Martinez Cocktail History and Recipe

The traditional Martinez is a great drink and has a significant influence on the cocktail world in its own way. The preparation of an older variety of sweetened and occasionally barrel-aged gin leaves it as a Martini with sweet vermouth (or a Manhattan with gin).

The Martinez is a worthy addition to any tabletop. The deep and herbaceous tones of the angostura bitters and the other delicious ingredients in this orchestra of flavors are well complemented by Hendrick’s gin. The Martinez is a more traditional drink because it was the Martini’s forerunner.

The first Martinis, and later the Dry Martini as we know it today, was derived from the vintage Manhattan, which contains equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and bitters.

What Is a Martinez Cocktail?

The Martinez is a well-known classic cocktail frequently cited as Martini’s immediate precursor. Numerous variations of the original exist, and it serves as the foundation for multiple contemporary drinks. Adding either Maraschino or Curacao, as well as variations in gin or bitters, helps to distinguish these.

The gin and vermouth mix gets a touch of sweetness in the Martinez. It substitutes sweet vermouth for dry and adds only a smidge of maraschino liqueur, producing a smooth and energizing beverage suitable for any time of day.

Many frequently hail Martinez as having inspired both the martini and the dry martini. It was initially made with either old tom gin or Dutch jenever. The Martinez was traditionally made with London Dry Gin for many years, but juniper-based spirits can take its place due to its dominance.

After being revived and excavated by the forces that sparked the current cocktail revolution, modern bartenders include it in their traditional cocktail lexicon as a special cocktail from the Martini. 

Martinez Cocktail History

Uncertainty surrounds the Martinez cocktail’s true ancestry. Two early accounts credit Jerry Thomas, a bartender at the Occidental Hotel, or Richelieu, a bartender at a saloon in Martinez, California, with creating the beverage known as the Martinez. 

Although the 1887 version of Thomas’ The Bar-Guide Tender does contain a recipe for the Martinez, both accounts are difficult to confirm because records of beverages from the era are either absent or insufficient. Bartenders mix Old Tom’s gin pony with vermouth, maraschino, Boker’s Bitters, and ice in this drink.

A recipe for a cocktail named the Martinez featured in an 1884 drink book by O.H. Byron published only a few years earlier with the simple instructions: “Same as Manhattan, only you swap the gin for whisky.” One of the two recipes in the book for a Manhattan each called for two dashes of curaçao, Angostura bitters, half a wine glass of whisky, and half a wineglass of Italian vermouth.

The cocktail may have been spelled mistakenly as the “Martine” in the new and improved illustrated bartender’s manual, a later 1888 book by Harry Johnson. The alcoholic beverages continued to change over time regarding their ingredients and terminology, ultimately becoming recognized as two distinct cocktails; the Martinez and the Martini.

Martinez Cocktail Recipe

With appropriate preparation, the Martinez is the ideal cocktail. The maraschino uplifts each sip while the gin’s spice flavors dance on the sweet vermouth. Even when you have a lousy one (and you will), you’ll want to try a Martinez again since it is so memorable.

The Martinez cocktail may have foreshadowed the Martini, but today’s palate sees them as entirely different cocktails. The Martinez differs from the current martini in two ways simply because it begins with an equal mixture of gin and sweet vermouth and with an added teaspoon of orange or Angostura bitters and maraschino liqueur.

This traditional cocktail benefits from the use of Old Tom gin. With its maltiness derived from distilling malted barley, Ransom Old Tom from Oregon pairs well with sweet vermouth.

If you can’t obtain Ransom, Eric Seed imports Hayman’s Old Tom from England under the Haus Alpenz brand. A portfolio from Alpenz is currently accessible in 40 states and the District of Columbia.

The Martinez should unquestionably be a regular cocktail repertoire if you enjoy stirred, alcoholic beverages. The Martinez may become one of your favorite traditional drinks if you’re an expert in standard drinks. Despite being related to the Martini, it is one of the best conventional cocktails.

Arthur’s Tavern draws enthusiasts of all ages. With its impressive collection of rarities, from Martinez cocktails to the best tequila cocktails, it’s a place that attracts connoisseurs of all ages.