today. Along the way our research expanded into the entire family of gin, vermouth and bitters based cocktails, but that’s a subject for another time. In fact Adam is already well on his way to amassing a broad history of this family of drinks.

WHY SO MUCH CONFUSION?

It seems clear from the modern viewpoint that the Martinez cocktail is two parts sweet vermouth to one part gin, with a splash of maraschino and a dash of bitters. In fact when I asked bartenders what their standard recipe is for this drink, all of them said two to one ratios in favour of sweet vermouth, and almost everyone said maraschino and either Boker’s or orange bitters. So if there is a reasonably standard modern recipe, then why am I implying that there is some confusion as to the recipe for the Martinez? It comes down to two things: vermouth choice and ratios.

You see if you refer to cocktail books from the 1930s and 40s most of them actually call for dry vermouth instead of sweet, in fact the first time I made myself a Martinez I followed the recipe from the Savoy Cocktail Book, which calls for dry. So to me this has always been a drink that can be served both ways, sweet and dry, which leaves the drink open to interpretation depending on where you first read the recipe. In addition, I’ve seen recipes calling for equal parts gin and vermouth, so even the ratio can be called into question.

This got me wondering about when the recipe changed from sweet to dry, and then back again to sweet. The trouble, I soon realised from chatting with Adam and Craig, is that there are surprisingly few recipes for the Martinez in any early cocktail books. In fact as Craig pointed out, you almost never see the Martinez and the Martini in the same book, so is it possible they are the same drink? Was the name and the recipe muddled in the early years of its invention, leaving us with two cocktails where originally there was just one?

WHAT'S INNAME?

The first recipe I have been able to find for the Martinez cocktail is from 1884, with only a handful of further recipes over the following two decades. Likewise the Martini makes an appearance only a couple of years after the Martinez, and has its own handful of recipes in the late 1800s. To make it even more confusing there are other drinks from the same era such as the Martine and Marguerite that also combine gin, vermouth and bitters. So is this just a classic case of Chinese whispers, with a drink being created and named, and then being passed on from bar to bar and slowly changing?

There are of course stories about where the name came from; some claiming it for the town of Martinez in California, others saying it was made for a customer who used to travel to the town. Still others claim that the Martini actually came first and that the Martinez was just another name for the same drink. Then again there are stories of a judge from New York whose name was Martine, so some believe this to be an east coast creation and nothing whatsoever to do with the town in California. Truth be told we’re unlikely to ever know the origins of the name.

Many claim that the Martinez was created in the 1860s and that the Martini came into being in the 1870s, but this is still hard to prove, so for me it seems sensible to start with recipes that have been recorded in cocktail books. But if all we have are a handful scattered through a few publications over the years, then what’s the truth about this drink? Has it always been the sweet vermouth based drink we know today? Well let’s see if we can make some sense of it simply by tracking it through the years.

THE EARLY DAYS OF THE MARTINEZ

As I mentioned earlier, the first recipe for the Martinez that I’ve found (and I’d love to hear from anyone who knows of an earlier one, or a version I’ve missed from the timeline below) is from O H Byron in 1884. Unfortunately all he has to say on the subject is this:

Same as Manhattan, only you substitute gin for whisky.”

Now this wouldn’t be a problem if he had been considerate enough to list only one recipe for the Manhattan. There were unfortunately two Manhattan recipes listed directly above the entry for the Martinez, one with sweet vermouth one with dry (for full recipes see the timeline further down the page). So maybe, as with many vermouth and spirit cocktails the Martinez was originally a drink that could be ordered sweet or dry? The problem with this theory is that we never see the Martinez listed in books with the two styles offered, as we do with the Martini and the Manhattan. Often these drinks are offered, for example, as the Dry Martini or the Sweet Martini with distinct recipes. Nowhere have I found the same for the Martinez. Still it’s a thought…

The next recipe that we find in print is from the 1887 revised edition of Jerry Thomas’ Bon Vivants Companion, which was published two years after his death. The recipe calls for one part Old Tom Gin to two parts ‘vermouth’. We know from records that most vermouth in the US at this time was Italian (sweet) vermouth, and it’s taken for granted that unless French vermouth is specified in a recipe, then Italian would have be used. So it seems likely that this recipe is the one responsible for our current understanding of the Martinez as being a sweet vermouth cocktail. 

