The Martinez cocktail is the grandmother of the martini, emerging some time in the latter half of the 19th Century. A riff on the whisky-based Manhattan, it first appeared in print in O.H. Byron’s 1884 The Modern Bartender as a footnote to the more popular whisky cocktail. Originally the Martinez called for Dutch genever but for a long time now has been made with London Dry gin. Jerry Thomas’ 1887 Bar-tenders Guide lists Old Tom as the main ingredient. This recipe uses Thomas’ Old Tom gin which I think gives it a softer more balanced ‘ginny’ profile. I’m also not very fond of the malty genever. But if that is…
The martini has to be my all-time favourite cocktail. Smooth, sophisticated and when perfectly chilled, perfect for sipping. And as any home bar enthusiast knows you cannot make a great martini without vermouth, any more than you can without gin. The two go together just like... Well, they just do.