Martinez is an old-school cocktail that inspired some of our favorite classics. Equal parts gin and sweet vermouth with maraschino liqueur and a dash of bitters, it’s half Martini, half Manhattan. The rich flavor from the herbal vermouth and the cherry notes of the Maraschino liqueur make this cocktail truly an amazing drink.
History of the Martinez cocktail:
It’s unclear who exactly came up with this cocktail, but there are a couple of stories. One suggests bartender and author Jerry Thomas created the drink at the Occidental Hotel, possibly for a customer traveling to the city of Martinez. And another story claims, a local bartender named Richelieu who worked at a saloon in Martinez, California, created the cocktail. Unfortunately, we can’t say for sure which one is true.
In 1884 the Martinez appeared in a book called “The Modern Bartender’s Guide” by O.H. Byron, where the cocktail was described as “Same as Manhattan, only you substitute gin for whisky.” That sounds about right…
Later in 1887, the cocktail appeared again, but this time in Thomas’ “The Bar-Tender’s Guide”, where the recipe called for Old Tom Gin, vermouth, two dashes of Maraschino, and a dash of Boker’s Bitters with ice, and a slice of lemon for garnish. Through the years Martinez took some experimenting with. Ingredients got substituted, and new ones were added. For example, dry vermouth instead of sweet, or adding curacao to the drink, but Thomas’s recipe is closest to the Martinez we of today.
On the list of IBA Official Cocktails.
- 1 ½ Ounce (45 ml) of gin.
- 1 ½ Ounce (45 ml) of sweet red vermouth.
- ½ Ounce (15 ml) Maraschino liqueur.
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters.
- Orange twist for garnish.
- Add all ingredients to a mixing glass. (gin, vermouth, Maraschino liqueur and bitters).
- Fill with ice and stir well.
- Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
- Garnish with an orange twist.