Leading bartender Salvatore Calabrese is making liquid history by using vintage spirits to create the world’s oldest Martini.
He made the drink for the first time last night at his bar in Las Vegas, Bound by Salvatore Calabrese at The Cromwell, after devising a recipe using Park & Tilford New York gin and orange bitters from about 1900 plus Noilly Prat vermouth from around 1890.
However, the version made in Las Vegas used Regans’ Orange Bitters as a substitution as the bottle of vintage bitters broke in transit.
He based it on a recipe from the early 1900s which calls for one part gin, one part Noilly Prat and two dashes of orange bitters.
Salvatore (pictured), who is well-known for championing the dry Martini, says: “I keep going back to this drink as it is a fundamental drink from a list of cocktails that I think every drinker should know, understand and respect.”
He will be making the drink again on this side of the Atlantic at Salvatore’s Bar at Playboy Club London from April 15.
It ties in with the US publication of his latest book, Classic Cocktails, an updated version of his 1997 title of the same name.
Salvatore has earned a reputation for his exploration of cocktail history through using vintage spirits, liqueurs and vermouths in drinks at his bars.
Cocktail picture by Patrick Gray, Kabik Photo Group
Updated April 5, 2015, with information about the orange bitters.