The first book in decades to celebrate and explore the history of the most iconic of classic cocktails, the martini, with 50 recipes.
JAMES BEARD AWARD FINALIST • WINNER OF THE TALES OF THE COCKTAIL SPIRITED AWARD® • IACP AWARD FINALIST • “Simonson’s a fleet-footed writer, and his thumbnail history is easily satisfying without getting into the weeds. . . . This is a no-brainer for martini enthusiasts.”—Publishers Weekly
A classic martini includes gin, vermouth, sometimes bitters, a lemon twist or olive, and lots of opinions—it’s these opinions that New York Times cocktail writer Robert Simonson uncovers in his exploration of the long and tangled history of the classic martini and its subtle variations. The book features examples of age-old recipes, such as the first martini recipe published in 1888, modern versions created by some of the world’s best bartenders, and martinis sought out by enthusiasts around the world, from Dukes Bar at the Dukes Hotel London to Musso and Frank Grill in Los Angeles. In The Martini Cocktail, you’ll discover everything you need to know about what components make a great martini, as well as a collection of 50 recipes to create your own drinks (and form your own opinions) at home.
Drinks writer Simonson (3-Ingredient Cocktails) delves deep into martini lore in this breezy history of arguably the world's most famous drink. Far from the beverage's current formula of "gin, vermouth, sometimes bitters, lemon twist or olive, and lots of opinions," Simonson writes, the original martini cocktails of the late 19th century were sweet, amber-colored concoctions, and where they first appeared is debated as contentiously as whether a martini made with vodka rather than gin still deserves the moniker. In tracking the martini's evolution, Simonson touches on the stirred-or-shaken divide, where the martini glass came from (as murky as the origin story of the drink itself) and its rise to neon-sign ubiquity, the proliferation of 'tini drinks in the 1990s (there is no love for those in here), and garnishes. Simonson's a fleet-footed writer, and his thumbnail history is easily satisfying without getting into the weeds. The bulk of the book is recipes, including early versions as they appeared in 19th-century cocktail manuals, various classic formulations, and offerings from restaurants famous for their takes (Musso & Frank Grill in L.A., the Dukes Hotel in London, Harry's Bar in Venice, etc.) that will certainly encourage experimentation. This is a no-brainer for martini enthusiasts.