(credit: shutterstock)

(credit: shutterstock)

Martinis have come a long way since the original creation of gin and vermouth pre and post prohibition. Sean Connery started the vodka martini trend in 1062 as James Bond in “Dr. No,” and the two martini pioneers held their own until the late ’90s until a little show called “Sex in the City” arrived and girls night out involved flirtatious cocktails thrown into a martini glass with the word ‘martini’ tagged at the end. Since then, the martini genre took on a life of its own. To this day, it’s still going strong and being reinvented along the way. With new liqueur flavors and spirits flooding the industry Los Angeles bartenders are having a field day inventing and reinventing the martini. Thirsty? Check out these favorite martini recipes from Los Angeles bartenders.
Ralph Vincent DiTucci
213 Bar Group

One of the issues with a newly invented or reinvented martini is that it’s not universal. You can only get that particular concoction from that bartender in that establishment. But that’s not how the 213 Nightlife Neighborhood Bars does it. “New cocktails are pitched and developed as a team before they go on the menu,” stated Ralph Vincent DiTucci, Director of the 213 Nightlife Neighborhood Bars (Tony’s Saloon, Golden Gopher, 4100 Bar). Each bar in the group is unique but they all deliver many of the same delicious signature cocktails. “The Sherry Martini will be on our spring cocktail menu. Sherry’s the up and coming ‘it’ spirit of 2015.”

Sherry Martini

  • 1.75 oz. Beefeater Gin
  • 1.75 oz. Osborne Manzanilla Sherry
  • 1 Dash Regan’s Orange Bitters
  • Lemon Twist

Method: Combine all ingredients over ice in a mixing glass and stir. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish.

Mezcal Martini

  • 2 oz. El Silencio Joven Mezcal
  • 1/2 oz. Dolan Dry Vermouth
  • 1 Dash Regan’s Orange Bitters
  • 1 Dash Angostura Orange Bitters
  • Grapefruit Twist

Method: Combine all ingredients over ice in a mixing glass and stir. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish.

Perfect Martini

  • 2 oz. Fords Gin
  • 1/2 oz. Dolan Dry Vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 Pitted Castelvetrano Olives

Method: Combine all ingredients over ice in a mixing glass and stir. Strain into chilled martini glass and garnish.

Related: Best Neighborhood Bars In LA: Culver City

Jeffrey Wood
Rocco’s Tavern
12514 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 985-9876

As a seasoned bartender, Jeffrey commands the bar with diplomatic professionalism while still maintaining a boy-next-door charm. Old school cocktails may hold some personal comfort, but he’s not afraid to experiment with new spirits. “Cucumber vodka is still pretty popular. When it first came out, no one really knew what to do with it, including myself. So I started to play around with it.” After some fine tuning, Jeffrey invented what he calls “The Miki.” But that’s not the only original he has up his sleeve. For the others you’ll have to stop in to see him.

The Miki

  • 2 oz. Effen cucumber vodka
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime
  • 1/2 oz. cucumber juice
  • 3/4 oz. St Germain liqueur

Combine in a mixing tin, shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a thin cucumber wheel. If cucumber juice isn’t available, you can simply double the lime juice.

Paul O’Neil
The Fifth
4821 Whitsett Ave.
Valley Village, CA 91607
(818) 753-8297

As one of the original Hollywood Daddy’s crew, Paul’s friendly disposition and above-average standard for how a customer should be treated makes him a prominent staple in quality customer service. When you walk into the door at The Fifth, he is genuinely happy to see you whether you’re a first-time customer or longtime regular. And people are happy to see him, too. “I love turning people on to something new. The bummer is I never name my cocktails!” When forced, Paul put a name on this little go-to martini: Ginger Snap. “Vodka has a mass appeal but I like to make the exact same cocktail with bourbon for my bourbon drinkers.”

Ginger Snap

  • 2 oz. Citron Vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz. Canton Ginger Liquor
  • 3 dashes of bitters
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

Directions: Shake over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Add a splash of club soda and garnish with a lemon wedge.

Julia Mildenberger
Cater/Event Bartender
(818) 943-1601

Julia Mildenberger has always been a hard-working woman. Not only was she a working stiff like most of the people in LA, but she also founded the animal rescue group Southern California Cat Adoption Tails. While she loved rescuing animals, she hated her real job. After her husband died, Julia decided life was too short to spend it doing something she didn’t enjoy. She promptly quit her job and became a bartender. “It was one of the best decisions I ever made! I’m having a ball!” During the concert season Julia tends bar at The Greek. In the off season, she grabs jobs as a private events bartender. Julia’s favorite martini? The peach pomegranate martini. “I love all these new flavored vodkas! I’m like a kid in a candy store.”

Peach Pomegranate Martini

  • 3 oz. Van Gogh (peach pomegranate) vodka
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 1 oz. peach schnapps
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Instructions: Mix all of the ingredients in a shaker. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge.

Kristine G. Bottone is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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