When I first started classic cocktail Fridays, I wanted to do a martini since that’s my and my hubby’s cocktail of choice. The martini is a true classic. Not only has it been around since at least the beginning of the 20th century, the martini has maintained its classic status, just look at all the martini bars that exist today. Sure there are a ton of fruity variations, but there’s just 1 martini. Well, 2 depending on whether you take it with gin or vodka. Hubs and I prefer the vodka variety but gin is just as popular and actually the original recipe.
Now depending on who you talk to the martini could have been created in 1850 in San Francisco for a miner on his way to Martinez, California; while others believe it was concocted by Julio Richelieu, a bartender in Martinez, California in 1870. The British believe the Martini was derived from a British-made rifle called the Martini & Henry used by the English army between 1871 & 1891 because both the rifle and the cocktail have quite a kick. And New Yorkers insist it was created in 1911 by a bartender at the Knickerbocker Hotel by the name of Martini di Arma di Taggia.
Wherever and however the martini started, it has absolutely stood the test of time. Not only are there martini bars all over, some restaurants have added a martini-specific page and/or menu to their cocktail list. And while there are too many new creations to count, only the classic gin or vodka martini has stood the test of time. It’s been around for centuries and will probably be around for centuries more. So the next time you’re in a martini bar, as tempting as that appletini or Smithsonian-tini may sound, give the old standard a try. After all, it’s James Bond’s drink of choice, need I say more?
- 1 1/2 oz vodka (or gin)
- 1/2 oz dry vermouth
Pour vodka and vermouth into a cocktail shaker with 3-4 cubes of ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with 2 olives or a twist of lemon and serve straight up.