Martinis. History in a cocktail glass.
The classic cocktail, the martini, has achieved a status well beyond a rather simple cocktail. It’s even been referred to as “the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet”.
A traditional martini is made with gin and vermouth, usually in a ratio of 2:1, garnished with a twist of lemon or an olive. It seems to have originated in the late 19th century, and by the “Roaring Twenties” a dry martini had become the drink du jour, made with dry white vermouth.
As time went on the amount of vermouth decreased significantly, sometimes to just a finger-dip of vermouth run around the top of the glass. In protest, the Wet Martini came into being, a 50-50 martini with equal gin and vermouth. However you mixed it though, the martini was the essence of sophistication.
More named variations followed – a Reverse Martini contains more vermouth than gin, a Dirty Martini has a splash of olive brine added, a Perfect Martini uses equal amounts of sweet and dry vermouth, and a Gibson is garnished with cocktail onions. And let’s not forget the “shaken, not stirred” martini made famous by James Bond, more correctly known as a Bradford.
It has a fascinating history and, despite being sidelined by creamy cocktails in the 70s and 80s (remember Brandy Alexanders?), the martini has had a resurgence and is a very popular cocktail choice in the burgeoning 2020s.
There’s huge scope for originality with the martini, and nowadays gin is often swapped out for vodka. At Boathouse Bar + Dining we are big fans of this classic cocktail and have a whole section of our cocktail menu devoted to it. Our Espresso Martini is a popular choice – an enlivening mix of vodka, kahlua and fresh espresso.
For something different, and equally delicious, try our Ginger Beer Martini, an intriguing mix of gin ginger, sorbet and fresh lemon. Or our Gummy Bear Martini with the zingy fruit flavours of raspberry, peach and cranberry combined with vodka.
Of course, the classic martini is hard to beat, particularly as a pre dinner aperitif. However you like yours – traditional, wet, dirty, perfect or reverse – our staff can whip you up a great martini. The ultimate in sophisticated sips and history in a cocktail glass!