Food - Drink
Meet The Martini's Cool Older Cousin, The Turf Club Cocktail
The origins of the martini are shrouded in mystery, but says this classic cocktail was likely invented in 1905. Made with gin and vermouth, the martini has spawned countless variations and descendants, such as the vodka martini, but it also has a few predecessors, including Turf Club cocktail.
Difford’s Guide says the Turf Club was the first cocktail to combine gin and vermouth, and dates back to at least 1884. The drink is traditionally made using Old Tom gin and Italian dry vermouth, with later recipes including maraschino liqueur and absinthe, with an optional addition of orange in the form of bitters or slices.
The Turf Club cocktail was first served at gentlemen’s clubs across the U.S.; in these establishments, men would spend time talking, doing business, and gambling. These clubs were termed "turf clubs" because horse racing bookies or "turf accountants" hung out there, which inspired the name of the drink.