Drinks

The Martini Cocktail: Deconstructing a Classic. Part 6: Does the reverse apply?

Nachdem wir festgestellt haben, daß der Martinez Cocktail und der Martini Cocktail in den Zeiten bis zur Prohibition als identisch anzusehen sind, stellt sich die Frage, ob alle Drinks, die nach deren Rezeptur zubereitet werden, auch so benannt werden. Auch den Manhattan Cocktail werden wir entsprechend betrachten.

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

 

Before we clarify the question raised, let’s review the formulation of the Manhattan Cocktail, the Martinez Cocktail and the Martini Cocktail:

Manhattan Cocktail

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

Martinez Cocktail

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

Martini Cocktail

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

The question that now arises is this: Are cocktails that meet these definitions always called Manhattan Cocktail, Martinez Cocktail or Martini Cocktail? To answer this question, let’s look at the evolution of vermouth drinks in bar books. First of all, there is a clear picture with only a few basic recipes in which vermouth is also only used as the main spirit.

Die Frühzeit (1869 – 1891)

Initially, there was only the Vermouth Cocktail, which used vermouth as the base spirit (1869 Haney, 1882 Johnson, 1883 McDonough, 1884 Byron, 1884 Gibson, 1887 Thomas, 1888 Johnson, 1888 Lamore, 1889 Lefeuvre) and the Vermouth Frappee (1884 Byron, 1888 Lamore). With vermouth, American whiskey and bitters and optionally the “classic” flavourings absinthe, curaçao or maraschino, there is the Manhattan Cocktail (1884 Byron, 1884 Gibson, 1884 Winter, 1887 Thomas, 1888 Johnson, 1888 Lamore), alternatively mixed with Scotch 1887 at Paul’s. With vermouth, Old Tom or Dry Gin and bitters and optionally the “classic” flavouring liqueurs absinthe, curaçao or maraschino, there is the Martinez Cocktail (1884 Byron, 1887 Thomas, 1888 Lamore), the Turf Club Cocktail (1884 Winter, consisting of Italian vermouth, Tom Gin and Peruvian bitters) and the Martini Cocktail (1888 Johnson). Since vermouth was already combined with whiskey and gin, it is not surprising that there is also vermouth and brandy as main ingredients, namely the Metropolitan Cocktail (1884 Byron). The combination of 3 main spirits is also not unknown. The Saratoga Cocktail (1887 Thomas) combines vermouth, brandy and whiskey.

  • According to our definition, the Turf Club Cocktail corresponds to a Martinez Cocktail.

But with Schmidt 1892, the number of recipes with vermouth literally explodes. In total, more than 12% of his recipes (28) use vermouth, mainly as a base spirit. In subsequent periods, the most diverse combinations with the most diverse proportions were invented. In the following, both branches of development, with whiskey or with gin, are considered separately for the sake of a better overview.

Vermouth Whiskey Cocktails („Manhattan Cocktails“)

Compared to the gin recipes, the whiskey recipes are still quite clear. Schmidt (1892) only has the Manhattan Cocktail with whiskey and vermouth as the base spirit. The same applies to the Bartenders’ Association 1895.

In 1895, Kappeler already knows 34 cocktails with vermouth, 10 of which are variations with whiskey: In the Brain-Duster (absinthe, Italian vermouth and whiskey with sugar syrup), the absinthe also becomes a base spirit; thus, the drink no longer falls under our Manhattan definition. The Double-Barrel Cocktail (French and Italian vermouth and whiskey with Angostura bitters and orange bitters), on the other hand, is a Manhattan variant. The Hiram Cocktail (Italian vermouth and Canadian whiskey with Peychaud’s bitters and a maraschino cherry) is debatable; it is similar in structure to a Manhattan Cocktail, but uses Canadian whiskey. The Irish Cocktail No. 1 (Italian vermouth and whiskey with orange bitters and phosphoric acid) no longer corresponds to the Manhattan definition, because it is acidified with phosphoric acid (with which, for example, cola drinks are also acidified); a Manhattan cocktail is unacidified. On the other hand, the York Cocktail (Italian vermouth and whiskey with orange bitters and lemon zest) can be considered a Manhattan variant. Even though the Manhattan Punch (French vermouth and whiskey with sugar, Angostura bitters and lemon juice) has the word “Manhattan” in its name, it is not a Manhattan Cocktail due to its acidity. Of course, Kappeler also offers the Manhattan Cocktail and its counterpart, the Bottled Manhattan Cocktail.

  • According to our definition, the Barrel Cocktail and the York Cocktail are Manhattan Cocktails.

