Dirty Martini

Deciding on the perfect drink when relaxing at home, enjoying a party, or heading out for a night on the town can often be tricky with so many different choices available. A popular drink remaining popular for centuries has been the martini, a combination of vodka or gin and vermouth, an olive is usually added for a little extra flavor; the original dirty martini recipe also called for olive brine, a tradition recently returned to favor by many top bars and restaurants around the world.

Origins of the Dirty Martini

As with most popular drinks and meals the origins of the original dirty martini recipe is shrouded in mystery with two popular stories often associated with the development of this popular alcoholic drink.

  • The German Musician Theory
  • The Martinez Theory

German musician Jean Paul Aegius Martini, who had changed his name from Schwartzendorf, is often credited as the inventor of the martini as he was reported to favor a mixed drink made from gin and white wine. Martini was a popular musician after moving from his native Germany to France where fans would often order a martini in honor of their favorite musical star.

Perhaps more believable is the Martinez theory which states San Francisco-based bartender Jerry Thomas invented the earliest martini while working at the Occidental Hotel. Even this story has a story attached with Thomas reported to have been asked to create a special drink for a prospector heading to the Martinez region of California who paid for the drink with a prized golden nugget.

Dirty Martini's in Popular Culture

The rise in popularity of the dirty martini can be traced back to two important popular culture events, the rise of U.S. prohibition in the 1920s, and the development of the James Bond movie franchise and novels.

Prohibition took place in the U.S. between 1920 and 1933 when all alcoholic drinks were banned in the country following government introduced regulations. As individuals looked to develop their own drinks the ease with which so-called "bathtub" gin could be produced led to a rise in popularity for the dirty martini among those looking for a simple to create drink.

The dirty martini had fallen a little in popularity prior to the arrival of Sean Connery as James Bond in the 1962 movie "Dr. No", but his appearance drinking a classic martini inspired a boost in the popularity for the cocktail. Although the martini of choice for James Bond is a dry martini the bartenders of the world were inspired by his "shaken, not stirred" line to bring the dirty martini back to popularity.

Recipes for a Dirty Martini

The original dirty martini recipe used gin as the main alcoholic ingredient mixed with vermouth and olive brine; as the popularity of the dirty martini has grown, recipes have adapted to the tastes of different eras with vodka now a popular replacement for gin. Dirty martinis are now given different flavors with the introduction of lemon and lime as fresh fruit or through flavored gins and vodkas.

Top 5 Routes for "Dirty Martini"

  1. BBC.co.uk Many of the top chefs and food personalities contribute to this U.K. based Website dedicated to bringing a range of recipes, drinks, and advice to part-time cooks looking to indulge their foodie fantasies.
  2. Esquire One of the classic lifestyle magazines helps people with their drink game. This site offers plenty of ingredients as well as tips on entertaining your friends and family. 
  3. Absolut The vodka manufacturer provides a range of recipe options for creating classic and modern cocktails, including a range of recipes for creating a dirty martini to suit every taste.
  4. Food.com Offering recipes for both food and drinks, this Site offers step-by-step instructions for creating a range of recipes with reviews from real users to give advice on creating a dirty martini.
  5. The Spruce Tips and advice are on offer from this Website offering much more than simply an impressive recipe for a dirty martini. Advice on the best ingredients is available along with step-by-step guides on completing recipes.

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