Posted by: Matt Browner Hamlin | March 12, 2009


Erik Flannestad of Underhill Lounge, in his continued quest to make and publish every single recipe in the Savoy Cocktail book, comes to the Marguerite:

Marguerite Cocktail

1 Dash Orange Bitters. (Angostura Orange Bitters)
1/3 French Vermouth. (3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth)
2/3 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz North Shore No. 11)

Shake (I stirred) well and strain into cock-tail glass. Twist orange peel on top.

Having recently been to a number of cocktail seminars presented by Bols and The Bitter Truth, I can tell you that this is the earliest known recipe known for a Dry Gin, Orange Bitters, and French Vermouth Cocktail.  In other words, perhaps the real precursor to the modern Dry Martini!

Stephan Berg has tracked this recipe’s first know publication down to an 1896 book called, “Stuart’s Fancy Drinks and how to mix them”.

What’s particularly interesting is that while there’s a lot of common discussion and research into how the Manhattan evolved towards the Martinez which eventually swapped vermouths and lost its maraschino and became a Dry Martini, I haven’t ever seen the actual predecessor recipes to the Martini. The Marguerite is a 2:1 dry gin Martini. It’s early publication strikes me as about right for when this drink would have first been created.

I recently completed Derek Brown’s home bartenders course at CulinAerie and the evolution of the Martini was discussed, though the Marguerite Cocktail never came up. But anyone who enjoys a Martinez is often lead to ponder when and where the Martini came from. I’m pretty happy to now how have a drink to point to as the earliest known recipe for the Martini…so thanks Erik!



  1. Here’s the lineage as far as I can see it. Hope this helps.

    The Martinez
    This one is a sweet. The Martinez was based on the Manhattan, substituting Old Tom Gin for whiskey. First recipe is in O.H. Byron’s The Modern Bartender’s Guide (1884) and later in the venerable “Professor” Jerry Thomas’ The Bon Vivant’s Companion: Or How to Mix Drinks second edition (1887).

    The Martine (1:1)
    Mistakenly labeled as “The Martine” in an illustration in Harry Johnson’s New and Improved Illustrated Bartender’s Manual or How to Mix Drinks of the Present Style (1888) this is the first ever mention of the word “Martini” in a cocktail book. He also mentions the Margueritte with Plymouth and the Turf Club.

    The Marqueritte (2:1)
    Thomas Stuart’s Stuart’s Fancy Drinks and How to Mix Them (1896). Close enough to the name Martini, the name “Marqueritte” was easily absorbed.

    The Puritan (2:1)
    Very close to The Margueritte, this one calls for Yellow Chartreuse. The recipe appears alongside The Martini in Fredrick L. Knowles’ The Cocktail Book: A Sideboard Manual for Gentlemen (1900).

    • This is great, thanks for the history Derek. I would be pretty curious to see a seminar dedicated to the chronological developments of key major cocktails like the Martini, Manhattan, etc.

  2. I just got ahold of some Plymouth Navy Strength and am trying The Marqueritte with Noilly Prat (American) and The Bitter Truth orange bitters.

    I imagine the Navy Strength Plymouth Gin was first used in The Marqueritte.

  3. I think there has been some confusion surrounding the Marguerite Cocktail by folks looking backwards trying to find the first, originally-composed drink that meets modern expectations for the “Dry Martini.” I am not confident that the recipe actually appeared in the 1896 edition, but was in the update to the 1904 edition. That would mean the 1903 Marguerite, with liqueur, was first. I wrote on this here:

  4. There was not an 1896 edition. That confusion arises because of the publisher’s filing date for second-class mailing with USPS appearing on the book’s title page.

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