Martinis Are the Only American Invention as Perfect as a Sonnet

Happy Martini Day! A classic martini is gin or vodka, a splash of dry vermouth and an olive or a lemon twist garnish. Many stories are surrounding the history of the martini.

Did you know that Italian immigrant bartender Martini di Arma di Taggia from New York City invented the drink around World War I? Many think the name martini came from a British-made rifle called a Martini & Henry. The English army used it around the 1870s because of its kick. There is also a fun story that John D. Rockefeller brought the martini to Wall Street, establishing the three-martini lunch. It’s a dated phrase used to describe a leisurely, indulgent lunch enjoyed by business people or lawyers.

And, contrary to how James Bond likes it, a shaken martini becomes ‘bruised’ or watered down. Many say stirring the ice will help chill without adding water to the mixture. At Kathey Jo’s Kitchen, this is one of those instances where we say, don’t be like James Bond!

Classic Dry Gin Martini

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1/2-ounce dry vermouth
  • Garnish: 1 or 3 olives or a lemon twist
  • Optional: ​1 dash orange or Angostura bitters

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a mixing glass filled with ice cubes, combine the gin and vermouth, pouring vermouth to your preference.
  2. Stir for 30 seconds.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Add a dash of orange or Angostura bitters, if desired.
  5. Garnish with olives or a lemon twist.

Blackberry Martinis

INGREDIENTS

Blackberry Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Blackberry Martini

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1-ounce blackberry simple syrup
  • 1/2-ounce elderflower liqueur (such as St. Germain)
  • 1/2-ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2-ounce Prosecco, for floater

DIRECTIONS

Create the Blackberry Simple Syrup

  1. In a small saucepan combine blackberries, sugar, and water. Mash blackberries with a muddler, potato masher, or fork.
  2. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Use a mesh strainer to strain solids from the simple syrup. Set strained syrup aside to cool slightly.

Build Your Blackberry Martini

  1. In a cocktail shaker, place vodka, 1-ounce blackberry simple syrup, elderflower liqueur, and lemon juice. DO NOT POUR IN PROSECCO YET.
  2. Fill with ice, shake, then strain into a martini glass.
  3. Top martini with Prosecco and serve.

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