The martini is one of the classic cocktails that every bartender and novice should know how to make. The exact origins of the classic drink are a bit muddy, but many connoisseurs believe the martini first appeared back in 1888 in the pages of the Bartenders’ Manual simply combining 50% gin and 50% vermouth. Of course, that’s not the only theory out there. Some attribute the martini’s origins to the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco during the 1860s, while others have declared the birthplace solely at the Knickbocker Hotel in New York City in 1911.
But, in the end does it matter exactly when and where we started drinking it?
One thing we do know is the vodka martini first rose to fame thanks to popular culture and James Bond. 007 always chose vodka over gin (the more traditional option), and he always took it shaken not stirred. But, if the 1950s and 1960s were seen as the golden era of the martini, what to follow was surely not good for James or his preferred cocktail.
During the 1970s and 1980s the drink was seen as too old fashioned and was skewed for newer cocktails. But what came next was even worse for the martini franchise. Bartenders updated the drink during the 1990s creating drinks like the overly sweet apple-tini and chocolate martini. This was the death of the martini as we know it. The ‘new’ and ‘updated’ versions were available everywhere and in every bar. But the short-lived craze put an end to the martini as a respectable drink. It was made cheaply and sweetly.
You would have thought that the craft cocktail trend that emerged in recent years would have brought back the original glory days of the vodka martini. But it didn’t. Not at first. Bartenders first went to the dark liquors (ryes, the bourbons) and the bold liquors (gin) but customers kept asking for vodka. This is why the classic vodka martini came back – the demand. Ready for one? We asked Master Bartender Dale DeGroff and Grey Goose Ambassador Julien LaFond to share a few classic cocktail recipes you can make at home.
Forever Young by Simone Caporale and Alex Kratena
• 1.5oz Grey Goose Vodka
• 0.5oz Martini Dry Vermouth
• 0.5oz Eucalyptus Syrup
• Opium Essence
• Stir over ice and strain into a chilled metal cup.
The Second Chance Martini by Dale DeGroff
• 1.5oz Grey Goose Vodka
• 0.5 Bombay Sapphire
• 0.25oz Lillet Blanc
• 0.25oz Martini Dry Vermouth
• Stir over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
• Garnish with a lemon zest.
• 2oz Grey Goose Vodka
• 1oz Benedictine
• 1 Dash Angostura Bitters
• Stir over ice and strain in a chilled cocktail glass.
• Express a lemon zest over the cocktail and discard.
Martini 1 by Alex Day, The Normandie Club. L.A
• 2 oz. Grey Goose Vodka
• 1 oz Alexander Jules Fino Sherry
• 1 tsp. Raw White Honey Syrup
• Sel Gris, in an atomizer with water
• Stir until well chilled and strain into a Nick & Nora glass.
• Top with atomized sel gris solution.
For more recipes visit here.