As with many classic cocktails, numerous origin stories have attached themselves to The Gibson like barnacles, and the truth is uncertain. One thing is clear, however: the pickled onion hasn’t always been part of the Gibson legend. The recipe in my 1933 edition of The Savoy Cocktail Book is essentially a formula for what many would call a 50/50 martini — half gin, half dry vermouth, with a faint spritz of lemon essence. Nonetheless, we now tend to regard The Gibson as a martini in which a cocktail onion is swapped in for the usual olive — and that’s the version of the story I’m sticking with in this recipe. Play with the proportions to your taste, but, as usual, I recommend that you don’t stint on the vermouth.
- 2 ½oz. London dry gin
- ½oz. dry vermouth
- 1cocktail onion
Step 1Pack a mixing glass with ice. Add gin and vermouth. Stir for 30 seconds, until it is very cold indeed. Strain into a cocktail glass in which a cocktail onion awaits.