The Martinez

Guest post by Sean Lorre, PhoBlograpHusband.

I'm afraid that one of my oldest friends doesn't like me much anymore. We used to be thick as thieves. We could really count on each other, you know? I'd sing his praises to anyone who would listen and in turn he'd lift my spirits, get me through tough times... hell, he even helped me meet my wife. But lately, things just haven't been the same. Why, bourbon? Why have you turned on me?

See, used to be that I could drink bourbon all night and never have a problem. But lately, just a glass or two leaves me worse for wear the next day. This newfound shortcoming has left me in a predicament and wary of ordering my go-to drink, the Manhattan. Thankfully, I have a fallback... enter the Martinez!

The Martinez, ostensibly the precursor of both the Manhattan AND the Martini, has a long, illustrious and much debated history. I won't bore you with the details, much less a historiographic critique of  said details. (Did I mention that I'm working on my Ph.D.?) Point is that it's old-school, classic and fantastic. I had my first Martinez at the Flatiron Lounge a few years ago, just as I was discovering the world of the craft cocktail. It's been a favorite ever since, though it has only been in the last year, after finally investing in a bottle of Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, that I started making them at home. In recent months I've started to see a real resurgence of the Martinez on drink lists. Viva la Martinez renaissance!

The Martinez

2 ounces gin

1 ounce sweet vermouth

1/2 ounce Luxardo Maraschino liqueur

3 dashes bitters (Angostura or Peychaud's)

Orange peel, to garnish

Combine the gin, vermouth, Luxardo and bitters in a tumbler filled with ice. Stir vigorously and strain into your favorite old-time cocktail class. Garnish with orange peel, flamed if you can, "to add flavour and aroma to the surface of the cocktail."

Tasting Notes

You'll note that I don't specify any particular gin or vermouth (or bitters for that matter). The key to a good Martinez is the proportions. Stick to these and you'll end up happy with your drink. You may also note that the 1887 recipe calls for Old Tom gin. If you got some or can get some, give it a whirl. If not, good ole London dry will do just fine.

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