Just a little historical walk with my pal the Martini, why don’t you join us.Â The modern day true Martini consists of Gin and a varying amount of dry Vermouth and is sometimes garnished with an olive, twist or cocktail onion.Â But I’m no Martini purist, so if you add a littleÂ Vodka or mix in some chocolate, you have my permission to keep the name Martini.
There are differing arguments as to the origin of the Martini, but the most detailed account lies with the Martinez from 1862.Â This drink calls for four parts red, sweet Vermouth to one part Gin and is garnished with a cherry, sounds good to me.Â The first Martinez was made with aromatic bitters and Old Tom Gin, which was very sweet compared to today’s take on the drink.Â
The transformation from the Martinez to the Martini was a gradual one; first Old Tom Gin was replaced with London Dry, then orange bitters took over aromatic bitters’ place.Â Folks then began to replace the red, sweet Vermouth with a white, dry Vermouth.Â The proportions of the drink eventually became equal parts and soon the modern dry Martini appeared, just add olive.
If you don’t like that little historical number, try this one on for size.Â Someone came up with a Martini history anecdote involving the British Army.Â The story claims that the drink’s name came from the Martini and Henry rifle used by the army around 1871.Â The punch was that the rifle and the drink both shared a strong kick.Â Pretty cute.
Well, no matter the history or claims regarding the Martini, it is a sexy and smooth drink that just waits experimentation.Â Stay tuned for ‘Allison’s Top 5 Martini Recipes’ post.