~ Shaken, not stirred. ~
What is it? A classic cocktail comprised of gin and dry vermouth, garnished with an olive or a lemon twist.
Where did it come from? No one knows for sure - fables reference a thirsty miner in San Francisco during the gold rush of the 1800's, offering a nugget of gold for a special beverage concoction on his way to Martinez, CA. Tied into this story is the creation of the Martinez cocktail - gin, sweet vermouth, bitters, maraschino liqueur and a citrus twist. The martini may have been born as a simplified version of this, but other legends also hold sway, such as the use of Martini and Rossi vermouth and several tales involving John D. Rockefeller and the town of Martinez itself.
A few other helpful terms -
Dry Martini - While ordering this early on in the drink's history would simply land you a concoction of gin & dry French vermouth (in place of the commonly used sweet Italian vermouth), nowadays, a 'dry martini' means less vermouth in your glass. A far cry from the original 50/50 ratio, this can be even less than the commonly used 3:1 ratio of gin to dry vermouth, depending on the bar.
Dirty Martini - The classic combination with the addition of olive brine (juice) - check out Liquor.com's recipe.
Vodka Martini - A variation born in the 50's, this cocktail combines vermouth with vodka instead of gin, and is also referred to as the Kangaroo.
Shaken or stirred? your call, but we all know how 007 takes his.
*Thanks to Elliot's Martini Bar for photo content and liquid inspiration*
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