There’s only one martini and it’s made with gin, vermouth and bitters, all others are cocktails!

One of the many legends of the origin of this famous drinks, is that it was created in the nineteenth century by ‘Professor’ Jerry Thomas of San Francisco’s Occidental Hotel who named it after the nearby town of Martinez California. In it’s first form, more like a Manhattan using sweet vermouth and Bokers bitters.  By the end of the nineteenth century, sweet vermouth was replaced with dry vermouth.

Whatever its actual origins, it’s been seen in movies, mentioned in music and by the 1950’s an ad for a sales manager job actually required that the applicant ‘should be able to handle twelve martinis.’ Of course, in those days the average martini cocktail glass was of the 3 ounce variety instead of the 7 ounce found in most bars nowadays. Still, imagine trying to conduct business after downing 5 of our present day martinis!


2 ounces gin
1 ounce dry vermouth
1 dash orange bitters
Olive, for garnish

Shake all the ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the olive, or substitute a cocktail onion to make it a Gibson.  See martinis served in clips from the Thin Man below.


2 thoughts on “Martini

  1. Great writeup! I really like you martini glasses, would you please tell me where they are from/who make them etc? Thanks!

    – Paul R.


    1. Hi Paul,

      I found this particular photo on line but I do have an extensive vintage barware collection from regular thrift stores and flee markets. Also check estate sales.




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