Some crazy theories suggest that this was the original martini, but it was more probably a variation. In reality, all martinis are a variation on the Manhattan.
Regardless, the Martinez is a very tasty drink, though certainly for a sweeter tooth. Derek Brown serves an especially good one at the Gibson, mixing equal parts Old Tom Gin and high-quality Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth. He also adds a few dashes of orange bitters and an orange peel twist.
There are other recipes that call for aromatic bitters (Angostura or Fee Brothers Old Fashion), a lemon peel twist and a ratio of 2 parts vermouth to 1 part gin. Spirits columnist Jason Wilson enjoys equal parts gin and vermouth with bitters and a twist.
Whatever variation you choose, be sure to use Old Tom Gin, a sweetened gin that has undergone a recent revival after a century of obscurity. It is available at Ace Beverage in Northwest Washington.
- 1 1/2 ounces Old Tom Gin
- 1 1/2 ounces sweet vermouth
- 1 teaspoon maraschino liqueur
- 2 dashes orange or aromatic bitters
- 1 twist of lemon or orange peel, for garnish
Fill a mixing glass halfway full with ice. Add the gin, vermouth, maraschino liqueur and bitters. Stir vigorously for at least 30 seconds, then strain into a cocktail (martini) glass. Garnish with the lemon or orange peel twist.
Adapted from a recipe printed on bottles of Hayman's Old Tom Gin.
Tested by Michael Taylor.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.