History of the Martini and Martini Glass

by Richard Peristere

History of The Martini Cocktail

The History and story of the Martini itself is a bit complicated. Some say the first Martini was served by the Occidental hotel in San Francisco for weary patrons on their way to the Martinez. In time the name was shortened to Martini. Supposedly, the first dry martini is sometimes credited with the names associated with a bartender who created the drink for the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York in 1911.

Although the Martini is considered an American beverage, based on some mythical sources it originates in Europe. John Paul Aegius Schwartgendorf emigrated to France in 1758, and became Jean Paul Aegide Martini in conformity with fashion in Italy. Apparently he liked the drink of mixing gin and white wines and became popular with musicians in France. Several musicians may have come from Europe or America with the cocktail called the "Martini".

cocktail, martini, gin

Whichever story is true, we're happy we have the Martini.

James Bond and the Martini brothers

It crossed the pond and was published as an Ian Fleming novel in 1960. In the first Bond story, Casino Royale his recipe has been described as: three measures of Gordon Gin, 1 litre of Russian vodka and 1/2 gram Lillet aperitif wine shaken to warm and with a fine piece of ice. Those variations were named properly as the Vesper variant because his mate Vesper Lynd perished. He was a beloved character in the book. The two novels "Live and Die" are about Bond who drinks vodka Martinis, which has continued with the first film " DrNo " . In Bond's latest Casino Royale release, he is asked if he would prefer his martini shaken or stirred, which he aptly replies, "Does it look like I give a Damn."

Modern Times, The Best Martini's in the World

There's no place where we've seen anyone who doesn't drink martinis in their own way! We've had a privileged time when bartending was an art and many are training and most programs for bartending often hold some sort of classic cocktail training. There will be some bars which stand out.

The Dukes Hotel is London is famous for its simple and classic martini. Of the many exquisite drinks and classic drinks they serve it's their Martini that stands out. On Somebody Feed Phil, Phil is enamored by this modern day martini. American invention or not this one particular cocktail deserves to be enjoyed.

Martini Variations

Dirty Martini

Dirty Martinis are just another drink most bartending customers shudder at the name. That seems terribly wrong but the salty drink has influenced popularity. Interestingly a beverage existed from 1930 onwards and Franklin D. Roosevelt made Martini in olive oil brine nearly every day. Thank goodness he didn't have nukes. Traditionally the martini Cocktail uses an olive brine and many like to add olives stuffed with bleu cheese.


It was created by Ian Fleming for James Bond and is now popular with 007 fans. Originally called Vespers'Cocktail, it was Bond's first love. The cocktail is shaken and garnished with lime peel although the grapefruit peel can add some interesting flavor. Traditionally a mix vodka and gin and dry vermouth. The Vesper has become a staple drink for those want to be like Bond and like classic cocktails.

Espresso Martini

This variety of martini avoids the green olive and large thin slice of lemon and swaps it for espresso, espresso beans, and a coffee liqueur. This is not be to mistaken with a mudslide cocktail but a cocktail evolved to satiate both flavor and the energy required to for a great night. This is the perfect entry level martini.

Dry Martini Versus Wet Martini

Vermouth style is an important factor and much like when ordering Manhattan ‘wet' applies to more vermouth. Dry means no. Generally 50 % is half the difference. We generally prefer a dry martini with dry vermouth and a lemon twist.

The Martini Glass

Paris. 1925. The cobblestone streets of the french capital are filled with literary and artistic luminaries like Hemingway ... F. Scott Fitzgerald ... Picasso. Yet, for all their fame and talent, they pale in comparison to another icon.

The Martini Glass.

The Parisian's decided the traditional cocktail glass couldn't quite cut it. They needed a glass that could keep a stirred drink chilled for as long as possible. So they elongated the stem to keep your hand from warming the drink. Then created a wider and more conical face to help you drink faster. The steeply sloped edges also allow for the spirits to breath quicker.



A properly poured martini should have one olive per desired sip. A three olive martini is meant to be consumed in three large sips. Granted each country has their own opinion and superstition as to the amount of olives per sip.

martini, glass, olive

A proper dry martini or dirty martini does not necessarily need to use London dry gin or old tom gin. In fact James Bond himself enjoyed vodka martinis, shaken of course. The classic Martini has evolved beyond dry vermouth and a lemon peel. Many prefer this classic drink with olive brine and a lemon twist, otherwise known as a dirty martini. This classic cocktail glass now serves not only the vodka martini and gin martini, but also the espresso martini.

Ready to make your own?

Ready to gear up for a martini lunch or perhaps three martini lunch? Don Draper certainly loved an ice cold martini. Feel free to head on down to the local bar or would you like to learn to make the perfect martini?

Take a look at our favorite Recipe. We prefer our martini dirty with a little olive juice, lemon juice, lemon peel and a chilled martini glass.

Need the right equipment? Perfect lemon peel?

Need the proper equipment? Cocktail shaker, mixing glass, ice cubes, perfect peeler? The modern bartender and classic bartender needs it all. Check out our shop

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