For me, it was love at first sip with Martinez. I mean, look at him. He may be a short drink of water, but is packed with a strong sweetness, warmth and complexity. Don’t even get me started on the mouthfeel.

The Martinez cocktail is an old recipe – first appearing in O.H. Byron’s 1884 Modern Bartenders’ Guide. In that book, it’s described as the same as a Manhattan, but substituting gin for whiskey. Close, but the recipe I used also calls for Luxardo Maraschino liqueur. It also appears a few years later in Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders’ Guide in 1887.

It calls for Old Tom gin. (YES, DOUG. I CAN TASTE THE DIFFERENCE!) It’s slightly sweeter than your London Dry, but it works so well with the vermouth and cherry liqueur. It’s no longer available to buy in Ontario. That meant I sucked it up and checked my bag on the way back from a recent trip to LA so I could bring home a bottle. Worth it.


I’m currently in the land of the boozer’s wonderland. The Wine & Spirits Co. in Milford, CT has a dizzying selection of alcoholic delights from around the world, and has a really knowledgeable staff. If you ever find yourself in Milford, do yourself a favour and visit these guys. Read on…