The breakfast martini is a modern classic in the cocktail scene. Created in London in the late 1990s, it's a gin sour enhanced with orange marmalade for a bittersweet taste. Requiring just a few common bar ingredients, it's a cocktail that anyone can make at home.
Orange marmalade is the breakfast martini's signature ingredient, and it's best with high-quality marmalade. This is a perfect cocktail to showcase gin with a lighter botanical profile, including those focusing on floral and fruit notes rather than juniper-forward London dry gins. To round it off, choose a top-shelf triple sec and use fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and you'll have an exquisite brunch-worthy martini.
The original garnish for a breakfast martini is a wedge of toast slipped onto the rim. It's unusual but fun, though you are risking breadcrumbs in your drink. Orange twists are a more conventional alternative. Like the bloody mary, savory garnishes such as crispy bacon, cornichons, and sweet pickled peppers (e.g., Peppadew brand) are excellent additions that play off the breakfast theme.
Gather the ingredients.
In a cocktail shaker, add the orange marmalade and lemon juice. Muddle well to break up the marmalade strings.
Add the gin and triple sec and fill the shaker with ice.
Shake well for about 15 seconds.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass using a fine-mesh strainer.
Add an orange twist, cornichon, and/or sweet pickled pepper garnish. Serve and enjoy.
- This martini typically calls for "1 barspoon" of marmalade. That measurement can vary from one spoon to the next, though it's generally equivalent to a heaping teaspoon.
- If the marmalade you're using has very fine bits of orange peel or is "shredless," you can skip the muddle. Instead, stir it with the liquids until dissolved, then add ice and shake.
- To fine-strain the cocktail, pour the drink through both your normal strainer and a fine-mesh strainer. It's not essential but ensures no marmalade bits make it into the glass.
Who Invented the Breakfast Martini?
The breakfast martini was created in 1996 by Salvatore Calabrese while working at London's Library Bar in The Lanesborough hotel. His inspiration was the orange marmalade his wife insisted he eat for breakfast. The taste of the bitter preserves prompted him to take the jar to work and develop this recipe which is now enjoyed worldwide. It was not the first cocktail to use marmalade, though it is the most famous. In the 1930 "Savoy Cocktail Book," Harry Craddock shared a marmalade cocktail recipe that also paired it with gin and lemon juice and is noted as "especially suited to be a luncheon apéritif."