HISTORY AND MYTH – James Magazine

If in those purple hours that precede the night you order a Martini cocktail, you almost forget the rest of the world. Sipping the king of cocktails can be a moment of high satisfaction in which one is seduced just by observing the ritual of its preparation, almost as if to foretaste it.

It is the best known and most requested cocktail in the world, based on gin and vermouth, an expression of culture, a way of life behind which are hidden legends, beliefs and rituals. Its name is not related to the Martini intended as a vermouth company, and one of the most common mistakes is to think that it is a soft and sweet cocktail.

There are many hypotheses about its creation and its possible fathers and the only thing that can be said with certainty is that everyone has their own vision of the Martini but no one can have the last word. And it is as if there was no Martini cocktail other than the sartorial one, made to measure for each of us, capable of touching the deepest emotional chords. However, this does not mean that there are no guides who in the infinite world of Martini can act as cardinal points, with their style and their versions of this mythological drink.

Photo credits Claudia Calegari

Mr Queirolo, a Ligurian of Weapon of Taggia, in 1910 in New York, at the Knickerbocker Hotel modified the Martinez cocktail and served this new cocktail in honor of John D. Rockefeller, one of the richest men of that era. He decreased the amount of vermouth, used a French extra dry vermouth, Noilly Prat with notes of juniper, walnut, bitter orange peel and tamarind, and finally added a twist of lemon peel and an olive as decoration. A cocktail dedicated to the mother whose surname was precisely Martini.

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Ernest Hemingway he loved another version of the Martini Cocktail, the Montgomery. In a passage from the novel “Across the river and into the trees”Speaks of the Martini 15:1. It is named after the English general Montgomery, who did not want to attack if the troops did not have a fifteen to one ratio. In this version of the Martini, even if gin is the absolute master and the use of a particular vermouth is never mentioned, the use of Vermouth di Torino Dry may surprise you. Cocchi limited edition, born in its first version in 2014 from the collaboration with the American Bar del Savoy of London for the creation of a unique product. From the second updated edition comes an Italian vermouth enriched with citrus fruits, bergamot and alpine herbs from Piedmont.

Photo credits Claudia Calegari

Finally, the Martini version of James BondShaken, not stirred“, the Vesper Martini. Invented by the writer Ian Fleming in the 1953 novel Casino Royal, three parts of gin, one part of vodka and a half part of Kina Lillet no longer in production, to be replaced with Lillet Blanc to remain faithful to the original, a vermouth with intense notes of yellow rose and broom, with slight vegetal hints of aromatic herbs and balsamic puffs.

The Martini is a cocktail that does not have a definitive version, in which the only certainties are the serving temperature and consequently the right dilution, the iced cup and excellent ingredients. For Mauro Lotti, the bartender who is the sacred monster of Martini: “There is no perfect Martini, but there is a Martini for each of us. Just find out what it is”.

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