The Gibson Cocktail is basically a classic gin Martini, with the only difference being the garnish. While the Martinis are garnished with either olives or a lemon twist, the Gibson Cocktail has pickled onion. Yes, you’re reading it right… Gin, dry vermouth, and pickled onion. It’s a unique cocktail, and it’s the garnish that makes the classic Martini, a Gibson.

There are a couple of stories about the origin of the cocktail, one of which points at Charles Dana Gibson. Apparently, he challenged Charley Connolly, who was a bartender at the Players Club in New York, to improve the classic Martini. In response, Connolly simply used onion as a garnish instead of olive or lemon and named it Gibson. Seems like a legit story, but another version claims otherwise. The cocktail didn’t originate in New York, but at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco in the 1890s, and the creator was a local business owner called Walter D.K. Gibson. Walter Gibson preferred his Martini stirred and made with Plymouth gin, and he also believed onions can prevent colds, hence the unusual garnish.
The first appearance of the Gibson in literature was in a cocktail book from 1908.
If you are a fan of the Martini, you should definitely try this one. You might even like it more. 😉

Always use premium gin and vermouth as you would with the classic gin martini.

Garnish with 1 or 3 small onions. An even number is bad luck, according to an old bar superstition. 😉



  1. 2 Ounces (60 ml) of gin.
  2. ½ Ounce (15 ml) of dry vermouth.
  3. Pickled onion as garnish.



  1. In a mixing glass, add gin, dry vermouth, and ice, and stir until chilled.
  2. Strain into a chilled Martini glass and garnish.
  3. Enjoy.

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