Whether you like it on the rocks, with a twist of lemon, garnished with an olive or all/none of the above, the Martini belongs to a select group of undisputed classics. It’s only fair that this simple yet sophisticated cocktail has its very own day: June 19.
As with many famous cocktails, its origin story is a bit blurry. A bartending manual from 1886 mentions a drink called ‘Martinez’ (supposedly named after Martinez, California), other guides followed with similar recipes, and in 1911 a New York City bartender called Martini di Arma di Taggia (is that even a real name?) is said to have created what we know today as the ‘dry Martini’.
In the twenties and early thirties, the Prohibition era, the Martini really kicked off in the United States. Although already mentioned in Ian Fleming’s 1956 novel Diamonds Are Forever, the phrase that turned out to be the cocktail’s best advertisement – “shaken, not stirred” – was first uttered by secret agent James Bond two years later, in Dr. No. After a brief decline of its popularity in the seventies and eighties, the Martini made a comeback in the mid-nineties, resulting in numerous new variations on the classic.
Whatever its history, what matters most is the drink itself. And let’s be honest: when served right and made with dedication, the Martini is a true beauty. I prefer mine strong, so Sir Edmond Gin can take me on a Bourbon vanilla infused adventure, helped along by the best dry vermouth – I suggest Lillet Blanc. Enjoy, my fellow gin lovers. Life’s too short to sit around not drinking Martini on World Martini Day, right?
Here’s how to make it:
Step 1: Cool your Martini glass
Step 2: Scoop some ice cubes into a cocktail shaker
Step 3: Add 75 ml of Sir Edmond Gin and 15 ml of Lillet Blanc dry vermouth
Step 4: Stir gently for thirty seconds, don’t shake (I’m looking at you, Mr. Bond)
Step 5: Strain the drink into your chilled Martini glass
Step 6: Serve with an olive on a cocktail stick or a twist of lemon peel