How to Make a Martinez, or that cocktail on NBC’s Ironside

How to Make a Martinez IronsideThe Martinez is a classic cocktail.  So classic in fact that it is believed to be the cocktail that evolved into the Martini.  It is also, sadly, almost entirely forgotten.  So you can imagine my surprise when the cocktail got a shout out on last week’s episode of NBC’s Ironside.  Although Ironside was just been cancelled, you can still make and enjoy this cocktail.

The Martinez
  • 1.5 oz Old Tom Gin
  • 0.75 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dashes Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • 1 dash Orange Bitters
  • (optional) Lemon wedge or twist

Pour all ingredients over ice in a mixing glass and stir gently with a cocktail spoon.  Once mixed, pour the drink into a chilled martini glass.  This is not a particularly cheap cocktail and is meant to be sipped slowly over conversation or a meal, not knocked back.  The original recipe for the martinez called for one ounce of gin and two ounces of sweet vermouth, but it eventually reversed the ratio to become the strong, spirit forward drink that it is today.  If you want I lighter, sweeter experience, I recommend trying the original recipe.

A quick recap of how to make a Classic Martinez:

Some of the ingredients used in the Martinez are unlikely to be in your liquor cabinet.  Old Tom Gin is a style of gin which is a bit sweeter than your standard London dry gin like Beefeater, Bombay, or Tangueray.  If you’ve never had it, it is definitely worth a try although it falls into the realm of craft distilleries (read “not cheap”) altough brands such as Hayman’s and Plymouth will work well too. You can substitute a London dry gin, just expect the cocktail to be a little bit different and less sweet.  Luxardo is one of those expensive liqueurs that is a staple for classic cocktails and cannot really be replaced.  Yes, you can substitute curacao for a similar effect, but it will never taste quite the same.  If you really want to embrace classic cocktails, I highly recommend picking up a bottle of Luxardo Maraschino Cherry liqueur.  It will be $30 well spent and is only used in small quantities, so will last for dozens of cocktails.

Total cost per drink: $2.40

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Posted in Cheap Cocktails, Gin, History, Liqueur

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Nick McAfee
Nick McAfee is a student of Princeton University and is passionate about mixology. As a student with a low monthly income, he has developed ways to create simple cocktails with complex flavors from inexpensive ingredients. Learn more about Nick and Broke & Thirsty.
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