While the history of the Martini is almost impossible to verify, there’s no question the best Martini in town is at Steamboat Springs’ best French restaurant, Harwigs. Depending on who you ask, the Martini may have been invented in San Francisco in the late 19th Century for a miner who had just struck it rich. He wanted Champagne to celebrate, but with no Champagne on hand the bartender improvised with gin, vermouth, bitters, maraschino liqueur and a slice of lemon.
A second theory, is that the venerable Martini was created in New York’s famed Knickerbocker Hotel for none other than John D. Rockefeller himself. This iteration, as the story goes, was a much more simple combination of gin, vermouth and orange bitters.
Finally, there is a theory that the Martini was named for Martini & Rossi’s vermouth, still one of the most popular vermouths being used today, and that it was easier to order a gin and Martini’s than a gin and Martini and Rossi’s. And, now, even easier just to order a Martini.
And today there are as many kinds of Martinis as there are people drinking them. From the classic gin and vermouth to those who prefer vodka, to the more modern chocolate and apple concoctions that just add “tini” to the end, there are Martinis for the purist and adventurous alike. The best happy hour in Steamboat is at Harwigs, and our bartenders are just waiting to shake or stir a Martini just for you.