Noseying the history of the Martinez is hindered by the fact it is about 140 years old, quite good, and has many variations. Like any food or drink with similar provenance, every man and his dog claims to have invented it, and there are aggressive battle lines drawn over what should and should not be in it.
The story of the Martinez can be picked up in 1884 when OH Byron, not known for durable book naming, wrote in his co-called Modern Bartender’s Guide:
“Same as Manhattan, only you substitute gin for whisky.”
Byron was basically correct with this assumption, but other recipes diminish the durability of his statement. The most notable variations in the Martinez are the interchange of maraschino liqueur for triple sec, and the gin for genepé. Both ideas make perfect sense, and next time I make a Martinez, I will probably crack out the dusty bottle of Granger’s genepé I picked up last time I was allowed to go to the Alps. For now, it pays to follow the herd and make the Martinez per the International Bartender’s Association.
- 45ml dry gin
- 45ml sweet vermouth
- 5ml (1 spoon) maraschino liqueur
- 2 dashes Angostura orange bitters
Stir all the ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.