Monday, July 20, 2009

The Martini

Alright. Let me preface this by saying everyone's got their own way to mix martinis. Some like 'em with gin; others vodka. Some prefer olives. Others lemon twists. Dry. Bone dry. Up. On the rocks.

A word. There are martinis, and there are the queer ass hundred and fifty cocktail drink menus out there with their appletinis and espresso martinis and Hypnotinis and what not.

Let's get on the same page. These "designer cocktails" ARE NOT martinis. They're simply given the "tini" suffix for lack of imagination.

So, when we speak of "martinis" here, we speak strictly of the traditional, genuine item: The gin martini. Far as I'm concerned, the vodka martini is called the vodka martini. As for gin - just martini will do.

Which means you best well express yourself properly when I'm mixing your drink, because if you just utter the words "martini, please", you're getting gin, up, with vermouth and olives.

And you're going to like it.


Before we get into mixing our martini, let's examine some of the myriad terms drinkers use when ordering at the bar.

Up - Means in a cocktail glass (see picture above)

On The Rocks - On ice, in a rocks glass

With a Twist - With a lemon twist, rather than the traditional olives

Dry - Light on the Vermouth

Bone Dry - Skip the Vermouth. Strictly booze

Perfect - With Dry and Sweet Vermouth

Dirty - With Olive Brine

You may, or may not, be surprised that few drinkers actually know what these terms mean. They just throw them around to sound cool. For example, "I'll take a dirty vodka martini. Up. Bone dry. On the rocks. With a twist."

Which always has me wondering, "Anything else? Moron?"

Ok, enough of that. On to the mixing of a martini.


You're going to need that pint glass, shaker and strainer, as well as a big (at least 7 oz.) cocktail (or martini) glass.
Bombay Sapphire Gin (My personal favorite. English. Fragrant, botanical, potent. Delicious.)
Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth
Cocktail Olives (I'm a fan of the Spanish Queens. They're bigger than the average cocktail olive, and look better in drinks. You can get them stuffed with all sorts of great stuff... Blue Cheese and what not... to put a unique twist on the martini. I prefer the traditional pimento stuffed olives. Not into cheese floating around my booze.)


Start by "frosting" your cocktail glass. Do this by throwing some ice into the glass, adding some water (soda water quickens the effect) and stirring. Now leave it, and mix your drink.
Some people like to mix their martinis in 3 to 1 ratios, i.e. 3 oz. gin to 1 oz. vermouth. I'm more of the 3 1/2 oz. gin to 1/2 oz. vermouth.
So, in a pint glass filled with ice, add your gin and vermouth. Ratio is up to you. Cap with your shaker. Shake.
Before you strain into your glass, be sure to dump the water and ice into an appropriate receptacle. Your empty cocktail glass should have a nice, frosty look going for it.
Now you can strain. You'll notice you haven't quite filled your glass. This allows room for the garnish, and provides an aesthetic effect.
Garnish with a couple olives speared on a spike. Or just drop 'em in if you're lacking toothpicks.

And there you have it. The Martini. Pretty easy, isn't it?


  1. love this post...especially because i am a huge fan of the gin martini. YET everywhere i go people give me a VODKA martini, not gin...
    well, i guess i am the one at fault because i always, always , always forget to specify that i DO NOT want vodka. so my bad.
    great post.

  2. totally agreed, erin. the vodka martini is not the OG martini. but we can't fault everyone for being stupid. otherwise, we'd all be running group homes somewhere.
    i keed, i keed.
    hope your summer is treating you well,