Next up we have the Martinez recipe listed in Stuart’s Fancy Drinks from 1896, but unfortunately it seems that he has plagiarised O H Byron, as his entry is identical to the 1884 entry in that book (word for word, down to the order of the drinks). So other than being a second time that we see both a sweet and dry version, it doesn’t actually help us to understand how this drink might originally have been served.

Fast forward almost a decade to 1905 and we find a recipe for the Martinez in the romantically named Consolidated Library of Modern Cooking and Household Recipes, volume 5 by Christine Terhune Herrick and M. Harland, which is remarkably similar to Jerry Thomas' recipe above. The recipe calls for two parts vermouth (sweet?) to one part gin with two dashes of maraschino and a dash of Boker’s Bitters. Gum syrup may be added if desired. The parting shot is to point out that this recipe is exactly the same as the one before, which as you might have guessed, is for the Manhattan.

MANHATTANMARTINEZ?

What can be made of these early recipes? Well keeping in mind some good advice I received recently from Dave Wondrich when he said, I always try to be careful to distinguish between 'it happened once or twice' and 'it's in common use.' The latter is much more important for writing history; firsts are in my mind highly overrated. People will do any damn thing once or twice.” it’s hard to draw any firm conclusions from so few recipes. It’s certainly interesting to note that three out of the four mentions of this drink compare it directly to the Manhattan cocktail.

We know that the Manhattan was by this time a popular and widely consumed drink, and we often see it served with either dry or sweet vermouth (or on occasion calling for both), so with this in mind, it is at least possible that the Martinez may have been served either way. I’m not for one moment stating this as fact, but instead offer it as food for thought, especially when viewing the next era in the history of the Martinez.

THE PROHIBITION ERA MARTINEZ

There’s a significant gap in the timeline of the Martinez as far as I’ve been able to tell (but hopefully readers will find some recipes to fill in the gaps) between 1905 and 1922. By this time American bartenders were leaving their native shores to escape prohibition, and we start to see them running bars (and writing books) in Europe. One such example is Cocktails How To Mix Them by Robert Vermier, where we see an early prohibition era recipe calling for equal parts Old Tom Gin and French vermouth, combined with either curacao or maraschino and orange bitters. This is just the start of a trend towards a drier style of drink.

Robert also states that in England the Martinez generally contains Plymouth gin and French vermouth, with orange syrup and Angostura bitters; once again pointing at a dry style of drink.

In 1930 the Martinez pops up in the Savoy Cocktail Book with an almost identical recipe to the Martinez listed in Robert’s book, only not specifying Old Tom and simply listing gin instead. So yet again we have a dry style of Martinez appearing in print.

This is also true of the recipe in 1700 Cocktails for the Man Behind the Bar, in 1934, where the recipe is for several servings. Here we have three glasses of Plymouth gin and three of French vermouth combined with a dessertspoon of orange bitters and two dessertspoons of curacao or maraschino. In the same year Patrick Gavin Duffy included an identical recipe (again for six people) in his book the Official Mixer’s Manual.

In 1935’s Old Mr. Boston we find the first recipe specifying dry gin, as by this time Old Tom had fallen out of fashion and London Dry was the go-to style of gin for cocktails. Once again equal parts of dry gin and French vermouth are combined with orange bitters and curacao.

So it seems that in the 1920s and 30s dry vermouth was the standard ingredient for the Martinez, and the ratio had changed from being vermouth heavy to equal parts vermouth and gin. The drier style of drink is not surprising as this was very much the taste of that era, in fact this is when we start seeing the Martini grow more and more dry, so perhaps this is nothing more than the fashion of the time?

The trend towards dry vermouth is still there in 1946 when Trader Vic includes a Martinez in his Bartender’s Guide, made of equal parts gin and French vermouth, with ½ a teaspoon each of orange bitters and curacao.

It’s interesting that in the ten recipes above only two specify sweet vermouth, two offer it both dry and sweet and the remaining six all call for dry vermouth. While this is still not such a weighty catalogue of evidence as to be able to state that the Martinez should rightly be made using dry vermouth, it is enough to say that it has been made that way in the past, possibly from the time when it was first conceived. I also can’t help but notice that curacao was called for more often than maraschino, and while we’re usually only talking about a couple of dashes this is enough to change the profile of the drink.

