With Valentines day right around the corner I thought that I would give a brief history of where the martini came from and provide a few Valentine’s themed martini recipes. These drinks will be great whether you are spending a romantic night in or having a party with all your girls. Lets learn a little bit about the origin of this classic cocktail
The exact origin, like many drinks that I feature is a little unclear. Of course there are several accounts that say the martini was named after a specific person or place where it claims to be from. Lets look at a few here. Around 1863 an Italian spirits company branded their product Martini and with one of their hottest sellers being vermouth the drink came from one of the two ingredients. Another source claims the drink came from the name Martinez in the 1860s. Although this story has discrepancies within discrepancies. Martinez is an town off the coast of San Francisco. According to sources guests at the Occidental Hotel in S.F. would take the very to the town after a night of drinking what they would later name martini after their final destination. This story also claims that the drink was named after the town of Martinez because a bartender their invented it. No matter where the first account of this potent palliative came from it’s here to stay.
The martini saw its peak in popularity during the 1920s. While this was during prohibition the ease of producing bathtub gin made the liquor readily available. And although the martini was quite popular so were other gin based cocktails. At this time the martini was served with dry gin and dry vermouth at a 2:1 ratio. stirred in a mixing glass with ice and strained into a cocktail glass this drink is traditionally topped with a olive or lemon twist. As the drink has evolved the ratio has seen the biggest change. The 1930s saw a 3:1 ratio, while the 40s saw a 4:1, that being gin to vermouth. The biggest change came during the 21st century where we see 6:1, 8:1 even up to 100:1. Now thats a strong drink. To make a dirty martini you top your classic martini with a splash of olive juice.
Now today we have endless options when it comes to martinis: appletinis, peachtinis, chocolate martinis, rasbertinis, a favorite of mine being the fliritini. But the only reason these drinks are dubbed with the name “tini” is due to the glass they are served in. Martini’s in this capacity are generally served with vodka, making them not technically a martini. But that doesn’t mean they are just as delicious. With that being said I have found a couple of Valentine’s day inspirited “tini’s” that will make your heart and your taste buds flutter.
Valentines Day Chocolate Martini
2 oz. vodka, light rum or brandy
1/2 oz. chocolate liqueur
1/2 oz. white creme de cacao
chocolate syrup to coat the rim
mix in martini shaker, pour into chilled martini glass
Muddle raspberries and grenadine in a cocktail shaker add vodka and lemon juice pour and enjoy.