The Martini – Top 10 Glasses and Where the Martini Comes From

Question: Where do Martinis come from, and does the glass have anything to do with the name? 

I was at a bar earlier on the week, and the bar tender had a list of different types of martinis, I remember back in the day when my father would drink martinis at social gatherings and he would tell me that he only drinks classic martinis, is there a difference between the classic martinis and the martinis of today? a friend said that the Martini is the glass and not the drink? if so, where did it originate from?

Answer: The martini, or cocktail, is made with gin, vodka, or vermouth, and usually is garnished with an olive or a lemon twist.  Over the years, the martini has gone from being one of the best-known mixed alcoholic beverages, mo nothing more than an ordinary drink for girls. At its peak, H. L. Mencken called the martini “the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet.”

During the alcohol prohibition gin started to become the drink of choice because of how easy it was to manufacture illegally. This increase in Gin Sales led to the martini’s rise as the main cocktail of the mid-20th century in the United States.

When prohibition was finally lifted, the martini became a bit dryer, and in the 80’s the martini finally became an “old fashioned” drink. People began to ignore the drink and started to focus on more elaborate and intricate cocktails. Finally in the 1990’s, the martini came back into the main stream, and new versions of the old fashion drink began to emerge.

Sex and the City turned the classic “man” drink into a popular drink for girls. It wasn’t until James bond came along with the – Vesper Martini –Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large slice of lemon-peel. Got it? that the drink went back to it’s “man roots.”

The newer martini drinks include the word “martini” or the suffix “-tini” in the name. Appletini, peach martini, espresso martini, are just some of the examples found online, but the name has more to do with the style of glass they use. Most “new” martinis do no share any ingredients in common with the original martini.

The origin of the martini is unclear; there are hundreds of different theories as to where the actual drink originated at or from. The most popular theory is that the drink evolved from a cocktail called the Martinez, it allegedly originated in the 1860’s – people would frequent a hotel in San Francisco and have the drink before they took a ferry to a nearby town of Martinez. Others say the Martini was made by a bartender in New York in 1912 who’s nickname was Martini.

One thing is for certain though, when a drink is inside a martini cup, people associate the drink with a martini. The gallery at the bottom has different types of cups, some are more elaborate than others, the espresso martini is sometimes served is small “espresso size” cups, while Appletinis are served in the more “classic” martini style cups from the mid 20th century.

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