3. Oldest Original Cocktail: the Martini at the Knickerbocker Hotel

Knickerbocker hotel

The oldest cocktail created in New York City is surrounded in swirling clouds of myth by various historic bars and restaurants claiming to have created the first “insert-classic-drink-here.” For example, rumor has it that the Manhattan was created at the Manhattan Club, but there are reports claiming that it was in fact started somewhere on Broadway and Houston Street in the 1860s. One New York City origin story that puts up quite a fight for the city’s right to ownership is the Martini.

Some would assert that the Martini was actually created in San Francisco in the 1800s, but the Knickerbocker hotel holds that Martini was first invented in 1912 in the Knickerbocker Hotel’s ballroom, by the bartender– wait for it– Martini di Arma di Taggia! You can still enjoy the original recipe today at the Knickerbocker in a balanced concoction of gin, dry and rouge vermouth, and orange and citrus bitters.