Traditional recipes

The Perfect Martini recipe

The Perfect Martini recipe

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A wonderfully cool and refreshing cocktail that will perk up your day. Dry vermouth is shaken with ice and gin, then garnished with a pimento stuffed green olive.

23 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 1 tablespoon dry vermouth
  • 115ml gin
  • 2 pimento stuffed green olives

MethodPrep:5min ›Ready in:5min

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the vermouth, followed closely by the gin. Shake while counting to 30. Divide into 2 cocktail glasses. Garnish with 1 olive each.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(23)

Reviews in English (19)

by BILLY B HILLBILLY

Everybody has their own opinion on what they consider a "perfect" martini. I'm actually not that picky as long as it's not too watered-down. I would call this recipe very nearly perfect. I usually swirl my martini (in the shaker) until my fingers start to freeze, which might be a little less than 30 seconds. If there is any left in the shaker, I pour it into a spare glass, so it doesn't get too watered-down with melting ice. Lately, I've been using anchovy-stuffed olives which I find quite delightful.-03 Jun 2002

by Linda Mendez

Being a retired Bartender,I was happy to see a great Martini recipe that's made with Gin! As of late, Martini's almost always have been made with vodka. I do love your Martini recipe but even more I love to change it into a gibson & add a few cocktail onions,now that's a great drink! Good job on all of your classic's. Someone really did do their homework! Thanks-22 Feb 2008

by KAEMARIE

Oooohh, Shaggy! I've always wanted to order a martini, as I like gin, but feared the disappointment. So I made your recipe, just to test drive this baby, and I'm in LOVE! Can't verify its perfection, however, since I haven't had much experience. But I gave this five stars on its own merits. Thank you!-25 Jun 2003


How to make the perfect martini

T he sad fact is that I know exactly how to make a dry martini but I can’t drink them because, two years ago, I discovered I was diabetic. I prefer one with gin, but James Bond liked a vodka martini, “shaken not stirred” – which I never said, by the way. That was Sean Connery, remember him?

The worst martini I’ve ever had was in a club in New Zealand, where the barman poured juice from a bottle of olives into the vodka. That’s called a dirty martini and it is a dirty, filthy, rotten martini, and should not be drunk by anybody except condemned prisoners.

My dry martinis taste amazing and the day they tell me I’ve got 24 hours to live I am going to have six. Here’s how I make them:

1. For a gin martini, use Tanqueray – it’s a soft gin and the best. Put an eggcup measure of Noilly Prat dry vermouth into a V-shaped martini glass and swirl it around to flavour the glass. Then tip the Noilly Prat into the cocktail shaker, swirl it around and throw away what’s left.

2. Put a couple of ice cubes into the shaker and add your measure of gin. Ideally, there should be a quarter of an inch of space between the top of the liquid and the top of the glass. If it is up to the rim, it could spill.

3. Give the cocktail mixer a little shake – don’t exhaust yourself – and then put it in the freezer.

4. Cut a slice of lemon and wipe the rim of the glass with the yellow zest (not the white pith), and put the glass in the freezer.

5. Half an hour later you are ready to pour. A proper cocktail shaker has a strainer so the ice cubes remain in it. Funnily enough, the silver shaker we use at our home in Monaco has 007 on it.

6. Serve with three little olives on a toothpick dunked in the drink. That way, if I happen to be with you, I can eat one of the olives and enjoy just the suspicion of a dry martini.


In a mixing glass filled with ice, pour the gin, dry vermouth, and olive juice.

Garnish with 1 or 3 olives. Serve and enjoy.

  • It's said that an even number of olives is bad luck, though this could just be an old bar tale.
  • As with any of the basic martinis, adjust the gin-vermouth ratio to your liking. You can also shake the drink if you prefer.
  • Keep olives refrigerated. It's a common mistake in bars: Some bartenders make a dirty martini using warm juice from the garnish tray. It's a bad habit that's also unsanitary. Luckily, many have changed their ways and are either refrigerating separate brine for martinis or using bottled olive juice.

What's the Difference Between Olive Brine and Olive Juice?

In the cocktail world, olive juice and brine tend to mean the same thing, but there is a difference. Olives produce juice, which is pressed out of the fruit to make products like olive oil and the brine (salted water) for cured olives.

