This is one of those drinks that has a number of competing recipes that all get the same name, though the general structure stays the same. The big split is between the versions that use dry sherry and those that use dry vermouth. Either way, they tend to be refined and elegant like their namesake.
2 oz Plymouth gin
1.5 oz dry vermouth
0.25 oz maraschino liqueur
2 dashes orange bitters
Combine all ingredients, stir with ice for fifteen seconds, then strain into a chilled, absinthe-rinsed cocktail glass and garnish with a twist of lemon.
The aromas are balanced between the gin, lemon, and maraschino, with the last just pushing above the others. The sip begins with a moderate amount of sweetness, which turns into a sort of thickness around the middle as the gin and vermouth dry out the flavors, with a gently bitter finish dominated by the vermouth with anise in the background.
This is the first Martini variation that has really clicked for me. Admittedly, it's extremely wet by modern standards even before the addition of the maraschino liqueur, but it's still nicely palate-cleansing in the finish. I do wonder if the balance is a bit different than it's supposed to be since I used Plymouth navy strength and scaled down the amount to account for the extra alcohol, but my guess is that it's pretty close. I can also imagine this being rather good with a more floral gin like Hendricks or you could push it in a more savory direction with something like Sounds Spirits Ebb+Flow. Whatever gin you pick, the results should be tasty.
Lagavulin 21 year old 1991 (thank you, Brett!)
2 hours ago