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Dry Martini: a classic cocktail everyone should know how to make

Total time: 5 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 1 person
By Cookist

The dry martini is one of the most famous classic cocktails out there. Sophisticated yet strong and incredibly easy to make, even if you're not an experienced bartender, the martini is a fantastic cocktail for any occasion.

Martinis are crafted from gin and dry vermouth. They're served straight up in a chilled martini glass. The drink is usually garnished with a few olives or a lemon twist. It has the clean taste of whichever base spirit you use. Despite how certain fictional spies insist on preparing their martinis, the drink is stirred, not shaken, especially when prepared with gin, which is the typical way to prepare cocktails made purely from alcohol, no mixers.

The martini is strong, coming in around 40 percent ABV, so it's one to sip and savor rather than guzzle. It's thought the drink may have descended from the Martinez cocktail, a popular San Francisco cocktail from the mid-1800s, however, some cocktail historians believe the first dry martini hails from New York City.

Regardless of its origins, the martini is a delicious, elegant drink that every home bartender should know how to make.

Should You Stir or Shake a Martini?

The classic martini is stirred rather than shaken. If you shake a gin martini, it bruises the gin, which means you won't be able to taste the nuances in the spirit. Shaking a gin or vodka martini will also water it down more than stirring.

However, some (like James Bond) prefer a shaken martini because it gets the cocktail colder than stirring it. If you prefer a shaken martini, pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake for several seconds, then strain and serve.

Tips for Making a Classic Martini

Traditionally, martinis are gin-based, but vodka has become equally popular.

Because there aren't any mixers in a classic martini, make sure to use high-quality gin.

To make an extra dry martini, mix 1 ½ ounce vodka or gin with a few drops of vermouth.

For a wet martini, mix equal parts gin or vodka and dry vermouth.

Garnish your martini with cocktail onions instead of lemon or olives to make a Gibson.

Make a perfect martini by mixing gin or vodka with equal parts dry and sweet vermouth.

Add a splash of olive brine to make a dirty martini.

Enjoy a martini as an aperitif or with a hearty dinner like steak or roast.

2 1/2 ounces
dry vermouth
1/2 ounce
lemon peel twist or olives, for garnish

How to Make a Dry Martini

Chill your martini glass in the freezer.

Pour gin or vodka and vermouth into a cocktail mixing glass.

Add a few ice cubes, and stir until chilled, about 30 seconds.

Strain into the chilled glass.

Garnish with a lemon twist or olives.


Use a classic martini glass for serving your martini.

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