Many people prefer to use the brine that is in a jar of olives for dirty martinis. And why not? If you have olives, you have salty juice right there. It is a very convenient and cheap addition to the drink. Plus, with all the gourmet olives available—stuffed with everything from the standard pimento to blue cheese or jalapeño—each brine brings a slightly different taste to the martini.

There are also many olive juices available that are designed specifically for the dirty martini. They can vary quite a bit in taste, though they're interesting to explore. It may take some time to discover which bottled olive juice you like best, so keep trying. Dirty Sue is a favorite for many dirty martini devotees. You might also try the cocktail-worthy olive juices from Boscoli, Fee Brothers, Filthy, Fragata, or Stirrings.

Recipe Variations

  • Some bartenders suggest using a few dashes of extra-virgin olive oil instead of brine. It adds just a hint of olive flavor beyond what the garnish can deliver. Just be sure it is only 1 or 2 dashes, or you will create an oil slick in your glass.
  • Filthy Martini: Replace the olive brine and garnish with caperberries (larger than capers) and the brine they're packaged in. Some recipes use up to 1 ounce of caper brine.
  • Dirty Gibson: Dirty martini meets Gibson cocktail swap out the olive brine and garnish for cocktail onions and brine. The pickled onion provides a slight umami undertone.

Perfect Martini

Cocktail snobs often turn their noses up at the old school “Perfect” martini, but a thoughtful selection of both sweet and dry vermouths takes the recipe from dull to delightful.

Erik Delanoy

Gin and tonic fans will appreciate the flavor profile of this Perfect Martini, which is made with quinine-forward Byrrh Grand Quinquina. Erik Delanoy

Much like the Martinez, the Perfect Martini recipe bears resemblance to both the classic gin martini and the darker spirited Manhattan. While the obscure drink is often written off by cocktail connoisseurs, a discerning choice of 2 distinct vermouths can take this cocktail from dull to delightful. G&T fans, this one’s for you: In lieu of a standard sweet vermouth, this recipe calls for Byrrh (pronounced BEER) Grand Quinquina, which, as its name would indicate, is made with quinine (a bitter compound from the bark of the cinchona tree) which is also found in tonic water.

Equipment

Perfect Martini

Martini Recipe

The martini is without a doubt the most famous cocktail of them all, and for a drink that contains only two ingredients, its a controversial one.

Synonymous with James Bond, the cocktail has now transformed into a variety of different drinks from girls night out fave pornstar martini to the perfect late night espresso martini. And whether you like it with vodka or gin, shaken or stirred, the martini certainly divides cocktail drinkers.

Who invented the martini?

No one really knows the origin, with stories ranging from its creation in a San Fransisco bar for a worker needing a pick-me-up on his way to Martinez, to being invented inside New York city's Knickerbocker Hotel. Some also think it was named after Martini & Rossi vermouth in the mid-1800s.

What's in a martini?

A classic martini compromises of just TWO ingredients - gin or vodka, and vermouth. It's then often garnished with an olive, or lemon peel (or both).

I would also always use dry vermouth.

Ratio wise, so people go 2:1, but I prefer to go heavy on the main spirit, with just a touch of vermouth - more likely at a ratio of 70ml of vodka or gin, to 15ml of vermouth (a tablespoon).

Shaken, or stirred?

James Bond famously asks for his martini 'shaken, not stirred,' and now, I'm not here to tell James Bond he's wrong. but he's wrong.

As a martini drinker, I wouldn't ever shake my martini, it just unnecessarily dilutes it. In fact, any cocktail that contains just alcohol should 👏 not 👏 be 👏 shaken. Instead, I'd give it a good stir for about 30 seconds.


I use the bigger Spanish Queen pimento-stuffed olives. The smaller manzanilla olives are a good stand by, if you can’t find the big Spanish ones. If you are feeling extra daring and want to really dirty things up, remove that pimento, and hand-stuff some bleu cheese into those Spanish olives!

Give an extra little splash of the olive juice to the top of your martini if you like it extra “dirty”.


How To Make A Perfect Dirty Martini

A perfectly chilled dirty martini may be one of the sexiest drinks one can order, and understanding its history makes this cocktail even more alluring.

