GibsonThere is a popular version that Gibson was created during the tough times of dry law in New York. It was named after Charles Dana Gibson, American artist and illustrator who was known for creating beautiful female images.
They say the mixture of gin and dry vermouth with the addition of a pickled onion was his favourite drink. And it was Charley Connolly, the barman of the Players Club who would mix it for him. Also, there are other curious versions on the matter. One of them says the cocktail was invented by an American diplomat abroad during the Prohibition.
Apparently, he was facing a delicate problem during the numerous cocktail functions he was supposed to attend: on the one hand, he was not allowed any alcohol, and on the other hand it would be just rude not to drink any at all. Thus, he asked the bartender to fill one glass with water instead of alcohol and to serve it with an onion, so that he could recognise it. Another story is quite similar, too. Some people believe there was a banker also called Gibson, who was fond of taking his clients out for a dinner and get them intoxicated whilst himself he would drink only water, served in a special glass marked with a pickled onion.
Anyway, one thing is definite - the drink has got nothing to do with Mel Gibson can be considered a variation of Dry or Very Dry Martini cocktail. The main difference lies in proportion of dry vermouth and gin and the decoration. While traditional Martini is served with an olive - or a twist of olive, Gibson always takes a pickled onion or two. Or even three.