Drinks

The Martini Cocktail: Deconstructing a Classic. Part 5: The Martini Cocktail

How does the Martini Cocktail relate to the Manhattan Cocktail and the Martinez Cocktail? There are many different opinions about this. Some say that the Martinez Cocktail is the grandfather of the Martini Cocktail, others see both as siblings. There is plenty of room for discussion. But what conclusions can be drawn from studying the recipe collections from the times before Prohibition?

Due to its size, this paper on the Martini Cocktail will be published in several parts, as follows:

Before we draw any conclusions, let’s first look at the different styles of the Martini Cocktail separately.

Sweet Plain Martini Cocktail

[1900 Johnson: The New and Improved Illustrated Bartenders‘ Manual]
1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] vermouth / 1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] Old Tom Gin / 2-3 d Boker‘s bitters / 2-3 d sugar syrup. Garnish: lemon zest, optional cherry or olive. (Martini Cocktail)

[1904 Applegreen: Applegreen’s Barkeeper’s Guide]
1/2 jigger [30 ml] Italian vermouth / 1/2 jigger [30 ml] Old Tom Gin / 2 d orange bitters / 1 d sugar syrup / lemon zest (stirred). (Martini Cocktail)

[1913 Montague: The Up-To-Date Bartenders‘ Guide] *
1/2 jigger [30 ml] vermouth / 1/2 jigger [30 ml] gin / 1 d Angostura bitters / 2 d sugar syrup / lemon zest (stirred).

[1917 Ensslin: Recipes for Mixed Drinks]
1/3 [20 ml] Italian vermouth / 2/3 [40 ml] Old Tom Gin / 1 d orange bitters / 2 d sugar syrup. (Sweet Martini Cocktail)

Conclusion: A Sweet Plain Martini cocktail is made from Italian vermouth and gin. Old Tom gin is predominantly used, sometimes also a dry gin. Mostly vermouth and gin are in equal proportions, sometimes the gin portion is doubled. Sugar syrup and bitters are also added. Orange bitters are used very often, sometimes also Boker’s bitters or Angostura bitters. Very often, a lemon zest is stirred in. The garnish is mainly lemon zest, cherry or olive.

Sweet Plain Martini Cocktail = Italian vermouth + Old Tom Gin, Dry Gin + bitters + sugar syrup (+ stirred lemon zest) (+ garnish: lemon zest, cherry, olive)

Sweet Fancy Martini Cocktail

The first illustration of a Martini Cocktail from Harry Johnson's book "New and Improved Illustrated Bartender's Manual" from 1888.
The first illustration of a Martini Cocktail from Harry Johnson’s book “New and Improved Illustrated Bartender’s Manual” from 1888.

[1888 Johnson: New and Improved Illustrated Bartender’s Manual]
1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] vermouth / 1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] Old Tom Gin / 2-3 d Boker‘s bitters / 2-3 d sugar syrup / 1 d curaçao. Garnish: lemon zest. (Martini Cocktail)

[1900 Johnson: The New and Improved Illustrated Bartenders‘ Manual]
1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] vermouth / 1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] Old Tom Gin / 2-3 d Boker‘s bitters / 2-3 d sugar syrup / 1 d curaçao or absinthe. Garnish: lemon zest, optional cherry or olive. (Martini Cocktail)

[1911 Washburne: Beverages De Luxe]
1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] vermouth / 1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] Old Tom Gin / 2-3 d bitters / 2-3 d sugar syrup / 1 d curaçao or optional absinthe. Garnish: lemon zest. Cherry or optional olive. (Martini Cocktail)

[1912 Mahoney: The Hoffman House Bartender’s Guide]
1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] vermouth / 1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] Old Tom Gin / 2-3 d bitters / 2 d sugar syrup / 1 d curaçao or optional absinthe. Garnish: lemon zest. Cherry or olive. (Martini Cocktail)

[1912 Mahoney: The Hoffman House Bartender’s Guide]
1 small jigger [30 ml] Italian vermouth / 1 small jigger [30 ml] Gordon Gin / 2 d sugar syrup / 4 d curaçao, 2 d maraschino. Garnish: orange zest. (Southern Club Martini Cocktail)

