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History of the Martini

The Martini cocktail is not just a drink - it's a bartending mystery. One of the oldest legends surrounding the mystery of the birth Martini cocktail takes us back to the late 19th century, at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco, when a traveller on his way to Martinez (California), asked the Hotel's barman to prepare something special, unaware that this barman was the legendary Professor Jerry Thomas, famous for his innovative cocktails. In 1872 published the recipe for Martinez manual for bartenders which saw him recognized as one of the leading authorities in his field.

Another hypothesis would return to ltaly, in Liguria, Where the name of Martini is still widely diffused. In all probability, the Martini cocktail has no single inventor like in the case of many a masterpiece. The one undisputable fact is that Martini has long been associated with important events and people, not the least of whom being John D. Rockerfeller who, from the age of 71 never renounced his Martini cocktail until his last days at 98. The modem American Style Martini a squirt of Vermouth to a shot of gin - was invented at Harry's Bar in Venice to satisfy Ernest Hemingway, one of the most famous and regular client. Today the real Martini, Cosmopolitan, Martinez, Martini American Style, cannot be considered a Martini if not served in its own diamond-shaped glass, iced or cooled before serving.

The Martini cocktail makes its name know between the Twenties and the euphoria reigning soon after the Second World War. Gin and Dry, drier and drier, imposed their laws and went down in history. History that ahs its golden period in the Sixties: jazz and Latin-American rhythms, danced till dawn.I remember the bars in Manhattan, tremendeus and dicreet at the same time. The Martini cocktail was served while Jerry Mullighan was playing his sax or with Dave Brubeck's 5/4 touch. I remember "les vagues" that made cinema impertinent with J.P.Belmondo's blessing, H. Bogart's, Sommerset Maugham's, Rita Haywort's and Tennessee William's suggestions.

Hemingway's above all from Harry's Bar of Venice to Florida of Habana. It was with the mark of these exceptional characters that a new race was born: "the Martinians". A Martinians is recognized immediately. From the way he walks when he enters a bar, and neve any bar with an anonymons atmosphere. The shoes and the jacket he has on are soberly adequate and, above all, comfortable. He dresses natural colours, with shirts never starched. He wears a tie, but doesn't like to show it. When he speaks he looks at you straight into the eyes. A man of class, but not ephemeral or vain, a real man. If he foresees that the barman is not up to his demanding style of drinking, he prefers to elegantly ask for a glass of water, very cold, naturally. The Martinians knows the secret of smiling without any need to make use of the latest jokes, the malicious gossip or flattery.

And his girl friend? She belongs to the category of ladies who know how to seduce with elegance, without being decorative. If she hadn't been like that he wouldn't nave chosen her.

Mauro Lotti
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