How to Make a Great Martinihow do you Make a Martini What’s a Martiniwhat goes into a Martini

How to Make a Great Martini

What is a Martini you ask?  The different variations are made with either vodka or gin, vermouth which comes in two types, olives, onions, scotch, and the brine of the olives or onions depending on if you like it dirty or not.  The type of vermouth used is one way to determine if the Martini is dry or not.  The dry Martini is made with dry vermouth, the other option is sweet.  Vermouth is a fortified wine flavored with a mix of herbs and botanics.  What truly makes a Martini dry is adding less vermouth, so when a dry martini is ordered, it means less vermouth.  One very hip way to serve up a dry martini is to mist the inside of the martini glass with just a mist of vermouth using a mini mister before pouring the liquor into the glass.   It’s been said this dry martini has a whisper of vermouth in it.

Shaken or Stirred?

This is an important step in the process of making a martini to your liking.  This step dilutes and chills the liquor making it more pleasant to drink.  Stirring is a kinder gentler approach to mixing your martini.  Stirring preserves the liquors clarity, a step which many find appealing.  I prefer mine shaken.  Shaking it creates very thin flecks of ice in the martini, which I’ve been told only occurs if done properly.  I love a shaken martini, there is something about the shaking sound celebrating the great martini your about to enjoy.

Now that you’re up to speed and know the ropes lets share a few recipes.  I jotted these down on napkins while the bartender educated me and now I bring them to you.  Enjoy!

Martini Recipes

Basic Martini

2 ½ oz gin or vodka I like gin and I must say it’s dry as well. Mist or hint of dry vermouth. A guideline is 8 parts gin or vodka, to 1 part vermouth.

Dirty Martini Recipe

This one is a fun to order: Can you say make it dirty!  I love olives and love it dirty!

2 ½ oz vodka or gin your choice. 1/2 oz or so of the brine from the cocktail olives depending on how dirty you want to be. Mist or hint of dry vermouth.

Shake to chill, serve in a martini glass. Garnish with olives.


This is a basic martini recipe that traditionally calls for gin.

2 ½ oz gin Mist or hint of dry vermouth.

If you like it “dirty” add ¼ oz or less of onion juice, i.e. the juice that the cocktail onions are packaged in.

Shake or stir ingredients to chill, strain into a martini glass and garnish with cocktail onions.


This martini recipe is just like the Gibson except that in calls for lime juice rather than the onion juice.

2 ½ oz gin ¼ oz lime juice.

Shake or stir cold, strain into a martini glass and garnish with a lime wedge.

Smokey Martini

2 ½ oz gin A splash of blended scotch – this is a substitute for dry vermouth.

Shake or stir to chill and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

All in all the martini experience is one to have and armed with this knowledge insures you’ll know how to talk the talk.  Cheers and have a great happy hour!