There are drinks that simply scream sophistication, and gin and vermouth certainly helps to create that aura. The Martinez is one of those drinks. Believe it or not, it is a predecessor to the gin martini, which makes it a sort of antique drink at this point that many bartenders and veteran drinkers are aware of, even if they aren’t ordered much by the young adult crowd these days.
The drink actually uses sweet vermouth over dry vermouth, which is a rare ingredient in cocktails, and helps to give the drink a little more sweetness than many cocktails that have been around for decades. In fact, many people actually credit the Martinez with essentially being the “father” of the martini, which essentially makes it a cocktail responsible for one of the most popular drinks of all time.
- 2 ounces of gin
- ¾ ounce of sweet vermouth
- ¼ ounce of maraschino liqueur
- Dash of angostura bitters
- Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice.
- Stir well.
- Strain into a chilled martini glass.
- Martini glass
- Stirring spoon
Interestingly enough, Jerry Thomas called for less liquor in his original recipe, which dates back to the late 1800s. Specifically, his recipe calls for two parts vermouth to every part of gin, which would make the drink a much less powerful cocktail. However, the current recipe is the one most used. Many people choose Old Tom Gin for a real Martinez, as this gin is in the original recipe of many classic cocktails.
There are those that are not the biggest fan of sweet vermouth, and might replace it with dry vermouth. For those who are not big vermouth drinkers, two other logical choices are Cointreau and triple sec. Cocktail origins are often very difficult to trace, however, it is common knowledge by cocktail experts that if the drink is not the forefather of the martini, it certainly was around before it.