[1912 Anonymus: Wehman Bros.‘ Bartenders‘ Guide]*
1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] vermouth / 1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] gin / 1-2 d bitters / 2-3 d sugar syrup / 1 d curaçao or optional absinthe. Garnish: lemon zest. (Martini Cocktail)

Conclusion: A Sweet Fancy Martini cocktail is made with equal parts of Italian vermouth and gin. Old Tom gin is predominantly used, frequently also dry gin. Sugar syrup is also added. Bitters are predominantly added, frequently Boker’s Bitters are called for, but very often they are not specified. Curaçao makes the drink fancy. Absinthe can also be used as an alternative, Maraschino is only used occasionally. The drink is usually garnished with a lemon zest, very often with a cherry or olive, occasionally with an orange zest.

Sweet Fancy Martini Cocktail = Italian vermouth + Old Tom Gin, Dry Gin (+ bitters) + sugar syrup + curaçao, absinthe + garnish: lemon zest, cherry, olive

Dry Plain Martini Cocktail

[1895 Kappeler: Modern American Drinks]
1/2 jigger [30 ml ] Italian vermouth/ 1/2 jigger [30 ml] Old Tom Gin / 3 d orange bitters / 1 lemon zest (stirred). Garnish: optional cherry (Martini Cocktail)

[1898 Anonymus: Before & After Dinner Beverages]
1 jigger [60 ml] vermouth / 1 pony [30 ml] Old Tom Gin / 1 d Boker’s or orange bitters. Garnish: lemon zest. (Martini Cocktail)

[1898 Anonymus: Cocktails]
1/2 jigger [30 ml] Italian vermouth / 1/2 jigger [30 ml] Old Tom Gin / 3 d orange bitters. Garnish: lemon zest. (Martini Cocktail No. 1)

[1903 Daly: Daly’s Bartender’s Encyclopedia]
1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] vermouth / 1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] Old Tom Gin / 2 d orange bitters. Garnish: olive. (Martini Cocktail)

[1904 Applegreen: Applegreen’s Barkeeper’s Guide]
1/2 jigger [30 ml] Italian vermouth / 1/2 jigger [30 ml] Old Tom Gin / 2 d orange bitters / lemon zest (stirred). (Dry Martini Cocktail)

[1904 Newman: American-Bar]
[30 ml] Turin vermouth / [30 ml] gin / 3 d Angostura or orange bitters. Garnish: lemon zest. Cherry or olive. (Martini Cocktail)

[1905 Anonymus: The Gorham Cocktail Book]
1/2 jigger [30 ml] Italian vermouth / 1/2 jigger [30 ml] Old Tom Gin / 3 d orange bitters / lemon zest (stirred). (Martini Cocktail No. 1)

[1907 Newman: American-Bar]
[30 ml] Turin vermouth (Martini & Rossi) / [30 ml] gin / 3 d Angostura or orange bitters. Garnish: lemon zest. Cherry or olive. (Martini Cocktail)

[1909 Seutter: Der Mixologist]
1/2 cocktail glass [30 ml] Italian vermouth / 1/2 cocktail glass [30 ml] Old Tom Gin / 2 d orange bitters. Garnish: lemon zest, cherry. (Martini Cocktail)

[1910 Grohusko: Jack’s Manual]
50% [30 ml] Italian vermouth / 50% [30 ml] Dry Gin / 1 d orange bitters. (Martini Cocktail)

[1911 Doménech: El Arte del Cocktelero Europeo]
4 tablespoons [60 ml] Turin vermouth / 4 tablespoons [60 ml] Gin / 5 drops Angostura bitters. (Martini Cocktail)

[1912 Boothby: The World’s Drinks and How to Mix Them]
1/2 jigger [30 ml] Martini & Rossi Italian vermouth / 1/2 jigger [30 ml] Old Tom Cordial Gin / 2 d orange bitters. Garnish: cherry, lemon zest. (Martini Cocktail)

