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Cocktail of the Month: Gin Martini

01 Feb 2019

Gin may have thrust its way back in to the spotlight in recent years, but the Gin Martini has been a staple of any good cocktail menu since it was first served nearly 150 years ago.

The European story of origin

The origins of the first Martini are often disputed. If you ask European cocktail connoisseurs, they'll tell you that in 1863 an Italian vermouth maker marketed his famously dry drop as Martini, and it was the brand name that was responsible for the cocktail's name. 

The American story of origin

However, if you ask our American friends across the pond, they'll tell you that the Martini is an evolution of a cocktail called the Martinez, which rose to popularity in the 1860s at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco. The Martinez took its name from the town of Martinez, which was situated across the San Francisco harbour. Punters would stop in at the Occidental and knock back a few of their signature cocktails before catching a late night ferry to continue the party in Martinez.

One thing we can be sure of is that the Martini's popularity exploded during the prohibition in the US. Gin was the preferred spirit of illegal distillers, and the abundance of it on the black market lead to the Martini becoming the cocktail of choice. 

Dry, Dirty or Perfect? 

Today the Martini take on many forms. The most popular is the Dry Martini, made with dry vermouth. The Perfect Martini is made with equal parts dry and sweet vermouth, while the Dirty Martini adds a dash of olive brine to the mix. 

Our Gin Martini, available in the Lobby bar and The Café Bar, is of the dry variety. Our expert bar team mix Bombay Sapphire gin with a dry vermouth and a dash of orange bitters. Green olives on a cocktail stick are added as the traditional garnish.

The Martini is designed to be enjoyed before dinner, and it's a great way to start a meal in The Harbour Room

The Gin Martini - How it's made

  1. Pour all the wet ingredients into mixing glass with ice
  2. Stir well (don't shake!)
  3. Strain into a chilled Martini glass
  4. Garnish with olives