There’s a lot of discussion, and some dissension, about the origin of the Martinez cocktail. It’s made with gin and vermouth, and is served up (without ice), so there are certain similarities for sure. Plus the name, which has led people to speculate that the cocktail was invented in Martinez, California.
The main difference is the vermouth; a Martini uses dry vermouth, often referred to as French vermouth, and the Martinez uses red (sweet) vermouth, which came from Torino, Italy. While it seems there’s a lot going on if you get into the nitty-gritty, or overthink it. The way I look at it is that it’s one of those very simple cocktails that you can make if you have a few key ingredients on hand. And I’m fine with that.
I’m going to admit something right now: My kitchen is a mess. I’m working on a bunch of projects, and there are recipes everywhere. As I sit at my kitchen counter writing this, I am counting eight stacks of recipes that I’m working on. I know, every time I write a book I say, “This time, I’m going to be super organized.” So far, that hasn’t happened.
On the plus side, losing a recipe gives me another chance to test it again, which is nice when the recipe happens to be for a cocktail.
I stirred up what I remembered from my Martinez testing and took a sip. Even though it’s only 2:31 pm I was tempted to finish it. I won’t tell you how it ended, but I will tell you one thing: Thank God it’s Friday…
- 1 1/2 ounces gin
- 1 1/2 ounces red (sweet) vermouth
- 1 teaspoon Maraschino liqueur
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- orange (or lemon) zest, for garnish
- Add the gin, sweet vermouth, Maraschino and orange bitters to a mixing glass.
- Fill the glass partially with ice and stir the drink vigorously for 15 to 20 seconds.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist a strip of orange zest over the top, drop it in, and serve.