“A Martini…shaken, not stirred.” Ah, is there anymore classic of a line that James Bond ordering a martini? I remember even as a kid I knew that line, even though I had no idea what it meant. That goes to show you just how iconic the Martini has been in the world of drinks. There aren’t many drinks that can compare to the diversity and popularity of the martini.
A Brief History Of The Martini
There is no clear origin of the martini but there are several widely believed theories. In 1863, an Italian vermouth maker started marketing their product under the brand name of Martini, after its director Alessandro Martini, and the brand name may be the source of the cocktail’s name.
There is another popular theory suggests it evolved from a cocktail called the Martinez served sometime in the early 1860s at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco. This was where many spent time before taking an evening ferry to the nearby town of Martinez, California. Alternatively, the people of Martinez say a bartender in their town created the drink, or maybe the drink was named after the town. Indeed, a “Martinez Cocktail” was first described in Jerry Thomas’ 1887 edition of his Bartender’s Guide, How to Mix All Kinds of Plain and Fancy Drinks.
- Take 1 dash of Boker’s bitters
- 2 dashes of Maraschino
- 1 pony [1 fl oz] of Old Tom gin
- 1 wine-glass [2 fl oz] of [sweet/Italian] vermouth
- 2 small lumps of ice
Shake up thoroughly, and strain into a large cocktail glass. Put a quarter of a slice of lemon in the glass, and serve. If the guest prefers it very sweet, add two dashes of gum syrup.
There are several kinds of Martini that have come about. These are the main three:
A dry martini is made with dry, white vermouth and quickly became a common drink order. Over the course of the 20th century, the amount of vermouth steadily dropped. During the 1930s the ratio was 3:1 (gin to vermouth), and during the 1940s the ratio was 4:1. During the latter part of the 20th century, 6:1, 8:1, 12:1 or even 50:1 or 100:1 Martinis became considered the norm.
A dirty martini contains a splash of olive brine or olive juice and is typically garnished with an olive.
A perfect martini uses equal amounts of sweet and dry vermouth.
According to wikipedia, “During Prohibition in the United States, during the mid-20th century, the relative ease of illegal gin manufacture led to the martini’s rise as the locally predominant cocktail. With the repeal of Prohibition, and the ready availability of quality gin, the drink became progressively drier. In the 1970s and ’80s, the martini came to be seen as old-fashioned and was replaced by more intricate cocktails and wine spritzers, but the mid-1990s saw a resurgence in the drink and numerous new versions”.
In recent years it has become popular to invent new kinds of martinis or to add the suffix “-tini” in the name of the drink like appletini, peach martini, chocolate martini, Espresso Martini, etc,. They get their name because they are served in a martini cocktail glass. Generally containing vodka, they share little in common with the martini.
WHITE COSMOPOLITAN MARTINI
- 2 oz vodka
- 1 orchid or other edible flower as garnish
- 1 oz. white cranberry juice
- 1 oz lime juice
- 1 oz St Germain elderflower liqueur
Shake all ingredients together with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish an ice ball with an orchid or other edible flower frozen in its center.
- 1 oz Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin
- 2 oz Fino Sherry
- 1 dash celery bitters
Stir ingredients with ice. Strain into a Nick and Nora glass. Garnish with an olive.
THE PORCHLIGHT GIBSON
- 2 oz Plymouth Gin
- .75 oz Dry Vermouth
- .25 oz Onion Brine
- 4 drops Saline Solution
- Onions (Porchlight spikes them using a sherry vinegar brine with basil, thyme, allspice, lemon peel, black pepper, mustard seed, and sugar)
Build the ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice until properly chilled. Strain into a cocktail coupe and garnish with a cocktail onion.
- 1 dash cucumber bitters
- .5 tsp Saler’s Gentiane
- 1 tsp Yellow Chartreuse
- 1 tsp kaffir simple syrup
- .75 oz Dolin Blanc vermouth
- 1.5 oz honeydew melon and cucumber-infused Botanist Gin
Stir ingredients with ice and strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with a lemon twist.
- 1.5 oz Grey Goose Vodka
- 1 oz single-origin espresso
- .75 oz premium coffee liqueur
- 1 pinch salt
Add all ingredients together into a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with salted dark chocolate powder.
Martinis From Around The Globe
Limoncello Martini (Italy 🇮🇹)
- 1½ oz Citron Vodka
- 1½ oz Limoncello
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp simple syrup
- Cut lemon to rim glass
- Sugar, for rimming
- Thin lemon slice, for garnish glass
Moisten the rim of the cocktail glass with a cut lemon and then dip rim in sugar.
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice and add vodka, limoncello, lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake well and strain into prepared glass.
French Martini 🇫🇷
- 1 ½ parts elit Vodka
- ½ parts Chambord Liqueur
- 2 parts pineapple juice
Pour the vodka, Chambord, and pineapple juice in a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a raspberry or lemon twist if desired.
White Russian Martini 🇷🇺
- 2 shots vodka
- 1 shot Kahlua
- ½ shot half and half
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into chilled martini glass. Cheers!
English Martini 🇬🇧
- 2 ½ oz. Dry Gin
- 1 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
- 1 Fresh Rosemary Sprig
Strip Rosemary Leaves and muddle in bottom of the martini glass. Add other ingredients, shake with ice, and strain into a chilled glass.
Caribbean Martini 🍹
- 2 1⁄2 ounces pineapple juice
- 1 ounce coconut rum
- 1 ounce vanilla vodka
- 1⁄2 ounce grenadine
- orange wedge, for garnish
To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add pineapple juice, coconut rum, vanilla vodka, and grenadine; shake vigorously.
Don’t Forget The Glasses!
One distinct feature about a martini is the glass that it comes in when ordered. Although it is not always served in the same glass, most variations are. A cocktail glass, or also known as a “martini” glass is the best way to serve these drinks. You can check out some new drinkware here on Amazon. They are distinctive in their cone shape that leads to a wide opening at the top. Perfect for garnishing your drinks or rimming it with salt, sugar, or any other number of things you can think of to use. And if you are ordering a dirty martini with an olive, don’t forget the cocktail pick. You can check them out here on Amazon. So drink up, have fun, and get a DD for crying out loud. Uber drivers counts as DD’s too ya know. Cheers!