To me this makes some sense when you think about the other ingredients involved; Old Tom Gin was sweeter than the modern style and more full bodied, liqueur is being added, contributing yet more sweetness, so wouldn’t it make sense to use dry vermouth to balance the drink? We’ll probably never know how the drink was intended to be, but it’s at least interesting to open ones mind to the possibility that the Martinez may once have been intended as a dry vermouth drink and not the sweet one we know today.

THE MODERN MARTINEZ

So how have we arrived at the modern Martinez? After all, when you look at the history above almost all of the drinks call for dry vermouth and not sweet, many are equal parts gin and vermouth, and a lot of them call for curacao and orange bitters. These differences from the modern understanding of the Martinez are significant enough to make them worth thinking about.

The key to me, as I mentioned earlier, is the importance placed on Jerry Thomas’ book, The Bon Vivant’s Companion, or How to Mix Drinks. The first edition in 1862 is also the first cocktail book in existence, and as such is often the starting place for bartenders to gain insight into the classic cocktails of the 1800s. But although I agree it’s an important book, it’s by no means infallible. The fact that the Martinez doesn’t appear in the first edition and wasn’t added until two years after Thomas’ death, means that we don’t even know the real source of this recipe. Who was it that edited this book and added the Martinez? Where did he or she get their recipe? It seems to me we've been blindly following this version for some time now, without really considering the source.

I suspect it’s no coincidence that our modern version of the Martinez containing maraschino matches Thomas' so closely, when his book is so revered. I’m not saying that the industry is wrong, or that bartenders have their facts mixed up, but if you look through the recipes I’ve found so far, it seems that the jerry Thomas recipe has been held up as the correct one, without much thought being given to other recipes of the time. Maybe it's worth taking a moment to consider the other options.

SO IS THERE ANY SUCH THING AS THE MARTINEZ?

What conclusion can be drawn from all of the above? We can see that in our current cocktail culture the Martinez is a well-known drink that is widely accepted as being made with sweet vermouth and gin (Old Tom), some maraschino and bitters. It’s clear from looking at the timeline below that it hasn't always been made this way though; for at least some of its life it was a dry vermouth and gin based drink. Also worth thinking about is the fact that for a drink that is so well established in the repertoire of modern bartenders there are surprisingly few references to it in cocktail books over the years.

It seems likely to me that if it had not been included in two of the most important and well respected cocktails books of all time, this drink might very well have faded into oblivion, despite the fact that it is a damned tasty cocktail. The fact that the two recipes are so very different can at least partly be put down to the availability of ingredients in different countries and different eras, and also to the fashion for sweeter drinks in the 1880s and dry drinks in the 1920s. None the less, there is enough difference between recipes from across the decades that it calls into question what the Martinez really was.

In fact, given the intertwined history of the Martini and the Martinez (not to mention the Martine and even the Turf Club), it’s almost impossible to know if they were the same drink, but known by different names or, if they were designed to be different from the outset. Seeing as we have arrived at a time and place where we do indeed have two individual drinks, it probably doesn’t matter what the original intention behind them was. They have grown apart, and now stand on their own merits as individual cocktails.

So here is a timeline of recipes, for a drink that may or may not ever have been intended to be different from the martini, and may or may not have originally been made with dry vermouth:

 

1884 – O H Byron – ‘same as Manhattan but with gin replacing whisky’

Martinez 1

1 pony French vermouth, ½ pony gin, 3 or 4 dashes Angostura bitters, 3 dashes gum syrup

Martinez 2

2 dashes curacao, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, ½ wineglass gin, ½ wineglass Italian vermouth

1887 – Jerry Thomas – revised edition 2 years after his death

Martinez – 1 dash Boker’s bitters, 2 dashes maraschino, 1 pony Old Tom gin, 1 wineglass vermouth.

