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The Martini Story

The Martinez
Forerunner of the Martini
Dash of bitters
2 dashes maraschino liqueur
1 pony Old Tom gin
1 wine glass vermouth
1/4 slice lemon

Mix all ingredients, except lemon, in a shaker with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Note: Original recipe advised adding two dashes of "gum (sugar) syrup, if the guest prefers it very sweet."

During the days of the "Gold Rush", in 1849, a miner struck it rich and was returning to San Francisco. The miner, arriving in Martinez, the first large town he hit, wanted to celebrate. He walked into our leading bar and asked for Champagne, a beverage which was not available. However, the bartender told him (the miner) that he had something much better than Champagne and served a drink which the bartender said was a "Martinez Special". The miner liked the drink and ordered for the house. After he woke up, some time later, he proceeded on to San Francisco where he immediately went to a prominent bar and ordered a "Martinez Special". The bartender of course had never heard of the drink and asked the miner how it was made and where he had heard of the drink. The miner said that the drink was made with one part of very dry Sauterne wine and three parts of Gin, stir with ice and finish with an olive and was made in Martinez. The bartender tried the drink himself and liked it and of course had his friends drink it. Over a period of years the name Martinez (try to say it repeatedly) became Martini.

This world famous concoction, the Martini, has prolonged more luncheons, launched more jokes and ruined more dinners than anything since the days of Cleopatra, but the community of Martinez is very proud to be the birthplace and home of the world renowned "Martini". We feel that we have a beautiful city and we cordially invite you to come and visit "Shangrila". If you do, we feel that you will want to stay.

Martini Madness

  • A Minneapolis restaurant sells a six-gallon martini competitively priced at $195.00. One per customer please.
  • A diet has allegedly been invented based on martinis and whipped cream
  • In Stockton, California, 30 women were reportedly at the peak of "martini-happiness" when in popped two burglars demanding money and jewelry. Unfazed, the women asked the intruders to join them for a martini. The men did; They left empty-handed.
  • The Court of Historical Review in San Francisco ruled that the martini was invented in San Francisco, but not before the liquid evidence was ingested by the presiding judge. A court in Martinez, California, recently overturned this decision.
  • An interior Designer was quoted that "the times are ripe for a major martini revival as the last time martinis were important was the last depression." Chicago Tribune, Oct. 23, 1991 .
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