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Crafting Better, Smarter, Stronger, Beverage Professionals

The Proper Cocktail

The Martini

By 1922 the Martini reached its most recognizable form in which London dry gin and dry vermouth are combined at a ratio of 2:1, stirred in a mixing glass with ice cubes, with the optional addition of orange or aromatic bitters, then strained into a chilled cocktail glass.  Over time the generally expected garnish became the drinker's choice of a green olive or a twist of lemon peel.


dry martini is made with dry, white vermouth. By the Roaring Twenties it became common to ask for them. Over the course of the century the amount of vermouth steadily dropped. During the 1930s the ratio was 3:1 and during the 1940s the ratio was 4:1. During the latter part of the 20th century, 6:1, 8:1, 12:1, or even 50:1 or 100:1 martinis became considered the norm.


dirty martini contains a splash of olive brine or olive juice and is typically garnished with an olive.


perfect martini uses equal amounts of sweet and dry vermouth.


A Smoked Martini used 6 drops of scotch in the cocktail glass, rolled throughout the glass and then tossed out.


Martini Recipe


2 ½ ounces Gin

½ ounces Dry Vermouth

1 or 3 Olive Garnish


Martini Recipe


Mixing Glass

1 ounce Brandy

1/4 ounce White Crème de Menthe

Add Ice

Stir and Strain

Cocktail Glass

Garnish with Mint Sprig


A popular history suggests that the drink originated at the Manhattan Club in New York City in the early 1870s, where it was invented by Dr. Iain Marshall for a banquet hosted by Jennie Jerome (Lady Randolph Churchill, Winston's mother) in honor of presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden. The success of the banquet made the drink fashionable, later prompting several people to request the drink by referring to the name of the club where it originated—"the Manhattan cocktail".  However, Lady Randolph was in France at the time and pregnant, so the story is likely a fiction.

The original "Manhattan cocktail" was a mix of "American Whiskey, Italian Vermouth and Angostura bitters". During Prohibition (1920–1933) Canadian whisky was primarily used because it was available.

However, there are prior references to various similar cocktail recipes called "Manhattan" and served in the Manhattan area. By one account it was invented in the 1860s by a bartender named Black at a bar on Broadway near Houston Street.


An early record of the cocktail can be found in William Schmidt's "The Flowing Bowl", published in 1891. In it, he details a drink containing 2 dashes of gum (gomme syrup), 2 dashes of bitters, 1 dash of absinthe, 2/3 portion of whiskey and 1/3 portion of vermouth.


The same cocktail appears listed as a "Tennessee Cocktail" in Shake 'em Up! by V. Elliott and P. Strong, copyright 1930 (p. 39): "Two parts of whiskey, one part of Italian Vermouth and a dash of bitters poured over ice and stirred vigorously."


The following are other variations on the classic Manhattan:

  • Rob Roy is made with Scotch whisky.

  • Dry Manhattan is made with dry vermouth instead of sweet vermouth and served with a twist.

  • Perfect Manhattan is made with equal parts sweet and dry vermouth.

  • Brandy Manhattan is made with Brandy instead of whiskey and is very popular in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

  • Metropolitan is similar to a brandy Manhattan, but with a 3-to-1 ratio of brandy to vermouth.

  • Cuban Manhattan is a Perfect Manhattan with dark rum as its principal ingredient.

  • Tijuana Manhattan is made with an Anejo Tequila.

  • The Fourth Regiment is a classic (ca. 1889) cocktail that uses a 1/1 ratio of whiskey and vermouth, and uses three dashes of three different bitters - orange bitters, celery bitters, and Peychaud's Bitters.



Manhattan Recipe


Rocks glass, filled with ice or martini glass, chilled

¼ ounce of sweet vermouth

2 ½ ounces of blended Canadian whisky

2 dashes of bitters

Cherry garnish

Manhattan Recipe


Rocks glass, filled with ice or martini glass, chilled

¼ ounce of sweet vermouth

2 ½ ounces of blended Canadian whisky

2 dashes of bitters

Cherry garnish

Martini / Manhattans

Duo's are cocktails made with a liquor and a cordial.  These drinks tend to be sweeter based on the sweetness content of the cordial used.  

Martini Recipes

Tequila Martini

2 ½ ounces of silver Tequila

1 ½ ounces of Dry Vermouth

Olive Garnish


Rum Martini

2 ½ ounces Rum

½ ounces dry Vermouth

Olive Garnish


Sweet Tequila Martini

2 ½ ounces Anjeo Tequila

1 ½ ounces Sweet Vermouth

Cherry Garnish


Vodka Martini

2 ½ ounces Vodka

½ ounces Dry Vermouth

1 or 3 Olive Garnish



2 ½ ounces of Gin

½ ounce Dry Vermouth

Onion Garnish




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