The Classic Martini

One of the many legends told about the invention of this most famous of cocktails is that it was created in the nineteenth century by ‘Professor’ Jerry Thomas of San Francisco’s Occidental Hotel who named it after the nearby town of Martinez California.

Whatever its actual origins, by the 1950s an ad for a sales manager job actually required that the applicant ‘should be able to handle twelve martinis.’  Of course, in those days the average cocktail glass was of the 3 ounce variety instead of the 7 ounce variety found in most bars currently.  Still, imagine trying to conduct business after downing even 5 of our present day martinis!

The Classic Martini (early 1920’s style, or ‘wet’)1930s Martini

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • Olive, for garnish

Stir or shake (depending on your preference – MUCH debate about this! I prefer shaken, as James Bond always requests in the movies) all the ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with the olive, or substitute a cocktail onion to make it a Gibson.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi Mark,

    Thank you for following my blog! I like your work and how you tie together old classic places and people with some of the modern cocktails we know and love today. I love that a 1950s job description included that you need to be able to handle that many martinis 😉 If only jobs were classified in that way today… Anyways, I hope you enjoy my site and I will be sure to follow yours as well.


    Jess (


    1. markbarclay says:

      Thanks Jess! Great job on your posts as well! Love the detail you put in your reviews, and all the recipes. I had no idea there were so many variations!


      1. There are countless variations- as long as you are creative in the kitchen 😉 I really appreciate the compliments, as this is only month 2 of my blogging adventure.



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