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Gin, check. Maraschino, check. Dry vermouth, check. Bitters, check.








Day 18, Cocktail 18

It’s hump day and it’s been cool, cloudy and generally cruddy here in Milwaukee for several days now.  So what better pick me up for the mid-week blahs than the grand daddy of them all, the one and only, the original martini, (drumroll please!), The Martinez!

The Martinez seems to have been around since the 1848 or so.  Various stories place it’s creation in the town of Martinez, outside of San Francisco, in Brooklyn by a bartender named Martinez and at nearly every point between.  What we do know is that the historical Martinez was made with Old Tom gin, Italian vermouth and a dash of maraschino liqueur.  Over the last several years I’ve come across numerous Martinez recipes.  Some purport to be as close to the original as possible while others are updates for the modern palate.  The Martinez that I mixed up for myself tonight is more along the lines of the historical recipe, although I still didn’t use nearly as much vermouth as some of the “classic” recipes call for.


  • 2 oz Plymouth gin
  • 1 oz Martini and Rossi dry vermouth
  • 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
  • 2 dashes Agnosturo bitters


Combine the ingredients in a shaker and shake until your hands grow numb from the cold (OK, not really, how about for about 20 seconds).  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with olives.

Every other recipe I’ve seen for the Martinez calls for a lemon twist, but I just have to have olives in my martini, or in this case, my Martinez.  At first the flavor of the vermouth was the overwhelmingly dominant taste.  However, as I’ve been sipping my way through this classic the flavor if the maraschino is starting to assert itself on the back end of a sip.  Overall, this has been an interesting flavor experience.  I don’t think I could make a regular habit of the Martinez, but as a change from my usual martini it’s pretty good.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!


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