The Breakfast Martini – The Hunt For The Perfect Martini

For many of us, myself included, quarantine has induced a fugue, time warp-esque state. Going out on the weekend is nonexistent, so current drinking laws seem out the door. To give ourselves some reprieve from the haze of quarantine, my social distancing circle and I have taken to languid day drinking in our small city backyards. Mimosas, Aperol Spritzes, and the other host of daytime-appropriate drinks are all well and good, but lately, I’ve found myself sipping on the eccentric Breakfast Martini.

Anything goes in quarantine, correct?

The Breakfast Martini
Image from Salvatore Calabrese

The Breakfast Martini was concocted in 1996 by Salvatore Calabrese, a lauded Italian bartender. As the legend goes, his wife wasn’t pleased with his Italian breakfast habits (just an espresso) and insisted he sat down for breakfast and have toast and marmalade with her.

So the Breakfast Martini was born, calling for orange marmalade, dry gin, triple sec, and lemon juice. It’s not too sweet, and the orange marmalade adds a punchy tang perfect for pairing with a decadent breakfast. If you don’t have marmalade on hand, I’ve never found faults calling on whatever jam I have on hand as a substitute (a particular hit was subbing in lime juice for the triple sec for a gaudy Gimlet riff).


One spoonful orange marmalade
One ¾ ounce Dry Gin
0.5-ounce Cointreau Triple Sec
0.5-ounce lemon juice


Stir in marmalade with gin in the bottom of a shaker. Add other ingredients, ice, and shake—strain into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with orange twist (though Calabrese suggests adding a piece of toast to the rim).

Kate Dingwall
Kate Dingwall
Kate Dingwall is a writer and editor, primarily covering the spirits and travel world. Her work has appeared in, Wine Enthusiast,, MAXIM Magazine, DuJour Magazine, Eater, VinePair, Culture Trip, Canada's 100 Best Restaurants, and a number of other publications, online and print. Outside of writing, she is a sommelier and an avid martini drinker.

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