How The Martinez Cocktail Differs From A Typical Martini

To understand the connection between the Martinez and the martini, you must first understand the Manhattan cocktail, as the one evolved from the other. Food Network says that a Manhattan is made by first shaking together whiskey, vermouth, and bitters and pouring it into a drinking glass, and finishing off with a piece of orange rind. For a Martinez cocktail, simply switch out the whiskey with gin. 

According to Difford's Guide, the Martinez cocktail was invented sometime between the 1860s-1870s and the recipe was first printed in "The Modern Bartender" in 1884. It is described in the original print as a Manhattan variation, except it used Dutch genever, which is a blend of corn, wheat, and rye-based distillate mixed with another juniper-infused distillate (via By the Dutch). So, it isn't pure gin, but the cocktail often uses gin or Dutch genever interchangeably. So, now that you understand how the Martinez cocktail originated, we'll tell you exactly how it fathered the martini we know and love today.

Martinez vs. Martini

For those unfamiliar with the martini, Delighted Cooking describes it as gin (or vodka) shaken with vermouth, which is then poured into the iconic-looking glass James Bond sips from. The drink is then enhanced with the addition of an olive or two, though some prefer a twist of lemon, or take a page from Stanley Tucci and Ina Garten and try it with both. It is believed that this classic and film-worthy cocktail is the offspring of the Martinez, though visually, they're quite distinct.

According to Liquor, the Martinez, with its red sweet vermouth to equal part gin and the additional maraschino liqueur and Angostura bitters, makes this elder cocktail look ruby in color and taste bittersweet. Neither quality is associated with the dry, crystal clear, and sometimes briny character of the martini. Though the ingredients can be changed up, it's not difficult to see how a gin and vermouth-based Martinez inspired the simplified and unsweetened martini with the same basic spirits.