1896 – Stuart’s Fancy Drinks and How to Mix Them

Identical recipe to O H Byron 1884 and once again compared to the Manhattan, served both dry and sweet

1905 – Consolidated Library of Modern Cooking and Household Recipes, volume 5

Martinez – shake up well and strain into a large cocktail glass 1 dash of bitters, 2 dashes of maraschino, 1 pony of Old Tom gin, 1 wineglassful of vermouth, 2 small lumps of ice. Add a slice of lemon, and gum syrup if desired, as in last recipe (Manhattan)

1922 – Cocktails and How to Mix Them by Robert

Martinez cocktail – 2 dashes orange bitters, 3 dashes curacao or maraschino, ¼ gill Old Tom Gin, ¼ gill French vermouth

Martinez in England – 2 dashes orange syrup, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, ¼ gill Plymouth gin, ¼ gill French Vermouth

1930 – Savoy Cocktail Book

Martinez cocktail (6 people) – Pour into the shaker 3 glasses of gin, 3 of French vermouth, add a dessertspoonful of orange bitters and 2 of curacao or maraschino. Shake and serve with a cherry and a piece of lemon rind

1934 – 1700 Cocktails for the Man Behind the Bar

Martinez – 3 glasses Plymouth gin, 3 glasses French Vermouth, 1 dessertspoonful orange bitters, 2 dessertspoonful curacao or maraschino, serve with a cherry and a lemon rind

1934 – Official Mixer’s Manual, Patrick Gavin Duffy

Same recipe as 1700 Cocktails for the Man Behind the Bar

1935 – Old Mr. Boston

Martinez cocktail – ½ dry gin, ½ French vermouth, 1 dash orange bitters, 1 dash curacao

1946 – Trader Vic – Bartender’s Guide

¾ oz gin, ¾ oz French vermouth, ½ tsp orange bitters, ½ tsp curacao

 

So there we have it, 10 recipes for the Martinez spanning from 1884 to 1946, with the majority specifying dry vermouth. It's generally accepted that the gin changes through the ages as Old Tom becomes less popular and gives way to London Dry and in some cases even Plymouth. Most of the recipes offer the choice of either maraschino or curacao, and many call for orange bitters too. Yet we have the modern Martinez that is at odds with many of these early recipes, but resembles the version included by an anonymous editor of Jerry Thomas’ work, who added his recipe two years after the professors’ death.

I love a good Martinez and will gladly accept the current version of this drink whenever someone wishes to stir one for me. That being said I can’t wait to try all of the recipes above to see how they differ, but that’s a blog for another day. I hope to gather together many of those who contributed their research to this blog, so that we can compare these recipes to get a real sense of how the drink evolved. In the meantime I’ll make do with my own version of this drink… after all, as long as you combine roughly the right ingredients, you seem to be able to call anything a Martinez!

THE COMPRIMISED MARTINEZ

45ml Hammer & Son Old English Gin

45ml Noilly Ambre vermouth

1 dash curacao

1 dash maraschino

1 dash orange bitters

1 dash Boker’s bitters

Stir or shake (after all both methods have been used over the years), then strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with your choice from the following: a cherry, a lemon twist, a slice of lemon, or all three, it’s entirely up to you!

Please if you have more information or recipes for the Martinez, we’d love to hear from you and add it into the timeline of this ever evolving cocktail.

 

FURTHER READING - in reply to the question posed in the title of this article Adam Elmegirab has posted his thoughts and research regarding the intertwined nature of the Manhattan, Martinez and Martini here. an excellent read and definitely states the case for the camp who believe that the Martinez was a sweet vermouth drink from the outset!

 

also see this great chart based on the timeline above as created by Tristan Stephenson of Purl and Whistling Shop fame:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

Given the lack of consistency

Given the lack of consistency of what a Martinez is - it seems harder to conceive that it really was the evolutionary ancestor of the Martini.

well...

Hi David,

thanks for reading the blog.

I agree that the history is a bit inconsistant, but I think it’s clear that the one thing that sets the Martinez apart from the Martini is that even at it’s lowest ratio it is still much more vermouth led. That being said there’s no reason why they couldn’t have been the same drink known by similar but different names in their early days.

For me though I have started thinking of the Martinez as being closer to a gin Manhattan.

There’s certainly room for interpritation though

Cheers
 Dan

What is a Martini?

Great piece Dan!