[1912 E.J.M.: The Great American Cocktail]
1/3 jigger [20 ml] M.&R. vermouth / 2/3 jigger [40 ml] Gallatin Tom Gin / 2 d orange bitters. Garnish: lemon zest. (Martini Cocktail)

[1913 Straub: A Complete Manual of Mixed Drinks For All Occasions]
1/3 jigger [20 ml] Martini & Rossi Italian vermouth / 2/3 jigger [40 ml] Gin / 1 d orange bitters. (Martini Cocktail)

[1914 Mahoney: New Bartender’s Guide]
1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] vermouth / 1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] Old Tom Gin / 2 d Angostura bitters, 6 d orange bitters. (Martini Cocktail)

[1914 Straub: Drinks]
1/3 jigger [20 ml] Italian vermouth / 2/3 jigger [40 ml] gin / 1 d orange bitters. (Martini Cocktail)

[1916 Grohusko: Jack’s Manual]
50% [30 ml] M.&R. Italian vermouth / 50% [30 ml] Gordon Dry Gin / 1 d orange bitters. (Martini Cocktail)

Conclusion: A Dry Plain Martini consists of Italian vermouth and gin, very often using Old Tom Gin, frequently a Dry Gin. Mostly both are in the same proportion, occasionally (in younger recipes) the gin portion is doubled. Bitters are added, predominantly orange bitters, frequently also Angostura bitters. Occasionally, a lemon zest is stirred in. The main garnish is very often a lemon zest, often a cherry, rarely an olive.

Dry Plain Martini Cocktail = Italian vermouth + Old Tom Gin, Dry Gin + bitters (+ garnish: lemon zest, cherry, olive)

Dry Fancy Martini Cocktail

[1896 Fouquet: Bariana]
[30 ml] Turin vermouth / [30 ml] gin / 4 d orange bitters / 2 d absinthe, 3 d curaçao, 3 d crème de noyaux. Garnish: lemon zest. (Martini Cocktail)

[1898 Haywood: Mixology]
1/3 jigger [20 ml] vermouth / 2/3 jigger [40 ml] Old Tom Gin / 1 d orange bitters / 1 d curaçao. Garnish: lemon zest and cherry. (Martini Cocktail)

[1898 Anonymus: Cocktails]
1/2 jigger [30 ml] Italian vermouth / 1/2 jigger [30 ml] Old Tom Gin / 2 d Boker’s bitters / 1/2 teaspoon [2,5 ml] sherry. Garnish: lemon zest. (Martini Cocktail No. 2)

[1900 Newman: American-Bar]
[30 ml] vermouth / [30 ml] Gin / 3 d Angostura or orange bitters / 2 d curaçao. (Martini Cocktail)

[1905 Anonymus: The Gorham Cocktail Book]
1/2 jigger [30 ml] Italian vermouth / 1/2 jigger [30 ml] Old Tom Gin / 2 d Boker‘s bitters / 0,5 teaspoon [2,5 ml] sherry / lemon zest (stirred).(Martini Cocktail No. 2)

[1906 Muckensturm: Louis‘ Mixed Drinks]
1 liqueur-glass [30 ml] Italian vermouth / 2 liqueur-glasses [60 ml] Old Tom Gin / 2 d orange bitters, 1 d Angostura bitters / 1 d maraschino.(Martini Cocktail)

[1910 Grohusko: Jack’s Manual]
50% [30 ml] Italian vermouth / 50% [30 ml] Dry Gin / 1 d orange bitters / 1 d maraschino. (Improved Martini Cocktail)

[1913 Schönfeld & Leybold: Lexikon der Getränke]
1/3 bottle French vermouth / 2/3 bottles Old Tom Gin / 1 liqueur glass orange bitters/ 1/2 liqueur glass maraschino. Bottle. (Martini Cocktail II)

[1913 Straub: A Complete Manual of Mixed Drinks]
1/3 jigger [20 ml] Martini & Rossi Italian vermouth / 2/3 jigger [40 ml] gin / 1 d orange bitters / 2 d maraschino. (Improved Martini Cocktail)

