Unknown but this 15:1 gin to vermouth Martini was said to be Ernest Hemingway's favourite formula and is named after British Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, who it is said, liked the gin in his Martini to outnumber the vermouth in roughly the same ratio as he liked to outnumber his opponents in battle. Nicknamed ‘Monty’, Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery (1887-1976) fought and was seriously wounded in the First World War and was one of the most notorious British commanders in the Second World War. He commanded allied troops at the Battle of El Alamein and was a key planner of the Normandy D-Day invasion. On 4 May 1945 he took the German surrender at Luneburg Heath in northern Germany.
The name is short for ‘Gin and Italian’, a reference to the sweet vermouth, which was traditionally Italian while French vermouth was dry. In his Craft of the Cocktail, Dale DeGroff states that the Gin and IT was originally known as a 'Sweet Martini' and as such was a popular drink during the 1880s and 1890s at the Hoffman House and other New York bars. Later it became known as ‘Gin & Italian’, until during Prohibition it was shortened to ‘Gin & IT’. The Gin & IT made its way to London during Prohibition in America and due to the British love of gin, the Gin & IT became a very popular drink and staple pub serve. Its popularity waned with both that of vermouth and gin in the late 1980s but is now ripe for discovery by a new generation of gin and vermouth drinkers.
This variation on the Dry Martini was created by the mind of author Ian Fleming, the result of various influences, and made famous by his including it in his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, published in 1953.
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