Classic Dry Martini
September 10, 2009 – 2:30 am | 2 Comments

Okay, so here is my entry into the “what is a real Martini” debate.  The’s Traditional Dry Martini.
Coming off the heels of my review of Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth, I felt challenged to find …

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Home » Drinks

Leap Year Martini

Submitted by Editor on September 8, 2009 – 2:26 am2 Comments

One of the best cocktails you may never have heard of, The Leap Year Cocktail is a citrus infused variation on a Martini with a fantastic burst of flavor that is both sweet and sophisticated. Made of gin, sweet vermouth, Grand Marnier and lemon juice, it is a drink that you could introduce to anyone who enjoys cosmos or lemon drops or other sweet martini derivations.

Credit for it’s creation is usually given to Harry Craddock of the Savoy Bar in London where, as the story goes, he first concocted this drink to celebrate the leap year holiday of February 29th, 1928. Whether that is true or not, it has become a drink that gets trucked out once every four years and is then forgotten for the next four years. Your luck of finding a bartender who knows this one is slightly more than zero. You may have to order this one by naming the ingredients.

Many variations on this recipe exist. Some with sweet vermouth, some without. There are two listed here with the first one being the most traditional. Due to the lemon juice and Grand Marnier providing so much flavor, you don’t necessarily need top shelf gin to really enjoy this cocktail. I made it with Bombay Sapphire this time around but have had it with well gin and it was still drinkable. That said, the better the gin, the more refined the drink.


The Leap Year Cocktail


2 ounces gin

1/2 ounce Grand Marnier

1/2 ounce sweet vermouth

1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice

Twist of lemon peel


Shake the gin, Grand Mariner, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

Extra Pucker Leap Year Cocktail


2 ounces gin

1/2 ounce sweet vermouth

1/2 ounce Grand Marnier

Juice of half a lemon

Slice of lemon


Shake the gin, Grand Mariner, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and float a slice of lemon on top.

I like both versions with the first being the more balanced of the two. The first is also the more historically accurate.  The Extra Pucker version, pictured here and also my favorite of the two, is more crisp from the additional lemon juice. Happy Leap Year! Cheers!

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