Before there was the Martini, the was the Martinez. At least that’s what the accepted theory says. The Martinez is a gin cocktail that uses sweet (not dry!) vermouth, and is lightly flavored with either Maraschino liqueur, or less commonly Cointreau or Triple Sec.
Since we’re getting seriously old school, we should consider too that Old Tom Gin is what was likely used originally. “What the heck is that,” you ask? Old Tom Gin is the style of gin popular prior to prohibition, and it’s sweeter and somewhat less pungent than today’s gins. Since I didn’t have any of that on hand, I decided to try adding just a touch of simple syrup from last week’s Daiquiri, and I’ve got to say it worked really nicely! If you want to try out Old Tom Gin, give Ransom Old Tom Gin a taste.
1.5 oz gin (Rear Admiral Joseph)
1.5 oz sweet vermouth (Dolin)
0.25 oz Maraschino liqueur
1 dash of Angostura bitters
1/2 bar spoon of simple syrup (optional)
orange or lemon peel for garnish (optional)
Set a small coupe to chill with ice water. Fill a shaker with ice and add all of the ingredients. Shake vigorously. Empty the coupe, and strain the cocktail into the glass. Garnish with orange or lemon peel if desired.
The recipe I used follows my preference for equal parts vermouth and base spirit, but I would recommend experimenting with a ratio of 2 oz gin, to 3/4 oz sweet vermouth, especially if you prefer your drink a little less sweet.