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Martini Cocktail
Martini Cocktail: published in 1888 by Harry Johnson, it is the very first “martini”.


For 1 person
3 cl gin
3 cl vermouth rosso
1 cl white curaçao
0,5 cl simple syrup
2 or 3 dashes of aromatic bitters (Angostura...)

How to make

👉 mixing glass / 🥃 martini / 🍸 short drink (7cl) / ⏱️ 3 mn
  1. Half fill a mixing glass with ice cubes.

  2. Pour in the gin, vermouth, curaçao, simple syrup and bitters.

  3. Stir with a mixing spoon.

  4. Strain into a martini glass.

  5. Garnish with a lemon zest.


Here is a cocktail that was important to publish on Cocktail Mag since it is part of the history of martinis: the Martini Cocktail!

The Martini Cocktail is the first "Martini" to have been published in a cocktail book, it was in 1888 in the 2nd edition of the book "Harry Johnson's new and improved bartender's manual" by Harry Johnson.

On closer inspection we quickly realize that this Martini Cocktail recipe is exactly a Martinez with an extra dash of curaçao. Recipes so similar with names so similar, it is certainly not a coincidence... Moreover, if the Martini Cocktail is a variation of the Martinez, which is a variation of the Manhattan, well yes the Manhattan is at the origin of Martinis! This book by Harry Johnson supports this idea as we discover that the recipes for the Martini Cocktail and the Manhattan are identical in every way apart from the base spirit, making one a variation of the other.

In 1900 in the 3rd edition of the same book, Harry Johnson made 2 modifications to this recipe: the choice between curaçao and absinthe, as well as an optional additional garnish (cherry or olive). Martinis were well and truly born.

Note that in 1888 the recipe for the Martini Cocktail also appeared in "Bartender's Manual" by Theodore Proulx. No curaçao in the recipe, but it is also the gin variant of the Manhattan in this book.

In the end in these 2 books we realize that the name "Martini Cocktail" has simply taken the place of Martinez as a variant of Manhattan gin!

This Harry Johnson-style Martini Cocktail from 1888 is in any case incredibly rich on the nose and on the palate, as long as you also squeeze the lemon zest on top of the cocktail to extract the essences before inserting it into the glass, it will be truly one of the best short drinks you will have drunk in your life!

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