The lines between the Martini and Martinez blur. What we now know as the Martini was very different to what I think was the first published recipe from 1891 (if there’s something earlier please let me know)

Wehmann’s Bartenders Guide (Henry J.Wehmann)

Martini Cocktail

(Use large bar glass)
Fill the glass with ice
2 or 3 dashes Gum Syrup
2 or 3 dashes Bitters
1 dash of Curacoa
1/2 wine glassful of old Tom Gin
1/2 wine glassful of vermouth

Stir well with a spoon, strain into cocktail glass, squeeze a piece of lemon peel on top, and serve”

Look familiar doesn’t it?

I personally don’t think there can be any doubt that the Martini, as we now know it, spawned from the Manhattan/Martinez and gained popularity for numerous reasons, namely the link with the brand (who likely named it) and the switch towards dried drinks. Also have to take into account that the Martini we know today is rarely called so, it’s likely called the Dry Martini. Which was the name switch that happened in 1906 (Louis’ Mixed Drinks).

I’m posting my expanded thoughts on my webpage at the moment…

Variations

Once again a great read and as always informative while stimulating further thought.
I was by chance working on a martinez variation tonight for a new menu. Having had the luck to work beside Adam on a couple of bars I based my drink on a martinez he once made for me with tequila instead of gin.
I opted for equal parts don julio reposado and dubonnet with b/s grand marnier and orange bitters and grapefruit bittes.
Turned out well balanced and enjoyed by all who tried it. However, dry vermouth had been playing on mind and after reading this post I’m itching to get back and test it out.
Is this still a martinez though? Or does this tequila version already exist under another name?

.... Did someone say tequila!?

Hi James

To the best of my knowledge (I love the disclaimer style wording we all use!) the first time these great liquids (tequila and vermouth) appear together in print is in Cafe Royal Cocktail Book (1937, William J Tarling) in the from of the following two libations, written as printed:

Matador
1/3 Orange Curaçao.
1/3 French Vermouth.
1/3 Tequila.
 Shake.

Sombrero
1/4 French Vermouth.
1/4 Italian Vermouth.
1/2 Tequila.
Squeeze lemon peel on top.
 Shake.

Tequila back then would have been Blanco, as ageing and carmel addition (gold) hadn’t began by then. It could have possibly been mixto, which came to prevalence in the 1930s, although many suggest early mixtos would have been around 80% agave, so not so much like todays 51% agave mixtos. Although this is the case, I’d say use whatever tequila you want, and feel free to use a dash of this or that, as times change, tastes change, trends change, ingredients change, and (however stubborn the history geek inside us all wants to be) cocktails evolve with them.

Martinez

This recipe of a Martinez by a book that i have 1st edition 1936 - How to mix drinks - Bill Edwards
States:
1 part Old Tom Gin
1 part french vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters per cocktail
squeeze a piece of lemon peel on top and Serve with an olive

Love it

Hi Dan

Again a fantastic article… Now sadly, I already wrote a post this morning but it appears my to have gone through. Which is irritating as it was quite lOng and from my iPhone. Nonetheless I shall repost and condense my twopence into a shorter post :D

There’s a few points which are worth considering. I can totally see why Mr Duff would use whiskey An for me it connects to an understanding of spirits of that era. Understanding ol Tom an Genever really chane the drink. The drink never made sense to my palate until I started exploring old toms and genevers and then suddenly it was like, woah, there’s the link. The heavy weight of Genever, especially in the 2:1 versions, can really stack up against the vermouth… In the same way that whiskey can. Old Tom has the potential too but it really depends on how it’s made. Old Tom is a bit of a catch all term and rather than being jut a kinda sweetened gin, they varied from the relatively clean versions made with column Distilledspirit and sugared for mouthfeel and depth and quite heavily spiced …to the more Genever like versions that were pot still versions where the base spirit was pot Distilled and more rich and, well whiskey-ish.

I understand that Genever at the time was of high profile and repute and so most certainly a cocktail spirit for the high brass drinking crowd… So working on assumptions an reading between the lines, this I where I end up. On that point, I think it’s difficult with this period because Mr JT left so many things unspecified and only as cocktail books progress and start trying to outdo each other do we start ending up with more specifics.

