Home NEWS Local Scene Errant Driver Nails The Martinez Martini Plaque Thursday; Drinkers Everywhere Shudder As...

Errant Driver Nails The Martinez Martini Plaque Thursday; Drinkers Everywhere Shudder As One

A little bit of local history lost in this crash Thursday. Photo: Josh Cagle

A treasured bit of local history gave way to modern life Thursday after a car slammed into a plaque marking the birthplace of one of Martinez’ greatest contributions to society – the Martini.

The accident occurred around 3:30 p.m., not far from the Martinez police offices, and the car struck the bronze plaque and stone marker head on. Two people were injured in the crash, not to mention a lot of town pride.

For the history minded, the plaque reads – read:

Birthplace of the Martini

“In 1874, Julio Richelieo, Bartender, served up the first Martini when a miner came into his saloon with a fistful of nuggets and asked for something special. He was served a “Martinez Special.” After three or four drinks however the “Z” would get very much in the way. The drink consisted of 2/3 gin, 1/3 Vermouth a dash or orange bitters, poured over crushed ice and served with an olive.”

Erected by Joaquin Murrieta Chapter 13 Clampus Vitus. Dedicated April 11, 1992.


  1. If you haven’t seen it already, check out the Bukowski-penned film ‘The Barfly’…

    Tully: “Why don’t you stop drinking? Anybody can be a drunk.”
    Chinaski: “Anybody can be a non-drunk. It takes a special talent to be a drunk. It takes endurance. Endurance is more important than truth.”

    • @G.F. – Oooh, a slightly sodden literary reference! We’re all over it. Read Mr. Bukowski avidly in our younger days and recognized his accomplished drinkers in the gin mills we roamed when young-er. Thankfully, alcohol has never meant as much to us as it does to some… and then there’s that whole “morning after” thing!

  2. “Endurance is more important than truth.”
    Yeah, that kind of illusory profundity is a definite sign of inebriation. I sometimes have a personal acquaintance with that.
    I said “Martinez Special” aloud three times. You are right. The “Z” was very much in the way. Funny how those things work out.

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