The 1951 Martini (aka 1951 Chicago Martini)

Cocktail recipe

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The 1951 Martini (aka 1951 Chicago Martini) cocktail

Glass type

Cocktail glass
Cocktail glass

3 ingredients

In 1951, Chicago liquor dealers Otis & Lee sponsored a contest seeking variations on the standard Martini (four ounces of gin and a half-ounce of dry vermouth shaken with ice, strained and garnished with an olive or a lemon twist). The 240 entries included recipes calling for Scotch, garlic and Liebfraumilch. The winning formula specified a glass swished with Cointreau and garnished with an anchovy-stuffed olive. The oily film of liqueur, the funky anchovy in the olive, the dryness of the Martini. Damn this drink works.


Take a chilled cocktail glass and coat it in Cointreau by swilling a small amount around inside. In a mixing glass with ice, stir a healthy splash of vermouth to coat the cubes and dissolve any cheeky shards of ices, and discard the liquid, retaining the ice. Pour in the gin. Strain into the Cointreau-swilled glass. Adorn with an anchovy-stuffed olive and serve.


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