San Martin Cocktail Recipe

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San Martin Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The San Martin cocktail is a classic South American drink, originating from Argentina. It was named after José de San Martín, a key figure in the Argentine War of Independence. This cocktail is popular among those who enjoy a sophisticated and refreshing drink with a touch of history.

  • First created in the early 20th century
  • Gained popularity during the Argentine Golden Age
  • Often enjoyed during celebrations and special occasions

How San Martin Tastes?

The San Martin cocktail has a complex and well-balanced taste, with a combination of sweet, sour, and bitter notes. It is refreshing, slightly herbal, and has a hint of citrus.

Interesting facts about San Martin

  • The San Martin is often considered the national cocktail of Argentina
  • It is traditionally served in a chilled coupe glass
  • The cocktail is sometimes garnished with a lemon twist or a cherry


A few good options for San Martin are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


Used for its botanical complexity, gin provides the backbone of many cocktails. Less gin would make the drink less strong and flavorful; too much could overpower the balance.

Mary Mitkina


Sweet vermouth adds depth and herbal nuances. It also provides balance to gin's boldness. Using less may result in a less complex drink, more could make it too sweet.

Alex Green


This herbal liqueur introduces a bitter edge, adding sophistication. Too little and you'll miss its punch; too much could make the drink overly bitter.

Emma Rose


The juice brings freshness and acidity, brightening the drink. Not enough and the cocktail may taste flat, too much could make it too tart.

Mary Mitkina

ICE:As needed

Chills and dilutes, which is essential for the right texture and balance. No ice would make a warm and overly strong drink.

Alex Green


The essential oils from the twist add aroma and a light citrus flavor on the nose. Without it, the cocktail loses a layer of complexity.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make San Martin Drink

  1. Chill the coupe glass: Place the coupe glass in the freezer for a few minutes to chill it
  2. Combine ingredients: In a mixing glass, combine the gin, vermouth, Fernet-Branca, and lemon juice
  3. Add ice: Fill the mixing glass with ice and stir well to chill and dilute the cocktail
  4. Strain: Strain the cocktail into the chilled coupe glass
  5. Garnish: Add a lemon twist to the rim of the glass or float it on top of the cocktail

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice will give your cocktail a brighter, more vibrant flavor.
  • Chill your glass: A chilled glass will keep your cocktail colder for longer, enhancing the overall experience.
  • Stir, don't shake: Stirring the cocktail will ensure a smoother, more balanced flavor.

Perfect Pairings


  • Charcuterie boards: The bold flavors of San Martin will complement the savory meats and cheeses.
  • Dark chocolate: The bitterness of the chocolate and Fernet-Branca can create a harmonious blend.

Main Courses

  • Steak: The herbal notes in San Martin can cut through the richness of red meat.
  • Roasted vegetables: The botanicals in the gin and the citrus kick from lemon juice will highlight the earthy flavors.


  • Lemon tart: The citrus in the cocktail and dessert will echo each other for a refreshing finish.

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What you could change in San Martin

  • Gin: If you don't have gin, you can substitute it with vodka. It will change the flavor profile, but the cocktail will still be delicious.
  • Vermouth: If you don't have vermouth, you can use any other sweet white wine.
  • Fernet-Branca: If you can't find Fernet-Branca, you can use any other bitter herbal liqueur.

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Honeyed San Martin

  • Add 0.5oz of honey syrup.
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe, stirring in honey syrup with the other ingredients. The honey will add a sweet, floral note, making the cocktail smoother and slightly sweeter.

Spiced San Martin

  • Substitute gin with spiced rum.
  • Recipe: Use spiced rum instead of gin and proceed as usual. The rum will add warmth and spice, transforming the profile into something more exotic.

Bitter San Martin

  • Use Aperol in place of Fernet-Branca.
  • Recipe: Replace Fernet-Branca with Aperol and mix. Aperol will offer a gentler bitterness and a touch of sweetness, appealing to those who prefer a less bitter drink.

In case you forgot basics how to make San Martin

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on San Martin

Are there any variations of the San Martin cocktail?

Yes, some variations add a dash of bitters, or swap the gin with bourbon for a different taste profile.

What's the best time to enjoy a San Martin cocktail?

While it can be enjoyed anytime, the San Martin cocktail is traditionally consumed as an aperitif before a meal.

Is the San Martin cocktail suitable for novice drinkers?

The San Martin has a complex taste profile, combining sweet, sour, and bitter flavors, which might be a bit challenging for those new to cocktails. But it's definitely worth a try!

What foods pair well with the San Martin cocktail?

Given its origin, it pairs well with Argentinian dishes like empanadas or steak, but can also be paired with tapas or Mediterranean style foods.

How strong is the San Martin cocktail?

With two shots of gin and half shots of Vermouth and Fernet-Branca, it's considered a strong cocktail. Drink in moderation.

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