[1914 Straub: Drinks]
1/3 jigger [20 ml] Italian vermouth / 2/3 jigger [40 ml] gin / 1 d orange bitters / 2 d maraschino. (Improved Martini Cocktail)

[1916 Grohusko: Jack’s Manual]
50% [30 ml] M.&R. Italian vermouth / 50% [30 ml] Gordon Dry Gin / 1 d orange bitters / 1 d maraschino. (Improved Martini Cocktail)

Conclusion: A Dry Fancy Martini consists of Italian vermouth and gin, either Old Tom Gin or Dry Gin, with the Dry Gin being slightly preferred, especially in younger recipes. Very often both spirits are in equal proportions, but very often with a doubled proportion of gin. Bitters are added, predominantly Orange Bitters (especially in younger recipes), sometimes Angostura Bitters or Boker’s Bitters. The drink is very often fancied up with maraschino, often with curaçao, sometimes with sherry, very rarely with absinthe. Very rarely, a lemon zest is stirred in. The garnish is only used in older recipes, often with lemon zest, very rarely with cherry.

Dry Fancy Martini Cocktail = Italian vermouth + Dry Gin, Old Tom Gin + bitters + maraschino, curaçao, sherry (+ garnish: lemon zest)

Extra Dry Plain Martini Cocktail

[1904 Newman: American-Bar]
[30 ml] dry vermouth / [30 ml] gin / 3 d Angostura or orange bitters. Garnish: lemon zest. Cherry or olive. (Dry Martini Cocktail)

[1907 Newman: American-Bar]
[30 ml] Martini & Rossi dry vermouth / [30 ml] gin / 3 d Angostura or orange bitters. Garnish: lemon zest. Cherry or olive. (Dry Martini Cocktail)

[1909 Seutter: Der Mixologist]
1/2 cocktail glass [30 ml] French vermouth / 1/2 cocktail glass [30 ml] Old Tom Gin / 2 d orange bitters. Garnish: lemon zest, olive. (Dry Martini Cocktail)

[1910 Grohusko: Jack’s Manual]
50% [30 ml] French vermouth / 50% [30 ml] Dry Gin. (Dry Martini Cocktail)

[1912 Boothby: The World’s Drinks]
1/2 jigger [30 ml] French vermouth / 1/2 jigger [30 ml] Dry Gin / 2 d orange bitters. Garnish: lemon zest, olive.(Dry Martini Cocktail)

[1912 E.J.M.: The Great American Cocktail]
1/2 jigger [30 ml] French vermouth / 1/2 jigger [30 ml] Gallatin Dry Gin. (Very Dry Martini Cocktail)

[1913 Schönfeld & Leybold: Lexikon der Getränke]
1/2 cocktail glass [30 ml] French vermouth / 1/2 cocktail glass [30 ml] Gordon Dry Gin / 3 d orange bitters. Garnish: lemon zest, olive. (Martini Cocktail I)

[1913 Straub: A Complete Manual of Mixed Drinks]
1/3 jigger [20 ml] French vermouth / 2/3 jigger [40 ml] Booth’s High and Dry Gin. (Dry Martini Cocktail)

[1914 Straub: Drinks]
1/3 jigger [20 ml] French vermouth / 2/3 jigger [30 ml] Dry Gin. (Dry Martini Cocktail)

[1916 Grohusko: Jack’s Manual]
50% [30 ml] French vermouth / 50% [30 ml] Gordon Dry Gin. (Dry Martini Cocktail)

[1917 Ensslin: Recipes for Mixed Drinks]
1/3 [20 ml] French vermouth / 2/3 [40 ml] Dry Gin / 1 d orange bitters. Garnish: olive. (Dry Martini Cocktail)

Conclusion: An Extra Dry Plain Martini consists of French vermouth and gin. Dry gin is used predominantly, Old Tom gin only very rarely. Bitters are used predominantly, very often Orange Bitters, sometimes Angostura Bitters. Very often garnishes are used, very often with olive or lemon zest, sometimes with cherry.

