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The Martinez is a cocktail consisting of Gin, Italian Vermouth, Maraschino, and Bitters.


History of the Martinez

The Martinez is considered the precursor to the Martini Cocktail.

Historical Recipes

Bartender's Guide by Jerry Thomas (1887)

(Use small bar-glass.)

Shake up thoroughly, and strain into a large cocktail glass. Put a quarter of a slice of lemon in the glass, and serve. If the guest prefers it very sweet, add two dashes of gum syrup.

[Note: A pony is an ounce; a wine-glass is about 4 ounces.]

The Mixicologist by C. F. Lawlor (1895)

  • Take 2 dashed orange bitters.
  • 1 dash syrup.
  • 1/2 jigger Old Tom gin.
  • 1/2 jigger vermouth.

Stir well, and strain into cocktail glass; add one imported cherry.

Fancy Drinks by The Altschal Distilling Company (1895)

  • Use 2 dashes of curacoa;
  • 2 dashes of bitters;
  • 1/2 jigger of gin;
  • 1/2 jigger of Italian vermouth;

Fill with fine ice; stir well; strain into a cocktail glass, and serve with a piece of lemon peel on top.

"Martinez Special" legend

At the corner of Alhambra and Masonic in Martinez, CA, is a plaque commemorating the birthplace of the Martini. The plaque reads as follows:

"Birthplace of the Martini

On this site in 1874, Julio Richelieu, bartender, served up the first Martini when a miner came into his saloon with a fistful of nuggets and asked for something special. He was served a 'Martinez Special.' After three or four drinks, however, the 'Z' would get very much in the way. The drink consisted of 2/3 gin, 1/3 vermouth, a dash of orange bitters, poured over crushed ice and served with an olive. Humorist James Thurber once said, 'One is alright, two is too many, and three is not enough.'"

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