dirtymartini2 The History of the Martini

Martinis are one of the most important classic cocktails, so it is only natural that someone out there decided it should have it’s own nationally recognized “day.” And what is that day, exactly? It’s today, June 19, of course.

The martini is such a big part of our culture now that we began to wonder where it actually came from. Who is responsible for making this cocktail happen? Well, we put on our studious researcher hats and dug into the deepest corners of the Internet to find some answers.

You are probably familiar with the many current variations of the martini, like the always popular apple-tini, but the basic martini just started out as gin and vermouth. Unfortunately, that’s just about the only thing in the martini’s history that we are pretty sure of. When it comes down to who actually invented the drink…well, that’s a little sketchier.

People Who May Have Invented the Martini

The biggest battle involving taking credit for the martini is in California where the cities of San Francisco and Martinez are squabbling about bragging rights. The martini can be found in the 1887 manual of bartender Jerry Thomas from San Francisco and people believe that he may have invented the drink as early as the 1860s. However, Martinez says that the martini was originally the “Martinez Special” and was served to a gold miner who hit it big and was celebrating. Martinez says the miner liked the drink so much that when he got to San Francisco, he told a local bartender how to make it. It seems like people lean more toward San Francisco’s story, but we think the story from Martinez is more fun.

There are other stories, but the only other logical one we found involved an Italian vermouth maker, Martini & Rossi. Customers may have originally asked for a martini simply because it used that product (they weren’t too creative back then). That product dates back to 1863.

We’re pretty gullible, so we want to believe all of these stories. Either way, one thing is for certain: whoever invented the martini is a saint and we should raise our glasses to them today on National Martini Day!