Extra Dry Plain Martini Cocktail = French vermouth + dry gin (+ bitters) (+ garnish: olive, lemon zest, cherry)

Extra Dry Fancy Martini Cocktail

[1906 Muckensturm: Louis‘ Mixed Drinks]
1 liqueur-glass [30 ml] French vermouth / 2 liqueur-glasses [60 ml] dry gin / 2 d orange bitters / 1 d curaçao. Garnish: lemon zest.

Conclusion: An Extra Dry Fancy Martini consists of French vermouth, twice the amount of dry gin and orange bitters. The use of curaçao makes it fancy. It is garnished with lemon zest.

Extra Dry Fancy Martini Cocktail = French vermouth + dry gin + bitter + curaçao + garnish: lemon zest

Summary

We have found:

Sweet Plain Martini Cocktail

Italian vermouth + Old Tom Gin, Dry Gin + bitters + sugar syrup (+ stirred lemon zest) (+ garnish: lemon zest, cherry, olive)

Sweet Fancy Martini Cocktail

Italian vermouth + Old Tom Gin, Dry Gin (+ bitters) + sugar syrup + curaçao, absinthe + garnish: lemon zest, cherry, olive

Dry Plain Martini Cocktail

Italian vermouth + Old Tom Gin, Dry Gin + bitters (+ garnish: lemon zest, cherry, olive)

Dry Fancy Martini Cocktail

Italian vermouth + Dry Gin, Old Tom Gin + bitters + maraschino, curaçao, sherry (+ garnish: lemon zest, cherry)

Extra Dry Plain Martini Cocktail

French vermouth + Dry Gin (+ bitters) (+ garnish: olive, lemon zest, cherry)

Extra Dry Fancy Martini Cocktail

French vermouth + Dry Gin + bitter + curaçao + garnish: lemon zest

Looking at all the recipes together, we can generally conclude: A Martini Cocktail consists of vermouth and gin. Italian vermouth is predominantly used, sometimes French. The gin used is very often Old Tom Gin or Dry Gin. Bitters can be added, mainly Orange Bitters, sometimes Angostura Bitters, rarely Boker’s Bitters. If the Martini is to be sweet, sugar syrup is added. It is very often fancied up with curaçao or maraschino, frequently with absinthe, rarely with sherry. A lemon zest is rarely stirred in. It is very often garnished with olive or lemon zest, sometimes with cherry.

Martini Cocktail

Vermouth + Dry Gin, Old Tom Gin (+ bitters) (+ sugar syrup) (+ curaçao, maraschino, absinth, sherry) (+ stirred lemon zest) (+ garnish: olive, lemon zest, cherry)

As we note, the definition of a Martini Cocktail is virtually identical to that of a Martinez Cocktail:

Martinez Cocktail

Vermouth + Dry Gin, Old Tom Gin + bitters (+ sugar syrup) (+ maraschino, curaçao) (+ stirred lemon zest) (+ lemon wheel, lemon zest, cherry)

One possible difference is that the use of bitters is optional in a Martini Cocktail. Also, the Martinez Cocktail does not have absinthe or sherry as flavouring agents or an olive in the garnish, but a slice of lemon. However, these differences are too small to consider the two as different cocktails. – The Manhattan Cocktail, on the other hand, can very well be made with absinthe and garnished with an olive (as well as a slice of lemon):

Manhattan Cocktail

Vermouth + whiskey + bitters (+ sugar syrup) (+ curaçao, maraschino, absinthe) (+ lemon zest, cherry, olive, lemon wheel)

From this comparison, the surprising thing emerges: The Martini Cocktail is nothing other than a Manhattan Cocktail in which whiskey has been replaced by gin, just as this also applies to the Martinez Cocktail (we will leave the “sherry” option in the Martini Cocktail aside). This statement is also supported by Montague, who wrote in 1913 that a Martini Cocktail is prepared like a Manhattan Cocktail, except that gin is used instead of whiskey. The same statement was made by Wehman in 1912.

