Martinez Cocktail

One of the original, classic cocktails, the Martinez is the boozy bridge between the Manhattan and the Martini.

Martinez Cocktail

It has been a few hundred years since the word “cocktail” first appeared, originally popping up in the United States’ The Farmers Cabinet in 1803. Only three short years later, in 1806, the first instance of an alcoholic cocktail was written about in The Balance and Columbian Repository. One day I must seek out these historical tomes and browse through the pages.

Since that time, we now have an almost uncountable amount of cocktails to choose from. Whether at your local watering hole, or from any number of recipe books and even here at Twist & Toast, if you’re an indecisive person, you might have a hard time choosing an evening tipple. But there are some “celebrities” amongst the choices, often making our decisions for us. For example, a Martini is always a good “go-to” drink if you’re unsure.

But what about a Martinez? What is that, you ask? Well, this drink is a sort-of “parent” to the Martini, and the equally famous Manhattan as well. A mixture of gin, sweet vermouth and maraschino liqueur, the Martinez has a few disputed claims to its invention. Jerry Thomas, who published The Bon Vivant’s Companion in 1862, is said to have created the cocktail for a customer who was traveling to the port city of Martinez, California. The city of Martinez disputes this version, however, claiming a local bartender, Julio Richelieu, invented the drink around 1870. The first time the drink appeared in print was in O.H. Byron’s The Modern Bartender’s Guide, in 1884, further muddying the waters of history.

While the exact origins of the Martinez remain a mystery, the recipe has survived through the ages and remains a popular, old-school treat. While many do point to how this cocktail could be the “missing link” between a Martini and a Manhattan, all three drinks remain pretty distinct from each other. After we make one tonight, the Martinez might just become your new late-evening sophisticated cocktail that helps you wind down after a long week.

What is the Best Gin to Use in a Martinez Cocktail?

When making a cocktail with some historic significance, I always try to make mine as close to what an original version might have tasted like. Over the years, brands and labels change their recipes and strengths, and in some cases aren’t even made anymore. A London Dry will always do a great job in any gin based cocktail, but for the Martinez I’m going to suggest going for an Old Tom gin or possibly a Navy Strength. The Old Tom will be a tad sweeter, and mixes well with the vermouth.

Martinez Cocktail
Servings 1 serving
serving 3 minutes


  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1 1/2 ounces sweet vermouth
  • 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Garnish: orange twist


  • In a mixing glass, combine the gin, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and Angostura bitters.
    Martinez Cocktail
  • Fill the mixing glass with ice, ensuring there’s enough to chill the mixture without diluting it too much.
    Martinez Cocktail
  • Stir the contents gently yet thoroughly until the mixture is well-chilled, which usually takes about 30 seconds.
    Martinez Cocktail
  • Strain the chilled cocktail into a coupe glass that has been pre-chilled in the freezer for a smoother experience.
    Martinez Cocktail
  • Express an orange twist over the drink to release its oils, and then drop it into the glass as a garnish.


Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 0.03g | Sodium: 0.4mg | Potassium: 1mg | Sugar: 3g | Iron: 0.02mg
Martinez Cocktail

FAQs & Tips

Martinez Cocktail

Similar Cocktails to the Martinez

A timeless tipple like the Martinez is said to have inspired more than a few cocktails, and here at Twist & Toast we have some classic recipes from other famous beverages to keep you entertained this upcoming weekend. Check out a few of them below, and try one tonight.

  • Gin Martini – Here’s one legendary concoction that will never go out of style.
  • Negroni – A simple, yet complex tasting cocktail, the Negroni brings gin, sweet vermouth and Campari together for a delicious and bittersweet experience.
  • Manhattan – Sweet vermouth and rye whiskey help make this Big Apple-inspired drink the classic that it is.
  • Sazerac – Originating in New Orleans, this drink has the distinction of being hailed as the first cocktail ever made.

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