Wednesday, October 15, 2008


1 1/2 oz Plymouth Gin
1 1/2 oz Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth
2 barspoons Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Twist lemon peel over drink.

Last night, I met Andrea at Green Street where she was attending the LUPEC Meet & Greet and I sat down for a drink. LUPEC put together a short menu of 4 cocktails (as a supplement to Green Street's extensive list): the Hearst, English Rose, Gin n' Sin, and the Martinez.

I asked Andy to make me a Martinez (the alleged predecessor of the modern Martini), and I was curious which recipe he would use. He used an equal parts one. This puts it as an intermediate recipe by comparing the gin to sweet vermouth ratios. The first Martinez I tasted was one at home from The Ultimate Bar Book which I have made with regular gin to decent success and with Genevers, Oude and Jonge, to great success. The recipe is a 4 to 1 as follows:

Martinez a la Mittie Hellmich
2 oz Old Tom Gin
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur
1 dash Orange Bitters

The older version is the Jerry Thomas one. I had one of these made with Old Tom Gin at Deep Ellum when Eric Seed was showcasing his new products. There Max Toste mixed with Hayman's Old Tom Gin and Dolin Sweet Vermouth. The recipe is a 1 to 2 as follows:

Martinez a la Jerry Thomas
2 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 oz Old Tom Gin
1 tsp Maraschino Liqueur
1 dash Boker's Bitters
Optional: 1/2 tsp Gum Syrup for extra sweetness
Garnish with a lemon wedge

This version highlighted the vermouth much more which worked rather well with the amazing Dolin Sweet Vermouth which was good enough to drink straight (which we did do!). One theory I read was that the gins of that time period were much stronger (cask proof) and needed to be diluted more to make a comparable drink to what we make with today's 80 proof gins.

I just find it interesting how the trend of drying out the Martinez as shown by these three recipes mirrors how Martinis have been dried out historically by decreasing the proportion of dry vermouth down to a dash if that on the driest end. Clearly, with a vermouth worthy of drinking on its own, either drink can work magnificently well with a larger proportion of vermouth.

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