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    Behind the Invention of the Martini

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Just as it’s debatable whether you should shake or stir for the best tasting martini, a true martini’s ingredients, why it’s called a martini, and exactly how and where the classic drink was invented also seem to be a matter of opinion.

    Who can forget the classic James Bond lines. However, just as it’s debatable whether you should shake or stir for the best tasting martini, a true martini’s ingredients, why it’s called a martini, and exactly how and where the classic drink was invented also seem to be a matter of opinion.

    Most agree a true martini starts with gin and vermouth. After that, people add anything from olive juice and bitters to olives and cherries. As time has gone on, variations like the vodka martini have become popular.

    The most authoritative account of its creation takes us to the city of Martinez, California. In the 1860s during the Gold Rush, a miner visited a bar after a long day and asked for a refreshing drink. The bartender created the Martinez cocktail, “a blend of Italian vermouth, Old Tom gin, bitters, sugar syrup, and maraschino liqueur.” After a few of those, the miner couldn’t pronounce the “Z” and called it a “martini.”

    Other legends include a similar story set in San Francisco as well as an Italian vermouth maker using the brand name of Martini, also in the 1860s.