Dirty martinis are a classic cocktail favorite.

The current cocktail we know as the dirty martini is likely to have evolved from the Martinez cocktail, which was mentioned by Jerry Thomas in his 1887 Bar-Tender's Guide.

“This drink called for Old Tom gin (an aged version of the spirit), sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and cocktail bitters,” said Anthony Caporale, director of spirits education at the Institute of Culinary Education.

This cocktail recipe will probably feel rather familiar to those who are fans of the Manhattan, though it has nothing in common with a dirty martini.

“Over the next century, the drink moved east from Thomas' California residence, and when it reached cities that had more regular English commerce, the Old Tom gin was replaced with London Dry and the sweet vermouth swapped with dry as well,” said Caporale.

Of course, it was around then that James Bond enters the picture. He famously was known for shaking his martini rather than stirring and less famously preferring a mix of gin and vodka to gin alone. “It was a slippery slope from there for most American consumers, who found both the gin and the vermouth to be less appealing than the glass in which they were served,” said Caporale.

The answer was the dry martini, said Caporale, which confusingly has less dry vermouth than a classic (or wet) martini, while vodka soon completely replaced the highly-botanical (and polarizing) character of gin.

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“Fast forward to the extra dry vodka martini, which has neither vermouth nor gin, and is in essence pure ethanol and water chilled and served with olives,” said Caporale.

Caporale said this led to no flavor to offend, but also none to attract, with the sole exception being the olives and more importantly, their salty brine. “Consumers continued to want the glass but still weren't enjoying the actual liquid enough, and requests came in for more and ever more olives, until some intrepid customer must have told a barkeep, ‘Cut to the chase, just pour some olive brine in there,’” said Caporale.

According to Caporale, that resulted in: “The story of the dirty vodka martini,” which is: “The story of over a century spent systematically removing flavor from a still-classic drink (essentially a Manhattan), and then in desperation adding one the most common and addictive flavoring chemicals in the world: salt,” said Caporale.

Maybe that’s harsh. But for those of us who love the dirty martini just the way it is, there remains several directions to take it!

"As a bartender, as well as a consumer, I have always felt that a dirty gin martini was what the original creators of the dirty martini had in mind the first time they mixed gin and vermouth,” said Jordan Johnson, lead bartender of The Register in Nashville.

The contrast of the dry juniper botanical of the gin against a bright, nuanced olive brine has proven to be a classic pairing. “The beauty and the challenge of this cocktail is that no two guests ever like it quite the same,” said Johnson.

This, said Johnson, makes it a difficult cocktail, but if you have a good basic recipe to lean on, it can make the process that much more attainable.

In Johnson’s go-to dirty martini recipe, the key to balance is knowing how dry your gin is, compared to the saltiness of the olive brine. “Although there is an endless amount of choices,” said Johnson, when picking your cocktail olives, a good rule of thumb to go by is, “you get what you pay for.”

For Johnson, Castelvetrano olives are hands down the best cocktail olive in the world. “A sort of tree to the cocktail experience,” said Johnson. This nuance combined with a dry juniper note from your gin is then easily tied together with the oil from a lemon peel (there is no rule that says you can’t have olives and a twist).

Once you have your go-to recipe down it’s all about the execution.

Stirring is key

“In my mind, stirring a martini is the only way to properly execute this cocktail unless you are a secret agent that needs to keep his wits about him!” said Johnson. Stirring any cocktail will help to not chip your ice, leaving your cocktail that much stronger and less watered down by the time you pour it into your glass.

Chilling glasses

In order to keep your cocktail at the desired temperature longer, it is always handy to have your martini or coupe glass chilled prior to building your cocktail. “This is easily accomplished by storing them in your freezer for 10-15 min or by icing your glass with ice and cold water while you build your martini. Be sure to thoroughly dry out the inside of your martini or coupe glass before pouring the cocktail into it,” said Johnson. Garnish with olives and or a lemon twist and enjoy!

Not only is flavor important on your quest for the perfect martini olive, but don’t forget texture. “I always am looking for a pitted Sicilian if I can find it,” said Matt Landes of Cocktail Academy. They are buttery and won’t overwhelm the cocktail which will already have brine in it.

