The RIGHT way to make a Martini. Period.


Had a little discussion among Twitter friends the other day about the Martini. It was basically a rant about how the Martini has been bastardized to the point of insanity.

Kids, a real Martini is Gin, Dry Vermouth and olives. Sometimes it’s ok to sub a twist for the olives.


  • 2 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 1 green olive or lemon twist for garnish

Dry Martini: less vermouth. In fact, most people today prefer less vermouth, to the point of 1/4 oz, a capfull, or even just rim the glass with vermouth. The first bartending gig I had, a guy asked for a Martini, Dry. He came back and asked for one extra dry. A little while later he came back and said it wasn’t dry enough. I poured a half a cap of vermouth into the glass, swirled it around and poured it out. fifteen minutes later he came back and said, “Just gimme gin and olives.”

Just a note: The classic Martini is not made with vodka. No. Not unless you are James Bond. Someone really should have come up with a different name for that, just like they did with the Gimlet, Rob Roy and Manhattan. Martinis are not made with flavored spirits. Cotton Candy Vodka and triple sec is not a Martini. And although some of these concoctions have fun names…like the Appletini, or the Remy Martini, obviously invented just for the names, they ain’t Martinis.

Just wanted to set the record straight. Go ahead and enjoy your Chocolate Martini, or your mint and basiltini, or your shrimptini, or whatever…as long as you’re having fun. Just remember, they ain’t Martinis, they’re cocktails, kids!

-Tiki Chris reporting from the zoo. That means I have multiple pets annoying me as I type.

11 Replies to “The RIGHT way to make a Martini. Period.

  1. Maybe I didn’t have good gin or I was too new to alcy-hol or something, but the gin martini I had tasted like Pine-Sol. The best Martini I’ve had was made with Grey Goose Vodka; that thing was stellar. Would be willing to try a gin martini again somewhere along the line though.

    1. Ha! Careful David, you could get rocks thrown at you for a comment like that from readers of this post! And I don’t mean ice cubes LOL!

      A cheap gin martini will, in fact, taste like Pine-Sol or any of a dozen other household cleaners. Have to use the good stuff, and not too much vermouth. Your Grey Goose Martini was good because…well, it was Grey Goose. If you get a chance, try a gin Martini with Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray, or if you can find it, Hendricks…and remember, it’s an acquired taste!

  2. True Story (dimly-lit, tablecloth-quality restaurant, Las Vegas casino, 2007)

    Waiter: May I get you ladies some drinks?
    Me: I’d like a Martini, thank you.
    W: What kind?
    Me: …
    Friend: He means vodka or gin.
    Me: Gin!
    Waiter: How would you like it?
    Me: …
    Waiter: On the rocks?
    Me: No! Uh, chilled, thank you.
    (friend orders some “normal” drink, waiter leaves, I start ranting in a pitch only dogs can hear)

    1. I’ve always heard that stirring gently with a glass rod will mingle the flavors precisely, and that shaking will “bruise” the liquor…So I’ll go with that, but always willing to hear the flipside of that story…

    1. Vodka has gotten so popular that most bartenders figure people are asking for the Bond version. A lot of them tense up when you as for gin…especially if they’re not in the habit of making Martinis to begin with! (Note: never ask for a Martini at a chain restaurant like TGI Fridays…they’ll try to make it with Mike’s Hard Lemonade in a blender…)

  3. Thank you, yes, what you said! 🙂

    I usually use a twist of lime in my dry martini… and I like ’em real dry 😉

    And James Bond is the only one I’ll allow to get away with a vodka martini.

    Have fun in the zoo!

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