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The History of the Martini

Thursday, February 4 2016 3:27 PM

The Martini is perhaps not the oldest, but certainly the most commonly known cocktail.  The most original form of this cocktail is believed to be the "Martinez", consisting of sweet vermouth, Old Tom gin, Luxardo Maraschino Cherry Liqueur, and Angostura bitters. 

Our modern Martini was originally a 2 to 1 ratio of gin and vermouth. A dry martini simply was made with dry vermouth, becoming very popular in the "Roaring Twenties." These cocktails, like many of this time, were garnished with a single olive, a lemon twist, or in some cases a cherry.  The garnishes were not a part of the cocktail recipe or designed to be a snack, but derived in order to cleanse the pallet as alcohol was not made to the high standards it is today.

Over the last 150 years, we have seen the progression that the Martini has taken. As the years have gone by, the amount of vermouth has dropped and garnishes have grown bigger. In the late 1960's, vodka became popular in the Martini. With the help of a certain famous spy, drinking your Martini "shaken" (commonly known as a Bradford), instead of being stirred, took on a large following. From the original recipe to the chocolate-chi-tini, ordering a Martini is always a classic choice.

Things to remember when ordering a Martini:

1) Martinis are still a gin drink, so if you prefer yours with Vodka, let the bartender know you would like a "Vodka Martini."
2) If you order your Martini "dry," it will have Dry Vermouth in it.
3) Martinis have Vermouth.  If you don't want vermouth in your Martini, then you will want to order your Martini "Clean."
4) Good bartenders will make your Martini the correct way, by stirring it.  So if you are looking for a "Shaken Martini" make sure you ask for it.

Next: 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Gin

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