The Martinez Cocktail is a classic gin cocktail, thought to be the precursor to the martini, but resting somewhere between a Manhattan and a Martini. Its a boozy, complex addition to your happy hour.
What is The Martinez Cocktail?
The short answer is that the Martinez cocktail exists in a place sort of between the Manhattan (which I wrote about here) and the Martini. According to this article, titled The Martinez: The Classic Cocktail That’s Not a Manhattan or a Martini in Saveur “the Manhattan begat the Martinez, the Martinez begat the Martini.”
The article goes on to add that there is no definitive original recipe.
I like that about the Martinez cocktail.
It’s, ahem, fluid.
You can make it with or without Maraschino Liquor. You can make it stronger or slightly sweeter if you prefer.
Saveur goes on to quote Jillian Vose, Head Bartender and Bar Manager at the award-winning The Dead Rabbit in Manhattan, saying, “The Martinez is a really personal drink like a Manhattan or Martini… Everyone will have a particular way that they like to drink it.”
The best cocktails, I think, allow for that teensy bit of room to perfect it to your tastes.
The Martinez Cocktail is also STRONG.
The Spruce, in their Martinez Cocktail Recipe says that “we can estimate that the Martinez has an alcohol content of about 31% ABV (62 proof).” That’s boozy.
I also love the history of a drink that shows experimentation, play, and, in it’s very existence, history.
I can’t help being a history buff.
And this is one of the things I am really fascinated about with cocktails.
Where they came from, where they are going, what they say about the times.
For Christmas I got a bottle of Jackson Avenue Gin from a relatively new local distiller, Knox Whiskey Works.
I mean, I got it for myself, but hey, I know what I like right?
Anyhow, this gin has a pretty strong juniper profile, but a gentler floral base. I must say when it comes to gin I typically like my gins a bit more subtle than this one, but I will also say that experimenting with this gin in cocktails has been fun, and it holds up well.
This was one of the first cocktails I mixed with it, though, and the results were highly drinkable.
Said my husband, who rapidly downed his.
Need to work on sipping skills with that one I think lol.
If you don’t have access to this gin, no worries though. I recommend Beefeater gin as a basic, goto for the home bartender to keep on hand, but you can use any kind of gin you like.
I’ve opted to use the maraschino liquor, because I like it.
But if you don’t like the cherry liquor, substitute curacao for an interesting variation on the Martinez Cocktail.
I don’t think you need any special tools for this drink other than the basic bar set I recommend here. However, I find that I use this little tool here ALL. The. Time. It helps get those neat little citrus peel twists like you see in this drink.
I am thinking of putting together a little guide to everything I think a home bar should have – from the basic liquors you should have on hand to the tools and glasses, etc. Is this something you’d be interested in?
Let me know in the comments!
The Martinez Cocktail Recipe
- 2 ounces gin I recommend a higher proof gin.
- 1 ounce Sweet Vermouth
- 1/2 ounce Maraschino Liquor I use Luxardo Maraschino Liquor.
- 1 Twist Lemon or Satsuma Peel for Garnish
- 2 Dashes Bitters I use Angostura bitters.
- In a large shaker, add ice cubes.
- First add gin, then vermouth, then maraschino liquor.
- Add dash of bitters.
- Stir until you feel the chill spreading up the shaker towards the top.
- Strain into a cocktail glass, twist the peel over the drink, and serve.