One of the first recorded cocktails, this drink dates back to Californian Gold Rush days. It is thought to have been created in 1862 by Jerry Thomas, barman at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco, for a gold miner travelling home to the nearby town of Martinez. Thomas included the recipe in his 1887 Bartenders Guide. Many consider this drink the ancestor of the modern Martini.

Old-style Martinez

60 ml sweet vermouth
30 ml Old Tom Gin
1 dash each of maraschino liqueur and Angostura bitters
Two dashes of gum syrup (if you prefer the drink sweet)
Slice of lemon

Stir the ingredients together, strain into a cocktail glass, then garnish with the slice of lemon.

This original recipe is sweeter than modern versions; Spirits and Cocktails has a recipe for a drier version. For other variations, try curacao or absinthe in place of the maraschino, and orange bitters in place of the angostura.

Search the net and you’ll find as many different variations as there are bartenders! So in good Cole Porter style, have fun and “Experiment!”

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