The Martinez is a strong but balanced drink that Manhattan or Negroni fans should try. This recipe, from Jonny Raglin of Comstock Saloon in San Francisco, stirs together two parts Old Tom Gin with one part sweet vermouth, a few dashes of orange bitters, and some maraschino liqueur, then serves it up. When this drink originated in the 19th century, Old Tom Gin was usually made by taking a subpar gin and adding sugar to make it more palatable, says Raglin. In modern times the gin fell out of existence, but nowadays, quality Old Tom Gin is back on the market and artfully distilled to taste delicious.
What to buy: Old Tom Gin has similar flowery and aromatic characteristics to London dry gin, but with a touch of sweetness added. At Comstock Saloon, Raglin makes the Martinez using the Ransom brand, whose formula was developed with the help of cocktail historian David Wondrich.
This recipe was featured as part of our story on Drinks from San Francisco’s Sleazy Past.