The Martini is possibly the classiest of drinks worldwide. You can just say the word and an image of a slick martini glass filled with a clear liquid and an olive come to mind. Some may even go as far as remember James Bond’s ‘shaken, not stirred’ quote.
Surprisingly, the history of this drink is relatively unknown, however, there is a theory that seems to have been accepted within the industry. The drink apparently evolved from Martinez, which in turn comes from Manhattan. In the early 1860s, people asked the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco for a cocktail before taking an evening ferry to the nearby town of Martinez.
The people of Martinez are said to have made claims to the drink being prepared by a bartender in their town. A bartender named Jerry Thomas supposedly invented a drink for a miner who wanted something special in exchange for a gold nugget. Since the miner was heading back to Martinez, California, Jerry named it for the city – Martinez.
The first known written recipe of the Martini is credited to O. H. Bryson’s 1884 cocktail book, The Modern Bartender, where the drink is referred to as a variation of the popular cocktail, The Manhattan.
In spite of the uncertain known origin of the Martini, the drink gained popularity during the Prohibition. The ease of the manufacture of illicit gin in the US created a huge market for the bloom of martini cocktails in the mid-20th century.
There is probably still somebody arguing whether a Martini should use gin or vodka. It is literally an age-old debate but our preference has always been vodka! Scroll down for our favourite Vodka Martini recipes to get you ready for the big day.
- 70 ml Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka
- 15 ml dry vermouth
- Green olive or strip lemon zest removed with a peeler, for garnish
Optional: Freeze martini glass 15 minutes before making the drink.
For a shaken martini:
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Add the vodka and vermouth and shake until well chilled.
- Strain into a martini glass, garnish with an olive or lemon peel and serve.
For a stirred martini:
- Pour the vodka and vermouth into a mixing glass or cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Stir vigorously, about 20 seconds, until well chilled.
- Strain into a martini glass, garnish with olive or lemon peel and serve.
For the sugar syrup:
- 100g golden caster sugar
For the cocktail:
- 100ml Grey Goose Luminous vodka
- 50ml freshly brewed espresso coffee
- 50ml coffee liqueur (we used Baileys Espresso Creme)
- 4 coffee beans (optional)
- Start by making the sugar syrup. Put the caster sugar in a small pan over medium heat and pour in 50ml water. Stir, and bring to the boil.
- Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Put 2 martini glasses in the fridge to chill.
- Once the sugar syrup is cold, pour 1 tbsp into a cocktail shaker along with a handful of ice, the vodka, espresso and coffee liqueur.
- Shake until the outside of the cocktail shaker feels icy cold.
Strain into the chilled glasses. Garnish each one with coffee beans if you like.
Find the alcohol you need for this recipe (and more) on the VIP Bottles website today.