Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Martinez – the Martini’s Lost Ancestor

Originally uploaded by iceman9294

Have you ever admired something for beauty’s sake? Not wanting to own it but to enjoy it for what it is? Like looking at an endangered species, knowing that it is very rare. Or having a fascination with retro clothing for the pure artistic expression it gives to its wearers.

That’s how I felt today when I was reading about a drink called Martinez – an ancestor to today’s modern martini featured in an article in the Wall Street Journal. The article talks about the history of the drink and the changing tastes of those who imbibe – favoring sweet, then dry, then sweet again over the course of 100 years or so.

What was fascinating to me was that until as recently as a year ago, it was impossible to reproduce the Martinez because the key ingredient, Old Tom gin, was not commercially available. Now it is, thanks to a British spirits company, Hayman Distillers, who dusted off an old family recipe for Old Tom.

I may never taste a Martinez, but I don’t have to. I have already experienced the “high” of having discovered something new that is lovely, charming, and historical – dry material to some, but sweet to me.


  • 1.5 oz Hayman’s Old Tom gin
  • 1.5 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 t. maraschino liqueur
  • 2 dashes orange bitters

Carefully stir with ice, and then stir some more.  Strain into a stemmed cocktail glass and garnish with a slice of orange peel.

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