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Martini Cocktail 1888

A little-known gem worth discovering.

“This is Harry Johnson’s Martini recipe from his 1888 Bartender’s Manual, where he retained the curaçao, the gum, and the bitters from the Fancy Gin Cocktail (genever, curaçao, gomme syrup and bitters) and added vermouth in equal parts with the gin,” writes Dale DeGroff in his revised and updated The New Craft of the Cocktail, which includes a chapter on the evolution of the Martini. “The gin is Old Tom gin, not dry gin. And we must assume Johnson used Italian sweet vermouth because he listed simply vermouth in his inventory earlier in the book.”


  • 1 oz. Old Tom gin
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • Splash of gomme syrup
  • 2 or 3 dashes Bitter Truth Bogart Bitters
  • Dash of dry curaçao or absinthe (optional)
  • lemon twist
  • Tools:mixing glass, barspoon
  • Glass:cocktail
  • Garnish:cherry or olive


In a mixing glass, stir all of the ingredients with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass; garnish with a cherry or olive and squeeze a lemon twist over the top, then discard.

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