On the vermouth front, I’m fairly sure that the start of Noilly and it’s big push in the late 1800s wasresponsonle for helping push the drink in a particular direction and popularising the dry version.

I love to think of the big headed showman JT, looking down on us an relishing in the attention we give him.

Thanks for pushing the boundaries Dan and asking the right questions.

J

The wild nature of Martinez

During Copenhagen Spirits and Cocktails this year, Philip Duff presented a couple of Martinez during his seminar “Going Against the Grain: Crafting Spirits and Flavours Around Grain Distillates”. All of those were made of whiskey instead of gin. After the presentation I asked him why he made it with whiskey (and if you would still be able to call it a Martinez), to which he responded that the nature of the Martinez is wild and brutal and isn’t a specific recipe but more of a concept for a drink (Sorry if I misunderstood anything, Philip!). Doesn’t seem like he goes by the book on this one, but never the less his point seems legit - taken the many past recipes in consideration..

Anyway. The first recipe for a Martinez I’ve learned is a bit unlike those posted:

2 parts gin (no specific type)
1 part dry vermouth
1 part sweet vermouth
1 barspoon of maraschino
1-3 dashes of angostura
Garnish with lemon zest

nicely put

I love that description. Mr Duff always has a way with words

I agree that the Martinez is a concept, and my gut feeling is that it most likely started out as the gin version of the Manhattan, which means there is room to move in terms of ratios, balance and nuances. As for making it with whiskey, well a Manhattan by any other name still tastes great to me!

I like your recipe, I guess you’d have to call it a perfect Martinez if you follow the Manhattan theory!

A great article, thanks

A great article, thanks a lot.

I find it interesting that most bartenders you asked say they use a 2:1 in favour of sweet vermouth. I’ve been working on a Martinez post — not so much about the history, my aim is simply to find my “ideal” Martinez — and I have been asking bartenders in Spain and in France what recipe they use. Most of them go for the 2:1 in favour of gin (sometimes London Dry, sometimes Old Tom), a few go for 1:1. Of the people I asked, only one used 2:1 sweet vermouth ratio: Charles Vexenat, who worked for quite a while in London.
Maybe the prevalence of the sweet vermouth heavy version is due not only to Thomas’ book but also to Wondrich’s. I’d guess it has made less of an impact on Spanish (and French) bartenders, so they keep using the recipe that was most common in their country a while ago?

interesting

thanks for checking out the blog Francois

it’s very interesting to hear that a completely different recipe is prevelant in Spain and France, and it makes me wonder what the origin of this version is. Does it come from the simple fact that most cocktails these days are spirit led, so at some point the ratios were changed in favour of the gin, or is there a historical reason (recipes from non English/US cocktail books for example)?

The 2:1 ratio of gin to vermouth moves this much closer to many of the old recipes for a Sweet Martini or of course the Gin and It. But maybe on the continent, once the ratio had moved towards 1:1 in the 1930’s it continued to develop in a different direction to the way it moved in the US and UK?

thanks for commenting and for adding another question to the timeline of the Martinez
 D

2:1 Gin:Sweet Vermouth is

2:1 Gin:Sweet Vermouth is what I’ve always been told.

interesting

I’m starting to hear that a little more from bartenders, but mainly from those working in Europe, with UK bartenders mainly saying 2:1 vermouth to gin. I wonder when the gin heavy version started coming in and where it originated. I haven’t found a recipe printed in a book for that spec yet, but books aren’t by any means the only place where drinks develop

Cheers for reading the blog
 Dan

Well, “Joy of Mixology” has

Well, “Joy of Mixology” has it 2:1 gin…

I asked one of the bartenders

I asked one of the bartenders why he prefered the 2:1 gin version, and he said it was more suited to the modern palate, which I found quite weird because Madrid drinkers have a sweet tooth and vermouth is a typical drink here (you find it on tap in most traditional bars). Although to be fair, most punters would not ask a Martinez (Mojito and Caïpis are still the rage here, even in better bars) and the few cocktail enthusiasts prefer indeed spirits heavy drinks.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any classic spanish book around but I might just ask a cocktail book collector of mine who might have some stuff (although most of his collection is now used as decoration in one of the main bars here).

like it!!!

like it!!!

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