Let us now skip chronologically some subsequent cocktail books and turn directly to Straub’s publication from 1914. In his book, the theme of vermouth is played through in the most diverse variations. With vermouth, whiskey and bitters, he knows the Calumet Club Cocktail (Italian vermouth and bourbon whiskey with Angostura bitters and phosphoric acid). However, this is no longer a Manhattan Cocktail, because with the addition of phosphoric acid, an acid source is added. A Manhattan Cocktail, however, is prepared without acid. The Clifton Cocktail (French vermouth and rye whiskey with Angostura bitters and brown curaçao), on the other hand, corresponds to a Dry Fancy Manhattan Cocktail. The Waldorf Cocktail (Italian vermouth, rye whiskey and absinthe with orange bitters) seems at first glance to be a Dry Fancy Manhattan Cocktail, but since absinthe has become a base spirit and thus acquired a dominant role, it represents an evolution of the Manhattan Cocktail; it is therefore justified to no longer consider it a Manhattan Cocktail.

  • According to our definition, the Clifton Cocktail is a Manhattan Cocktail.

Straub also has variations using Scotch whisky, namely the Rob Roy Cocktail (Italian vermouth and Scotch whisky with Angostura bitters and orange bitters), the Express Cocktail (Italian vermouth and Scotch whisky with orange bitters) and the York Cocktail (Italian vermouth and Scotch whisky with orange bitters). It is interesting to note that all three of these recipes use equal amounts of vermouth and Scotch whisky. All three cocktails can therefore be regarded as basically identical.

As a conclusion, we can deduce that until Prohibition there was a fairly clear idea about the Manhattan Cocktail and its various variations, and that these variations were for the most part also called Manhattan Cocktails. So basically we can say that any cocktail that fits the definition of a Manhattan Cocktail given above was also called a Manhattan Cocktail. The exceptions we have found in the examples mentioned (Barrel Cocktail, York Cocktail and Clifton Cocktail) indicate that individual variations are given their own names, but these are only isolated approaches; as we will see, this looks quite different with vermouth gin recipes.

Vermouth Gin Cocktails („Martinez oder Martini Cocktails“)

Let us now look at which recipes are given for the combination of vermouth and gin as a base spirit. In Schmidt’s 1892 there are still relatively few. The Angelus (vermouth and Old Tom gin with sugar syrup, absinthe, orange bitters and curaçao) corresponds to the given definition of a Martinez Cocktail, as does the L’Aurore (Old Tom gin and vermouth with sugar syrup, orange bitters, absinthe and maraschino). The Club Cocktail (Old Tom gin and vermouth with sugar syrup, orange bitters and green Chartreuse) adds a new flavouring, thus deviating from the Martinez definition. Holland’s Pride (Holland gin and vermouth with sugar syrup, bitters and absinthe) also deviates, because genever as a base spirit is not documented for a Martinez cocktail.

  • According to our definition, The Angelus and L’Aurore are a Martinez Cocktail.

The Bartender Association of 1895 does not mention cocktails with vermouth and gin. Kappeler, on the other hand, also from 1895, knows the Dundorado Cocktail (Italian vermouth and Old Tom Gin with 2 dash Calasaya), which – since it uses Calasaya, a herbal liqueur, as a flavouring agent – does not fall under our definition of a Martinez Cocktail. The same goes for the Ford Cocktail (French vermouth and Old Tom gin with orange bitters, Bénédictine and orange zest), which uses Bénédictine. However, his Racquet Club Cocktail (French vermouth and Old Tom gin with Orange Bitters and lemon zest) is a Martinez variation. The Smith Cocktail (French vermouth and Holland gin with Angostura bitters and lemon zest), on the other hand, is not, as it uses jenever. Kappeler also knows a Martini Cocktail (Italian vermouth and Old Tom gin with orange bitters, lemon zest and, if desired, maraschino cherry).

  • According to our definition, the Raquet Club Cocktail is a Martinez Cocktail.

Kappeler’s following cocktails do not correspond to our Martinez definition, as they use different ingredients: The Turf Cockteil No. 2 (Italian vermouth and genever with Angostura bitters), the Virgin Cocktail (Italian vermouth and dry gin with Angostura bitters and raspberry syrup), the Crisp Cocktail (Italian vermouth and dry gin with orange bitters and orange slice), the Milo Cocktail (Italian vermouth and dry gin with pepsin bitters), the Salome Cocktail (Italian vermouth, French vermouth and dry gin with orange bitters and celery leaves), the Trilby Cocktail (French vermouth and Old Tom gin with orange bitters and crème Yvette), the Tuxedo Cocktail (French vermouth and dry gin with Angostura bitters, absinthe, maraschino and sherry), the Poet’s Dream Cocktail (French vermouth and dry gin with orange bitters and Bénédictine).

