'California Gold Rush' Martinez

IQ Editors

1 serving   |   >5 minutes

Unbeknownst to most, the Martinez is the father of the Martini. It first came to be in the San Francisco Bay area, during the height of the California Gold Rush.

Make and taste the 1887 recipe of this Northern California classic that—like a James Bond-approved Martini—loves to be shaken, not stirred.



1 ounce, Old Tom gin

2 ounces, sweet Italian vermouth
1 dash, Angostura bitters*

2 dashes, Maraschino liqueur
Ice cubes

Small lemon



  1. Pour the spirits into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes

  2. Shake until chilled, then strain into a chilled coupe glass

  3. Garnish with a lemon slice

  4. Cheers!


Chef's Tips

  • If you have a sweet tooth, you can add two dashes of gum syrup to the mix

  • In lieu of a lemon slice, you can garnish with a lemon peel or orange peel


From Martinez to Martini,
An Origin Story

The Martinez was created on-the-fly in 1874, when a gold miner who had just struck it rich strode into a saloon in the Bay Area town of Martinez and ordered Champagne to celebrate his good fortune.

The bartender did not have Champagne in stock; so instead, he concocted a new libation comprised of gin, bitters and sweet vermouth, and dubbed it the Martinez Special.

Over time, the “ez” slurred into an “i,” the recipe got simpler and drier, and the Martini went on to become the drink of choice amongst movie stars, politicians, kings, queens and Bond… James Bond.


* The 1887 recipe called for Boker's bitters, which is no longer produced. Angostura is a good substitute