A forebear of the dry Martini, the first-recorded recipe for the Marguerite appears in the 1900 edition of Harry Johnson’s New and Improved Bartender’s Manual. Although a part of the story of the dry Martini, it is still quite sweet with its 1-to-1 gin-to–dry vermouth ratio, not to mention the inclusion of anisette, a potent and sweet liqueur.
By 1903, Daly’s Bartenders’ Encyclopedia was still calling for Italian (sweet) vermouth in its Martini. However, in that same book, the Marguerite cocktail stipulates the use of French, and therefore dry, vermouth, showing the importance of this cocktail in the evolution of the Martini.
Just one year later, in the 1904 edition of Stuart’s Fancy Drinks and How to Mix Them, the orange curaçao is absent from the Marguerite, making it the first prominent cocktail recipe to omit a sweetener while simultaneously making a dry gin the star. “I may, of course, be biased here,” claims Plymouth’s Global Brand Ambassador, Sebastian Hamilton-Mudge, “however, it would
seem that Plymouth Gin certainly had the style and qualities that bartenders were looking for to finally let go of sugar, put gin in the limelight, and make a truly light and dry cocktail.”
These three recipes show the significance of the Marguerite cocktail in the evolution toward a dry-style Martini. The original ingredients for each version here show how Hamilton-Mudge adapted the recipes to use modern-day Plymouth Gin. He used corenwyn to compensate for the sweet ingredients used in those early incarnations.