1.5oz Dry vermouth
Dash Creme de menthe
Dash Orange bitters
Add all liquids to a mixing glass. Add ice and stir. Strain into a chilled Martini glass or coupe. Garnish with a lemon twist.
If this sounds like a 50/50 Martini with creme de menthe, then you are correct. The minty flavor from this addition puts a somewhat subtle spin on the Martini, while not straying far from the familiar taste of this classic. Prince Henry is nice for a slight change of pace and a little history and serves as a simple example of how slight modifications can change the flavor profile of a cocktail. See variations below for a few more ideas for modifiers.
I found this one in the Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book (1935 reprint). The book literally just lists this one as:
A Martini, with a dash of Creme de Menthe.
According to the books author, Albert Stevens Crockett, the Prince Henry cocktail was created at the Waldorf Astoria to commemorate the arrival of, you guessed it, Prince Henry to the hotel. In case you were wondering, Prince Henry was the brother of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Prussia. Henry was a celebrated and medalled naval officer, who eventually served during WWI.
Henry came to the US in 1902 to much fanfare. The Waldorf Astoria went above and beyond to make sure his stay was memorable and as in most celebrations in life, this classic cocktail was there to commemorate it.
Creme de menthe works as a simple modifier to the Martini. In a similar vein, try substitute something else for the creme de menthe, such as a dash of Fernet Branca. The Fernet makes for an interesting color and slightly more intense flavor. As in most things, you can’t go wrong with a dash of Elixir de Vegetal or Green Chartreuse. Another good modifier is a dash of Amaro Nonino to give a little more orange. Also try Creme de Violette in place of Menthe and Lavender bitters in place of the orange bitters for a “bouquet” of floral flavor.