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Hello, again, Gentle Reader. It hasn’t been as long this time.

One of the things that they do stress in law school is how much you change, grow, and evolve during law school. The purpose of law school is to train you “to think like a lawyer” as my Criminal Law Professor tells us. The way they do this is incredibly painful. They take you as you are, strip you down to your barest essentials, and then build you back up in a thinking, breathing, lawyering machine. I get told this daily.

Evolution has been on my mind. Who we are. Who we were. The process of getting between those two. As it so often does, this makes me think about booze.

I’ve decided to do a serious on the martinis. As you know, I generally shy away from the classics, because everyone has written about them. We’re going to start from the very beginning.

Going back to 1895:

The Martini

The martini is iconic. Nick and Nora Charles throwing back martinis while solving a mystery. James Bond sipping while uncovering international plots designed to overthrow Western society. F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s The Great Gatsby. We associate the martini  with leisure and sophistication.  While that association with the martini has never left, would the original martini recognize itself?

The original martini was completely different in its inception than who it is now.

Looking at Modern American Drinks by George Kappeler (1895), this is the recipe for the Martini Cocktail:

1/2 jigger of Tom Gin

1/2 jigger Italian (dry) Vermouth

3 dashes bitters


Isn’t that crazy? I like vermouth, but I think this might almost be too much vermouth for me. I’ve never had it with this much Italian vermouth before, but I do like many of my martinis half liquor, half vermouth as you may remember from my American Classic or Manhattan, Perfect? post. But this is the original incantation of the martini. Or at least the earliest published martini recipe that I could find.

If anyone can an older martini recipe let me know.


It’s really difficult to find Old Tom’s Gin now. Although if anyone ever sees a bottle and wants to gift me a bottle, let me know.

Gin: $20 per 750 mL bottle

Vermouth: $8 per 750 mL bottle

Orange bitters: $5 per 12 oz bottle.

Total Cost: $33

Cost per Drink:

1/2 jigger = 0.75 oz.

Gin: $0.60

Vermouth: $0.24

Bitters: $0.01

Total Cost: $0.85/drink.

As always, happy and safe drinking. Next up: the 1930’s cocktail!