Martinez Cocktail

In the 1880s, Old Tom gin, a style with quite a bit more sweetness than London dry, was just beginning to gain popularity in America. This is the drink that put it over the top.

Martinez Cocktail
In the 1880s, “Old Tom” gin, a style with quite a bit more sweetness than London dry, was just beginning to gain popularity in America. This is the drink that put it over the top.Erik Delanoy

If there is a cocktail family tree, the classic martini is surely a descendant of the Martinez, though it also shares some of its DNA with the Manhattan. Aubrey Slater, Bar Manager at Mother of Pearl and Honeybee’s in New York City, makes her Martinez the traditional way with “Old Tom” gin, a slightly sweet style that was popular in the 19th century, and which is, in some cocktail circles, coming back into vogue. We find that a dark, bittersweet Italian vermouth, like Punt e Mes, balances the fragrant cherry sweetness of the Maraschino liqueur. While irrevocably linked to the martini, this cocktail drinks like none other with a bold, complex, and lightly sweet flavor profile.

In the 1880s, Old Tom gin, a style with quite a bit more sweetness than London dry, was just beginning to gain popularity in America. This is the drink that put it over the top.

Equipment

Martinez Cocktail
A likely ancestor of the classic martini, the Martinez cocktail recipe punctuates lightly sweet “Old Tom” gin with a combination of bittersweet, dark vermouth and fragrant Maraschino liqueur.
Yield: makes 1 cocktail
Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1½ oz. “Old Tom” gin
  • 1½ oz. Punt e Mes
  • ¼ oz. Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 3 dashes orange bitters
  • Orange twist, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a mixing glass filled with ice, add the gin, Punt e Mes, Maraschino liqueur, and the Angostura and orange bitters. Stir until well-chilled, then strain into a martini glass or coupe and garnish with an orange twist. Serve immediately.
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