Consequently, the Martini Cocktail should correctly be called the Martinez Cocktail, as this is its older name. However, this name could not prevail over that of the Martini Cocktail, so that today our Martinis are called Martini. The reason for this was certainly the similarity of the name and above all the market presence of Martini & Rossi on the American market. They began exporting the red vermouth to the USA in 1867. Between 1867 and 1889, 612,000 litres were exported, and between 1890 and 1910, 15,024,277 litres. As early as 1877, 3/4 of the vermouth exported to the USA was Martini & Rossi vermouth. The Martini cocktail was touted by the company, for example in a 1906 advertisement with the words “You cannot make a genuine ‘Martini’ (dry or otherwise) without Martini & Rossi Vermouth”.  [1] So it is not surprising that in the course of this advertising campaign, the world’s first ready-mixed Martini cocktail was launched by Martini & Rossi as early as 1910. [2]

But what does this separation look like with authors from the times before Prohibition? Are there authors who mention both cocktails in parallel in their books, so that we would have to assume that there is a difference between Martinez Cocktail and Martini Cocktail after all? However, this is only the case with two authors in our book selection, namely:

[1911 Doménech: El Arte del Cocktelero Europeo]
1/2 Madeira glass [30 ml] [French] Noilly vermouth / 1/3 Madeira glass [20 ml] cognac [sic!] / 6 drops Angostura bitters / 2 teaspoons [10 ml] sugar syrup. (Martínez Cocktail)

[1911 Doménech: El Arte del Cocktelero Europeo]
4 tablespoons [60 ml] Turin vermouth / 4 tablespoons [60 ml] gin / 5 drops Angostura bitters. (Martini Cocktail)

However, I would like to disregard this mention by Doménech as a curiosity. He uses cognac in his Martinez Cocktail! This may be considered a misprint, but the use of French vermouth is not necessarily the rule either.

[1914 Mahoney: New Bartender’s Guide]*
1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] vermouth / 1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] gin / 3 d Angostura bitters / 2 d sugar syrup. Garnish: lemon zest. (Martinez Cocktail)

[1914 Mahoney: New Bartender’s Guide]
1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] vermouth / 1/2 wine-glass [30 ml] Old Tom Gin / 2 d Angostura bitters, 6 d orange bitters. (Martini Cocktail)

I would also like to exclude Mahoney from this consideration. Strangely enough, his Martini cocktail is prepared as a “younger” cocktail with the “older” Old Tom gin, whereas the Martinez cocktail is prepared with (dry) gin. Again, there are not really any big differences that could explain why Martini and Martinez are called parallel and what distinguishes them from each other.

Finally, another exciting question arises. Are drinks prepared according to the derived recipe of a Martini Cocktail always called Martini Cocktail? How is this the case with a Manhattan Cocktail and a Martinez Cocktail? More on this in our next episode.

Sources
  1. Gaz Regan: The Bartender’s Gin Compendium. ISBN 978-1-4415-4688-3. 2009. Page 297.
  2. Anistatia R. Miller & Jarred M. Brown: Shaken not Stirred. A Celebration of the Martini. ISBN 978-0-06-213026-6. New York, Harper Collins, 2013. Page 54.
Further reading
  1. Robert Hess: The Rise and Fall of the Martini. Following the Course of the Martini Throughout History. In: Mixologist. The Journal of the American Cocktail. ISBN 0-9760937-0-7, London, Mixelany, 2005. Pages 35-55.
  2. Stephan Berg: Die Metamorphose eines Klassikers – Wie Wermut den Martini krönte. In: Mixology 3/2007, Pages 34-36.
  3. Anistatia Miller & Jarred Brown: Der Martini. In: Mixology 1/2009, Pages 32-34.
  4. Anistatia Miller & Jarred Brown: Spirituous Journey. A History of Drink. Book Two: From Publicans to Master Mixologists. ISBN 978-1-907434-06-8. London, Mixelany, 2009.

explicit capitulum
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About

Hi, I'm Armin and in my spare time I want to promote bar culture as a blogger, freelance journalist and Bildungstrinker (you want to know what the latter is? Then check out "About us"). My focus is on researching the history of mixed drinks. If I have ever left out a source you know of, and you think it should be considered, I look forward to hearing about it from you to learn something new. English is not my first language, but I hope that the translated texts are easy to understand. If there is any incomprehensibility, please let me know so that I can improve it.

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