The Gibson

Like the unlimited derivations of the Martini, the Gibson comes in many guises, different presentations and differing historical claims. It’s the classic Martini, with the introduction of the cocktail onion. Replacing the briny-flavoured olive, or citrus twist with earthy savoury onion and a subterranean tang of vinegar.


Opinions differ on the origins. Standard history – that at some point in the 1930s, magazine illustrator Charles Dana Gibson asked Charlie Conolly at New York’s Players Club to make him something different to his usual Gin Martini. Or its that Walter DK Gibson created the first Gibson in 1898 at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco. Apparently he objected to the Bohemian’s Martinis. He preferred them stirred and made with Plymouth Gin. Believing in the cold-battling powers of onion, he threw one in and the rest is history.

You need a chilled martini glass, Plymouth Gin, dry Vermouth, cocktail shaker or stirrer, ice and three cocktail onions (cocktail etiquette says  it has to be one or three onions, two is bad luck). Some people use Vodka instead of Gin, I don’t.

Recipe:  2 shots gin, 1 shot dry vermouth, 5 cubes of ice, 3 pickled cocktail onions (on a cocktail stick). Shaken or stirred, the choice is yours. I shake. Simply shake the gin and vermouth for 30 seconds (or stir for 1 minute), strain into the glass, add the onions. Enjoy

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