Now let’s skip again a few cocktail books that would follow chronologically and go directly to Straub’s publication from 1914. What picture emerges there? With the combination of vermouth, gin and bitters, Straub already has 28 different recipes! He lists as “like a Martini” the Philadelphia Special (+ curaçao), the Love Cocktail (+ egg white) and the McHenry Cocktail (+ Hungarian apricot brandy). Of these, the Philadelphia Special can be considered a Martinez Cocktail. The same goes for the Brighton Cocktail (Italian vermouth and Old Tom gin with orange bitters and lemon zest), the Hillard Cocktail (Italian vermouth and dry gin with Angostura bitters), the Prince Henry Cocktail (Italian vermouth and dry gin with orange bitters), the Down Cocktail (Italian vermouth and dry gin with orange bitters and olive), the Bridal Cocktail (Italian vermouth and dry gin with orange bitters and maraschino), the Silver Cocktail (Italian vermouth and dry gin with orange bitters and maraschino), the Martini Cocktail (Italian vermouth and dry gin with orange bitters), the Improved Martini Cocktail (Italian vermouth and dry gin with orange bitters and maraschino), the Hearst Cocktail (Italian vermouth and dry gin with Angostura bitters and orange bitters), the Farmer’s Cocktail (Italian vermouth, French vermouth and dry gin with Angostura bitters), the Astoria Cocktail (French vermouth and Old Tom gin with orange bitters), the Golf Cocktail (French vermouth and dry gin with Angostura bitters), the Highstepper Cocktail (French vermouth and dry gin with Angostura bitters), the Christie Cocktail (French vermouth and dry gin with orange bitters), the Marguerite Cocktail (French vermouth and dry gin with orange bitters), the Turf Cocktail No. 1 (French vermouth and dry gin with orange bitters, absinthe and maraschino), the Trowbridge Cocktail (French vermouth and dry gin with orange bitters and orange zest).

In the case of the McCutcheon Cocktail (Italian vermouth, French vermouth and dry gin with Angostura bitters, orange bitters and anisette), one can argue whether anisette should be considered like absinthe, but since absinthe was banned in the USA from 1912 and anisette was used as a substitute, it is permissible to consider the McCutcheon Cocktail as a variant of the Martinez Cocktail.

  • According to our definition, the following cocktails are Martinez variants:: Philadelphia Special, Brighton Cocktail, Hillard Cocktail, Prince Henry Cocktail, Down Cocktail, Bridal Cocktail, Silver Cocktail, Martini Cocktail, Improved Martini Cocktail, Hearst Cocktail, Farmer’s Cocktail, Astoria Cocktail, Golf Cocktail, Highstepper Cocktail, Cristie Cocktail, Marguerite Cocktail, Turf Cocktail No. 1, Trowbridge Cocktail. Possibly also the McCutcheon Cocktail.

So there is quite a bit of confusion with the “classic” Martinez or Martini variants (with bitters and flavouring agents if necessary) at Straub. This is increased when one looks at the genre of drinks that represent a “reduced” Martini Cocktail, i.e. without bitters and flavourings, consisting only of vermouth, gin and garnish. Here, truly Babylonian conditions prevail. With Italian vermouth and dry gin we find the following cocktails: Anderson Cocktail (+ orange zest), Homestead Cocktail (+ orange slice), Hudson Cocktail (+ orange slice), Treasury Cocktail (+ orange slice), Junkins Cocktail (+ lemon zest). With Italian vermouth, French vermouth and dry gin: Four Dollar Cocktail, Hall Cocktail (+ olive), Blackstone Cocktail (+ orange slice), Boles Cocktail (+ orange slice), Dorr Cocktail (+ orange slice), Perfect Cocktail (+ orange slice), McLane Cocktail (+ orange slice), Sphinx Cocktail (+ lemon slice). With French vermouth and dry gin: Consolidated Cocktail, Cornell Cocktail, Cushman Cocktail, Dry Martini Cocktail, Duke Cocktail, Gibson Cocktail, Lewis Cocktail, Cat Cocktail (+ olive), Blackstone No. 2 (+ orange zest), Cabinet Cocktail (+ orange zest), Delmonico Cocktail (+ orange zest), Racquet Club Cocktail (+ orange zest). With Italian vermouth and Old Tom gin: Lone Tree Cocktail, Rossington Cocktail (+ orange zest), Blackstone No. 1 (+ lemon zest). With French vermouth and Old Tom gin: Good Times Cocktail (+ lemon zest). These are all variations of the “modern” Martini cocktail, in which only vermouth, gin and optional garnish are used.

Straub also knows other cocktails with vermouth and gin (the “non-Martinis”), but I will not list them here because there would simply be too many variations.

Conclusion

What conclusions can be drawn from this confusion? In older times, a few cocktails belonged to the standards, which were then in turn prepared sweet or dry, with or without flavouring agents and ordered accordingly with the addition Sweet, Dry, Extra Dry, Plain, Fancy or Improved. These additions were dropped at some point, and so the individual variants were given their own names. In addition, vermouth and dry gin certainly became more and more popular, inviting experimentation at the height of cocktail culture; thus, the same recipes were certainly created in different places, each with its own name; already the confusion shown is complete. In the course of time, many of these names were lost again, and a new understanding crystallised under the old name.

This confusion is further magnified by the evolution that the Martini has undergone, moving towards less and less (or no) vermouth, vodka instead of gin, and the countless colourful XY-tinis that were to follow. But what do we mean by Manhattan, Martinez and Martini today? This is what the following article will show.

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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