The Martinez cocktail may be a predecessor to the martini, but these drinks could hardly be less alike to the modern palate. The Martinez starts with equal parts gin and sweet vermouth, and this alone distinguishes it in two ways from the modern martini. You then add a teaspoon of maraschino liqueur and either Angostura or orange bitters.
For this classic cocktail, it's worth taking the time to find Old Tom gin. My preference for this drink is Ransom Old Tom, from Oregon. Distilled with malted barley, it has a maltiness that marries well with sweet vermouth. If you can't find Ransom, Eric Seed's Haus Alpenz line imports Hayman's Old Tom from England. The Alpenz portfolio is now available in 40 states plus the District of Columbia, so you may have better luck there. If you're unfamiliar with maraschino liqueur, here's a primer.
- 1 1/2 ounce Old Tom gin
- 1 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth (I like Carpano Antica in this)
- 1 teaspoon maraschino liqueur
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- Lemon twist, for garnish
Fill a mixing glass with ice. Add gin, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and orange bitters. Stir until very cold then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist lemon peel over cocktail to express its oils. Rub rim of glass with peel and discard.