14 September

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Gibson's birthday

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Gibson Dry Martini

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You don’t have to be a fan of pickled onions to enjoy a Gibson Dry Martini, a classic Dry Martini garnished with two cocktail onions in place of the classic olive or twist.

And the man who most likely gave his name to this classic martini variation, the illustrator Charles Dana Gibson, was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, to a WASPy, political family this day in 1867. His pen and ink sketches appeared in all the best East Coast publications, plus plenty of books, but it was the Gibson Girls that made his name.

Tall, slender but statuesque, with the type of impressive hourglass figure only achieved with great genes and painful corsets, the Gibson Girls became a standard for American beauty, a sort of prototype pin-up. Gibson based his foxy, late-Victorian chicks on his wife and her sister (later known as Nancy Astor).

Although Gibson would progress to editor then owner of Life magazine and buy himself an island in Maine, he's perhaps best known today as the namesake of the Gibson Martini, as his illustrations of busty Gibson Girls probably inspired Charles Connolly of the Players Club to name a two-onion martini in their honour. Do try one.

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