Best Martini Recipe

Posted by:

Best Martini Recipe

The Best Martini Recipe

This is arguably the most famous cocktail in the world. It has been called “the best American invention since the sonnet” and “the elixir of quietude.” It is clean, crisp and stylish. Martini variations abound, with many ranging from the understated to the outlandish. It is definitely THE cocktail that all bartenders should know.


Like all cocktails, the early years of the martini are hazy. It came to prominence, however, in the Roaring Twenties as a unique American creation. It seems to capture all that was memorable about the era – Art Deco glamour and vibrant parties of flappers and Jazz. In fact, Prohibition restrictions of the age unwittingly facilitated the martini’s meteoric rise in popularity, as gin was an easy spirit to illegally manufacture. When Prohibition ended, access to better quality gin resulted in a dryer, crisper version of gin that was to become the status quo in the years to follow.

Classic Recipe

A traditional martini consists of three essential ingredients: top-quality gin, dry vermouth and a green olive. All bartenders know that the better the gin you use, the smoother and more memorable your martini will be.

Pour 70ml of gin and 15ml of dry vermouth into a mixing glass. Fill the mixing glass with ice, and stir the ingredients thoroughly for about thirty seconds. Strain the mix into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the juicy olive. Many martini enthusiasts like to pepper their drinks with dashes of Angostura or Orange Bitters.

People throughout the ages have tweaked this basic martini recipe to suit their personal preferences. For those you like a dry martini, very little or no vermouth is added to the cocktail. This a contemporary twist on the older version of a dry martini, which simply involved the use of greater quantities of dry vermouth. A desert or bone-dry martini, on the other hand, uses no vermouth at all.

A Dirty Martini

This unique variation adds a dash of olive brine to the drink, thereby clouding or “dirtying” its otherwise clean and clear appearance. It is important to achieve the right – and delicate – balance between the olive juice and the rest of the ingredients. Most bartenders recommend that you use no more than two tablespoons of the brine to 70ml of gin and 15ml of dry vermouth.


This is a sweeter martini that is made up of equal parts gin and vermouth. It is usually topped off with a couple of dashes of Angostura Bitters. For the right balance, use 60ml of gin and dry vermouth. Stir both ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass. The Perfect Martini, on the other hand, uses gin and two parts sweet and dry vermouth. Quantities involve 60ml of gin, and 15ml of both the sweet and dry vermouth varietals.

Modern Variations

Martini devotees have quaked at the efforts of a few rogue bartenders who, in the Nineties, concocted a vast range of fruity/chocolaty/minty martinis to satisfy the sweet tooth. The pomegranate martini, espresso martini (including Kahlua and vanilla vodka) cranberry martini are all products of this Third Wave Martini movement.

Experiment with all of these martini variations, and decide which one works for you. Whether stirred or shaken, a martini is a timeless classic that never goes out of style.