How was the Martini cocktail born?


With a disputed origin and numerous variations, Martini is one of the most famous cocktails in the world – here’s the story.

A cocktail by now entered in the myth of uncertain origins, almost mysterious to fuel even more the charm of this famous pre-dinner drink. The Martini is based on gin and dry vermouth, many call it for this Martini Dry. According to some, it was invented around 1860 by the barman Jerry Thomas ,three legends circulate around his birthhistorical figure of mixology. The original recipe would have been based on bitters, gin, maraschino and sweet vermouth, with a slice of lemon and two drops of syrup. However, there are conflicting versions that attribute the winning idea to Julio Richelieu : the Martini Cocktail was born a few years later, in 1874 , in California. This Hispanic bartender would have served a miner of the famous Gold Rush (the Gold Rush) a Martinez Special prepared with 2/3 of gin, 1/3 of Vermouth, a splash of orange bitters on crushed ice and served with an olive. By dint of drinking Martinez the “Z” would disappear over time. Finally, like all self-respecting legends, there is also a third version that attributes to thisMartini, bartender at Arma di Taggia , the cocktail created expressly for the millionaire John D. Rockefeller and served in 1910 at the bar of the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York, owned by the Astors. Among the less accredited versions, the Dry Martini derives from the Manhattan based on whiskey, gin and red vermouth. It was certainly born in the States and only later did it spread to the rest of the world.

Fans of the cocktail

Rockefeller is just one of the many celebrities who have been won over by this apparently easy cocktail. By all it is considered the test of a bartender’s skill. Who knows what the world of Anglo-American literature would have been like if Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Truman Capote and Ernest Hemingway hadn’t had their favorite drink. Even the author of The Old Man and the Sea can count on a twist all to himself: just a drop of vermouth on the ice. The Martini Cocktail is truly a star and the list of fans of the ingenious blend is nothing short of endless: actors Humphrey Bogart, Liz Taylor and Richard Burton , directors Luis Buñuel and Woody Allen, US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt after signing the end of Prohibition and even General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev .

Secret Agent 007

james bond

The Martini Cocktail owes much of its popularity on the big screen to Ian Fleming : the famous secret agent 007 born from the pen of the English writer is a fan of the cocktail. Famous is the phrase that always appears in the James Bond films : “ Vodka Martini agitated, not mixed “. There is also a variant, the Vesper cocktail, dedicated to 007.

The original recipe

martini cocktail

Here is the recipe for the Martini cocktail : 6 cl of gin, 1 cl of dry vermouth, 1 olive or 1 lemon peel, ice. The key to success is to cool the cup with ice. Ice is placed in a glass and then vermouth and gin are poured. They mix, remove the ice from the cup and pour the cocktail by filtering it. There are those who add an olive, those who take the lemon zest and squeeze a few drops into the cocktail to flavor it with the essence of citrus.

The famous phrases

martini cocktail

An unsuspected supporter of the cocktail was Umberto Eco who wrote: ” The best Martini is the one you make yourself … so much so that I would dare to say that the magic moment is the one in which it is made, not the one in which it is consumed ” while for the barman Mauro Lotti , a real authority when it comes to the famous drink, “ there is no perfect Martini, but there is a Martini for each of us. You just need to find out what it is “.


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