Being a huge cocktail enthusiast obviously I’m a real Martini fan :) All this year around I have been scrutinizing a great Martini phenomenon from a birth in early 1880-s to the modern time. In fact, Martinez cocktail is the most famous predecessor of Martini, fewer people know about another one is Turf Club Cocktail. Actually both of these gin and vermouth cocktails appeared in press in the same time – Martinez was mentioned in The Modern Bartender’s Guide: How to Make Fancy Drinks by O.H.Byron (1884), and Turf Club in How to Mix Drinks. Barkeepr’s handbook by Winter, George in the same year.
The name of Turf Club Cocktail can tell a story of its birth, I suppose. A gentlemen’s club with the same name was famous in New York at 1880-s.
Born as an austere Ancient Martini – Old Tom, italian vermouth and peruvian bitters only – Turf Club Cocktail (or just Turf) has come down to us as an interesting Martini variation sweetened with a dash of maraschino liqueur. I can recommend a next recipe, adapted from New and Improved Bartender’s Manual by Johnson, Harry (1900).
Turf Club Cocktail
40 ml Old Tom Gin (or Plymouth)
40 ml vermouth dry
2 dashes maraschino liqueur
2 dashes orange bitters
Stir all the ingredients in a mixing ice with plenty of cracked ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a medium sized olive.
As usual I use my atomizer for rinsing my cocktail glass with Pernod except adding it into a mix.
Actually I tasted Turf Cocktail with three different sort of gin – Old Tom, Plymouth and Dry Gin (Beefeater London Dry), my preferences have the same order :)
Turf Club Cocktail is an excellent drink, an excellent wet (fifty-fifty) Martini, I mean. It has a noble, exquisite and, I’m positive, sophisticated flavor and palate. It’s true connoisseurs choices.