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Like I said in my last post, we’re starting at the beginning of the martini and moving forward through time. In Martinis, Evolution, and the Evolution of the Martini (Part 1), I found the oldest recipe for a martini that I could find and moved forward.

Now, we’re onto the Martini from the 1930s.

We also see the “Dry Martini” come into development for the first time.

These two drink recipes are from What Shall We Drink? by Magnus Bredenbek (1934)

The Martini (for 2)

3/4 of a glass of a cocktail glass of sweet gin

3/4 of a glass of Dry or Sweet Vermouth

Sweeten with “gum” to taste

4 dashes of orange bitters

The “Dry” Martini

3/4 of a glass of a cocktail glass of sweet gin

3/4 of a glass of Dry or Sweet Vermouth (not the sweeter type)

Sweeten with “gum” to taste (but not as much as a Martini for 2)

4 dashes of orange bitters


Note: A standard martini glass is 4 oz.

Also note: gum or “gomme” syrup for mixed drinks is simple syrup that has added gum arabic.

We can see from the 30’s that there was a tendency to create a sweeter drink that we have returned to. I don’t use simple syrup in martinis because I feel like that removes the drink’s integrity. However, if the drink is too herbal or bitter for you, add simple syrup and tell people you’re drinking it 1930’s style.

Given how we think of dry martinis, this is obviously a misnomer. Our concept of a “dry” martini is nothing like this. But, since I’m pro vermouth, I obviously like both.

I’ve written about the American Classic, and we can tell that it comes from the 1930’s version of a martini. Rather than adding either French (sweet) or Italian (dry) vermouth, we add equal parts of both until the ratio is 1 part gin to 1 part vermouth.

I love these martinis.


The cost is about the same for each drink, so I’m going to do one.

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:

Gin: $1.20

Vermouth: $0.48

Bitters: $0.01

Total Cost: $1.69

Total Cost: $0.85/drink.

A fun martini quote:

I love to drink Martinis,
Two at the very most
After three I’m under the table,
After four I’m under my host.

–Dorothy Parker

As always, happy and safe drinking. Next post: The Transition to vodka.