Perfect Martinez

Cocktail recipe: Perfect Martinez

The Perfect Martinez is not just any cocktail. Being the predecessor of the modern Dry Martini, it may be the quintessential classic cocktail.

About the Perfect Martinez

This cocktail was created in the 1860’s at the Occidental Hotel in San Fransisco, California – by the bartender Jerry Thomas. Thomas is considered to be no less than the father of American mixology.

The Occidental Hotel was destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake and subsequent fire of 1906 and was never rebuilt. However,  the recipe survived trough Bar-Tender’s Guide (alternately titled How to Mix Drinks or The Bon-Vivant’s Companion).* Published in 1862. The Bar-Tender’s Guide is the first drink book ever published in the United States.

The original recipe consists of the following:

  • 1 part Old Tom Gin
  • 1 part Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dashes of Curaçao
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters

This cocktail has changed very much over time. My re-discovery of this cocktail happened during London Cocktail Week last year. The bartender from the Fairmont Hotel was just fantastic. He served me a fantastic version of this cocktail. His enthusiasm and knowledge inspired me to write How to find your passion – and why it’s important.

Here is a video of how the drink is made at Fairmont Pacific Hotel.


The below recipe is my own variation of Fairmont recipe. The only change I have made is to use twice the amount of gin and experimenting with different sorts of gin. I must say that orange peel is becoming my favorite garnish for the Perfect Martinez.


What you need to make a Perfect Martinez

  • 4 parts Gin
  • 2 parts Martini Extra Dry
  • 2 parts Martini Rosso
  • 1 part Cointreau
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Martini glass
  • Ice
  • Mixing glass
  • Bar spoon
  • Strain


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How to make the Perfect Martinez

  1. Chill the glass with ice and cold water
  2. Stir the liquids
  3. Strain into the chilled glass
  4. Garnish with lemon or orange peel


Disclosure: Links marked with * are affiliate links. This means that if you buy a product using this link, I may get a small commission. Book Depository has free worldwide shipping. I would never recommend a product without trying it and liking it myself.




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