A Class Act: Martini, the Ultimate Classic Cocktail I t’s been a symbol of refinement in the bar world since the early 20th century. Dis...
A Class Act: Martini, the Ultimate Classic Cocktail
It’s been a symbol of refinement in the bar world since the early 20th century. Distinguished and distinctive, there’s nothing else quite like an original martini. Crisp gin, vermouth and either a green olive or a twist of lemon garnish this cocktail, always served in a V-shaped glass, which is now commonly referred to as the martini glass.
And while it is commonly squabbled about in regards to the origins of this libation, one thing is for sure, the martini is not a common cocktail in the sense of something ordinary and boring. After all, would James Bond favor something that wasn’t of his caliber? We think not.
While no one is entirely sure of the origin of the martini, many people believe the theory that an Italian vermouth maker began promoting his product with the brand name of Martini back in 1863. But a more common theory is that the martini was merely a spinoff of another cocktail named the Martinez that was served in the 1860s at San Francisco’s Occidental Hotel. This theory branches off even further, with some people believing that a bartender in Martinez, a nearby town frequented by evening ferry from the Occidental hotel, was the original creator.
It was around 1922 that the martini as we’ve come to know it was really solidified with a recipe that included London dry gin along with dry vermouth at a ratio of 2 to 1. In a mixing glass with ice cubes, it is stirred and then strained into its chilled martini glass, though some people, like 007, prefer it shaken. It should be noted though that the ratio has strengthened over time, favoring a higher pour of gin.
While you can’t go wrong with a martini, there are other variations you can try that are also sultry and sophisticated like the original. For example, a dirty martini employs the use of olive juice. A perfect martini incorporates equal parts of both sweet and dry vermouth.
In the 1990s, bartenders everywhere began trying to concoct new cocktails that would hopefully catch on like the martini. Hence, there was a surge in cocktails that ended with “-tini.” Famously, we can recall Stanford Blatch of Sex and the City giving Carrie Bradshaw the new appeltini. And there are dozens of other incarnations of “-tini” drinks like the chocolate martini, the sour apple martini, and the espresso martini, to name a few. The difference is these new martini versions use vodka instead of gin and have nothing else in common with the classic cocktail.
Do you like drinking martinis? How do you like yours?