If you were to travel along a cocktail history timeline from the Manhattan to the Martini, you'd make a stop along the way at this, the Martinez Cocktail. Made with gin, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and bitters, it's one of the most classic cocktails around.
The drink hails from the Bay Area up in Northern California in the post Gold Rush era, but, beyond that there isn't a precise recipe or even a bartender who can be credited with its creation. The city of Martinez, California likes to claim it was created there while renowned barman, Jerry Thomas, is rumored to have created it in San Francisco for a client who was heading to Martinez (look to the 1887 edition of Jerry Thomas's Hot To Make Drinks or The Bon Vivant's Companion) for that rendition of the recipe.
Oh, and historically this cocktail is made with Old Tom Gin (a style that's sweeter and more rounded than London Dry Gin and less herbacious than a style like The Botanist or Hendricks) but we find it to still be quite delicious with those style of gin too. And finally this cocktail is similar to the Manhattan and the Martini in that fans of it all tend to have their personal preference as to exact amounts of the ingredients so go ahead shake, taste, and personalize away!
(can susbstitute London Dry Gin as needed)
To Make The Martinez Cocktail: Chill a martini glass or coupe by filling it with ice water; set aside until ready to use. Meanwhile, fill a mixing glass with ice then add in the meassured gin, vermouth, Maraschino liqueur, and bitters. Stir with a bar spoon until it's diluted and the glass is chilled, about 20 seconds. Dump the ice water out of the cocktail glass, strain the cocktail into the prepared glass, garnish with the orange twist, and serve immediately.
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