Martinez Cocktail: The Martini’s Predecessor


Before the Martini became the iconic cocktail we know today, there was the Martinez. Revered as one of the predecessors to the Martini, the Martinez is a rich and robust cocktail that evokes the grandeur of the old world. Let’s delve into its history and learn how to craft this timeless classic.

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History of the Martinez

The Martinez’s origins are cloaked in mystery, with various tales attributing its creation to different bartenders and regions during the late 19th century. Some say it was first crafted in Martinez, California, where a gold miner ordered a special drink before heading to San Francisco. Others believe it was created by legendary bartender Jerry Thomas at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco. Regardless of its true origins, the Martinez has carved its niche as a fundamental classic in cocktail history.

Tasting Notes

The Martinez is a symphony of flavors. The gin’s botanicals harmoniously blend with the sweet and herbaceous notes of the vermouth (I’m using my favorite, Antica Formula). The maraschino liqueur adds a touch of cherry sweetness, while the orange bitters provide a hint of citrusy brightness. The result is a drink that’s both complex and immensely satisfying.

Stirred, Never Shaken

Remember, since the Martinez doesn’t contain any citrus, it’s crucial to stir the drink to prevent it from turning cloudy. Plus, stirring ensures a silky mouthfeel that’s characteristic of this cocktail.


The Martinez, with its rich history and delectable flavor profile, is a must-try for anyone keen on exploring classic cocktails. Using the right tools, like a high quality mixing glass, and a premium gin such as Aviation, can elevate the drinking experience. So, next time you’re in the mood for a classic with a twist, give the Martinez a shake – or rather, a stir!

Further Recommendations

While Aviation Gin brings a modern touch to this cocktail, those looking for a more traditional experience might want to try Old Tom Gin, which has a slightly sweeter and more robust flavor profile. Whatever your gin choice, the Martinez is sure to impress.


Discover the Martinez cocktail: a predecessor to the Martini. Dive into its rich history, tasting notes, and crafting methods using premium Aviation Gin.
5 from 1 vote
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1 Drink
Calories 165 kcal


  • 2 oz Aviation Gin though Old Tom Gin is traditionally used, Aviation provides a cleaner, brighter profile
  • 3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • 2 dash Orange Bitters


  • In a mixing glass, combine all the ingredients.
  • Add ice and stir for about 30 seconds until well-chilled.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled Nick and Nora glass.
  • Garnish with a lemon twist or cherry, if desired.
Keyword gin drinks, prohibition era drinks, stirred drinks, straight up

2 thoughts on “Martinez Cocktail: The Martini’s Predecessor”

  1. 5 stars
    I can imagine that would be quite nice even though I tend to prefer martinis with vodka and extra dry. As a tangent, it makes me wonder what a Hacked Gibson would be. Pickled onion?

    1. Oooo good call. Still may be too fodmappy for me. Related. What would a Psyche cocktail entail? Redbull, neuotropics?

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