Belle Isle Moonshine

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Cocktail Classics: The Martini

CocktailsBICS AdminComment

Perhaps there is no cocktail more classic than the martini. At least, not in America. But just how that past really went down is up for debate.

An American Original
The martini as we know it (gin, fortified wine or vermouth, perhaps an olive or onion) first appeared in The Bartender’s Manual in the 1880’s. There are several accounts of how the drink first came to be, but our favorite involves a California prospector striking gold and celebrating by asking a local bartender at a bar named Martini’s to make him a special drink using whatever he had on hand. Very American, indeed. 
Shaken or Stirred?
The good news is there's no "correct way" to prepare your martini. It simply comes down to preference. However, if you're interested in the science behind this debate some mixologists assert that shaking a martini oxidizes organic compounds in the liquor for an effect  akin to letting a red wine “breath” resulting in a tastier, as well as a colder, martini. The “stirrers” of the world argue that shaking a martini dilutes it – introducing water and bits of ice into what ought to be a very stiff drink.

Our version - The Moonshine Martini - honors the cocktail’s original flavor profile while doubling down on the drink's American heritage by substituting gin for the original American clear spirit. Enjoy!

Photos by Alex Kreher

Moonshine Martini


  • 2 oz. Belle Isle Premium Moonshine
  • 1 oz. Contratto Bianco Vermouth


Combine all ingredients and stir with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

Courtesy of Jimmie Foster