One of the most popular cocktails, martini is believed to have its origin in San Francisco. Traditionally, the drink is made by mixing gin and dry white vermouth in a specific proportion, and is garnished with an olive. There are many stories about the origin of martini. One version is that the drink got its name from an earlier version, which was named after the town of Martinez in California. Another story is that the name 'Martini' is derived from the name of a bartender called 'Martinez', who is said be behind popularizing the drink. It is also said that the name of the drink could be derived from the name of the popular Italian vermouth producers, called Martini and Rossi.
The origin of martini has been traced back to the late nineteenth century. Today, the drink is one of the most popular cocktails in the world, and is made in numerous versions. However, the classic martini ingredients remain the same - gin and vermouth. Originally, the ratio of gin to vermouth was 1:1. However, there was a steady increase in the ratio, with an increasing demand for cocktails with a sharper taste. Not only the ratio, but also the ingredients were altered, as mixologists and bartenders tried various combinations to such a level, that now very few know the taste of classic martini.
The basic ingredients of this cocktail are gin and vermouth, combined in a ratio of 2:1. The ingredients are either stirred or shaken with ice in a beverage shaker. You may either serve the cocktail straight, or on the rocks. If you want to serve it straight, strain the drink into a chilled martini glass and garnish with olives. If you like it on the rocks, add some ice cubes into a glass, and pour the mix over them. An olive or a lemon peel can be used for garnish.
Nowadays, martini is available in several types, as per individual choice. For those who detest the sweetness of vermouth, dry martinis with a minimal amount of vermouth can be made. For beginners, vodka is used to replace gin in martinis. Another variety is 'Gibson', which differs in garnishing only. In the traditional one, olives are used, but, in 'Gibson', pickled onion is used for garnish.
In case of 'stardust' martini, a cinnamon-flavored liqueur and real edible gold dust are added. While chocolate martini uses creme de cacao; 'apple rain' martini has lime juice, along with vodka and vermouth. Another martini type is 'caramel appletini', which uses caramel sauce, apple vodka, and butterscotch schnapps. You can also go for a 'pumpkintini' that is made of pumpkin spice drink syrup, vanilla vodka, creme de cacao, and whipped cream.
However, according to purists, the traditional version is the only original martini, that too, if made by stirring and not shaking its ingredients. However, you can enjoy the martini of your choice, as there are various flavors and combinations.