Gin cocktails and their origins are often quite tricky to pin down. The genesis of the immortalised martini is no exception. There’s an abundance of references to cocktails with gin, dry vermouth and bitters at the turn of the century under many different names; none of which were martini. Some claim an American bartender called Jerry Thomas invented it in late 1880’s in California where he served a sloe gin, sweet vermouth and bitters cocktail to local miners. Others say it was Frank Newman who lists a ‘Dry Martini’ prepared with Martini Dry vermouth in his 1904 French bar guide American Bar. Ultimately, no one really knows. What we do know is it’s a damn fine drink.
Before the twentieth century the word martini held a prominent place in the world of mixology as it referred to a mixed drink in a V-shaped cocktail glass. That is until cocktail became the umbrella term for mixed drinks over the last one hundred and twenty years.
Throughout the course of the twentieth century the recipe has bounced between gin or vodka mixed with oscillating measures of dry vermouth. Typical garnish being olives, a lemon twist, or if you’re really living life on the edge - both.
When asked for advice on how to make a martini we suggest a focus on pairings. Ensure you pair a gin and vermouth with complimentary botanicals. Choosing the right proportions of gin and vermouth, incorporating enough dilution through stirring, and serving it at the proper temperature (ice cold) all differentiate a great Martini from a bog standard one.
Gin Martini Recipe
20ml Dolin Dry Vermouth
Stir with ice, then strain into a chilled coupe. Twist a lemon peel over the surface and garnish. For a slick touch serve in a smaller coupe, and a small plate of olives on the side. Keen to get cracking? Meander your way over to our gin store and get yourself stocked up.