This drink belongs to the era of naming drinks after popular cakes and the sub era of naming drinks after popular cakes using flavored vodka, an agent, and/or cordial. Here is an early printing of this drink:
Los Angeles Magazine – Oct 1998 – Page 157 Vol. 43, No. 10
“Everything comes back into style, but their key lime pie never went out. Full bar.”
This drink appears to be the first of it’s sub era, however, it does not follow the same glassware trend as the others of sub era. The ther modern cake drink all call for the drink to be served in a shot glass. This drink calls for a martini glass and has always been called a “Key Lime Pie Martini”.
Although, this drink does follow the ingredient trend of using vanilla vodka an agent, and/or cordial. This drink also has a unique garnish that is not used for any other drink. It also appears this garnish has always been an ingredient in this drink.
There is some confusion over this drinks ingredients, but they are easily debunked. Here is an early publication of this drink containing “Key Lime Vodka”
The Art of the Bar: Cocktails Inspired by the Classics – Page 8 by Jeff Hollinger, Georgeanne Brennan, Rob Schwartz
“key lime pie – key limes, charbay key lime vodka, sylk cream liqueur, and pineapple juice.””
Key Lime Vodka was not available in 1998, but Vanilla Vodka was, so it is clear that Key Lime Vodka was not an original ingredient in this drink.
This drink dates between 1996 – 1998 and contained at least as of then:
Shake These Ingredients:
Vanilla Vodka (Undetermined)
Key Lime Cream Cordial
Fresh Lime Juice
Strain into a chilled martini glass garnished with crushed graham crackers.