How Long Is A Mixed Formula Bottle Good For The History of the Martini

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The History of the Martini

Dear Martini. Perhaps the most famous cocktail, and certainly the drink with the most legends, stories and lore attached. It’s also one cocktail that has a following and its own brand of snobbery. There are usually no two people arguing about Punch Planters.

The basic martini recipe is as simple as you can get. Traditionally, the Martini is made with gin and dry white vermouth, although, recently the Vodka Martini has become very popular. The standard for today’s martini is one part gin or vodka to one part vermouth although few consumers today will follow that model. The ingredients are shaken or mixed with ice, strained and served “straight” without ice in a chilled cocktail glass, and garnished with olives.

Martini purists worry that vodka is now the drink of choice when people refuse the martini. They insist it should be called ‘Vodka Martini’ or if they really prefer ‘Bradford.’

How much vermouth should be added is the subject of much debate. A little vermouth, a dry Martini. Today the most common thing was to mix the vermouth with a blanket of ice cubes in the vermouth and then discard the excess vermouth. Some progressive bars now use vermouth spritzers to cover the ice (thus retaining more vermouth).

Are you moved or are you moved?

According to the Martini drinker, because the vermouth mixes easily and uniformly with its solvent (gin or vodka), the martini should always be mixed in a stirring glass. For purists, shaking “bruises” the gin and sprinkling ice to water down the Martini.

However, thanks to the novel and film spy James Bond, who ordered his Martinis to be “Shaked, not shaken,” the Martini is still shaken these days.

Shake aficionados say that, as with scotch, a little water creates a more rounded flavor. They also claim that the shaking action adds oxygen to the drink and sharpens the flavor and distributes the vermouth evenly.

History

The generally accepted origin of the Martini dates back to San Francisco in 1862. The eponymous cocktail near the town of Martinez was served at the Occidental Hotel. People drink at the hotel before taking the evening ferry to Martinez across the bay. The original cocktail consisted of two ounces of Italian “Martini no Rosso” sweet vermouth, one ounce of Old Tom sweet gin, two dashes of liquid maraschino cherry, a dash of bitters, shaken, and served with a twist of lemon. By the end of the 19th century, the Martini had evolved into a simpler form. Two dashes of Orange bitters were mixed with half a jigger of dry French vermouth, and half a jigger of dry English gin, mixed and served with olives.

But it was Prohibition and the ease with which gin was made illegally that led to the rise of the Martini as the premier cocktail of the 20th century.

With the repeal of Prohibition, and the ready availability of quality gin, the drink became progressively drier, with a little vermouth added.

The first reference to vodka being used in a Martini was in the 1950s but it was the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming and subsequent films that raised the profile of the vodka martini in the 1960s. In the novel Casino Royale, Bond’s recipe for his “vespa martini” was three parts of Gordon’s gin, one part of Russian vodka, half of Kina Lillet aperitif, shaken until ice cold, served with a slice of lemon. In the second Bond novel, Live and Let Die, Bond drank regular vodka Martinis.

In the seventies and eighties the martini was seen as old fashioned and replaced by sophisticated cocktails and wine spritzers. But in the mid-1990s there was a resurgence in the drink and an explosion of new versions. These unique new martinis can be made with a combination of fresh fruit juices, splashes of cream, and brightly colored liqueurs.

Instead of traditional olives, cocktail onions, or lemon twist, fresh garnishes such as marinated capers, fresh herbs, coffee beans or sun-dried tomatoes are used.

Today, the Martini in all its variations has returned to its place as the world’s best cocktail.

A legend

The Martini comes with its own history and many former martini drinkers have their own recipes for the perfect dry or dry Martini. The quest for thirst took extraordinary proportions.

Winston Churchill’s recipe called for pouring gin into a glass and then bowing to the French side. Alfred Hitchcock’s recipe called for five parts gin and a quick check of a bottle of vermouth. Ernest Hemingway liked to order a “Montgomery”, which was a martini mixed in a gin:vermouth ratio of 15:1 that Field Marshall Montgomery would want before going into battle.

In the 1958 film Teacher’s Pet, Clark Gable mixes a martini by turning a bottle of vermouth upside down and then running a damp cork around the rim of the glass before filling it with gin.

The seventies TV show MASH takes a funny swipe at this dry phage. ‘Hawkeye’ working on his still says to his fellow army doctors “I am pursuing my lifelong quest to find the best dry martini to be found in this or any other country. …You pour six jiggers of gin, and drink while looking at a picture of Lorenzo Schwartz, (inventor of vermouth .)”

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