Ratio is something that’s personal from martini drinker to martini drinker. “Having served some of the biggest names in Hollywood, we’ve found the ideal number to be 2oz/.5oz/.75oz gin to vermouth to brine - it allows the drinker the opportunity to enjoy the earthy notes of the vermouth and punchy brine without overpowering the drink,” said Landes.

Jordan Johnson’s Dirty Martini Recipe

  1. Express lemon peel into mixing glass by gently squeezing and twisting it skin side down.
  2. Pour 0.5 oz. olive brine, 0.5 oz. dry vermouth, and 2 oz. dry Gin into your mixing glass. Add ice to the top and stir until you see the mixing glass sweat.
  3. Taste every 10-15 stirs to make sure you are not over stirring . The cocktail should be a combined flavor with about 70 to 80 presents of the burn of the alcohol still present.
  4. Strain your martini into your chilled glass to keep out unwanted ice chips, garnish to taste, and enjoy!

So what makes a great dirty martini? Well, it’s all about it being one with components and technique the person drinking it, enjoys. That’s true whether it’s gin or vodka, whether it’s with a twist or dirty, or any other martini variant. Or any cocktail or dish! “As with all cocktails, it's only as good as your weakest ingredient, so obviously use the best vodka, but also fresh vermouth (if you’re using it), high quality olives and olive brine, and good quality cubed ice,” said Gareth Evans, Global Brand Ambassador for Absolut Elyx. Use those and you’ll make a great drink.

Avoiding common mistakes

“I’m hesitant to say mistakes are universal because a martini is personal, one person’s dirty martini trash is another’s treasure,” said Evans. However you like your drink! “However, I’ve never met anyone that enjoyed a warm martini, so always stir or shake until it’s absolutely freezing, winter in Narnia, brain numbingly cold,” said Evans.

Setting up your arsenal

When it’s time to gather your materials for making perfect dirty martinis at home, the right ingredients will make a big difference - that’s valid whether you are a vodka or gin fan, or whatever kind of olives you choose to go with! It’s all about what you enjoy!


The Best Lemon Drop Martinis Are Made From Scratch

Every time I see cocktail mix for lemon drop martinis I cringe. Why oh why?

Sure, I’m all about simple mixes when you need them but a good lemon drop is the world’s easiest drink! No mix required. Ever…

When I’m in a hurry I buy lemonade at the store. Simply Lemonade makes a wonderful lemonade that is as good as homemade (if you ask me). Sometimes I buy a bag of Meyer lemons at Costco and squeeze my own. Either way you get an excellent lemon drop martini.

Get a Good Cocktail Shaker To Make Lemon Drops

Tools In This Post: I like using a cocktail shaker to make these drinks. My favorite shaker is this simple one from OXO. It is durable and pretty while also going into the dishwasher for easy cleanup. The lid doubles as a measuring cup for alcohol and it has a nice straining system for pouring out cocktails. We love ours so much I buy them as gifts for family and friends.

For Martini Lovers you are also going to need this Pomaganet Martini Recipe!


How to Pick the Best Vodka or Gin for a 50/50 Martini

For a vodka 50/50, you’ll want to choose a top shelf option if possible, since even with fifty percent vermouth, it’ll still be a fifty percent vodka cocktail. Smooth vodkas ideal for martinis include:

For a gin 50/50 finding the best gin to suit your tastes is of the utmost importance because unlike vodka’s more muted sensibilities gin has a strong, pronounced flavor. Here are some great options:

Neither Sweet Nor Savory Gin:


Summer’s Freshest Sparkling Drink Recipe

THIRST AID At Tel Aviv’s Café Levinsky 41, owner Benny Briga puts his own spin on gazoz, a classic sparkling drink, with natural syrups and fresh produce.

STROLL AROUND Levinsky Market in the Florentin neighborhood of Tel Aviv—among the Balkan delicatessens, Persian spice vendors, bureka stands, trendy bars and kitchen supply shops—and you will inevitably encounter fellow strollers sipping a sort of drink that might be mistaken for a floral arrangement.

Unruly herbs in bloom and other fragrant stalks rise above the rim of the glass, tickling the nose of the imbiber with each sip. Infused with natural syrups, the fizzy beverage comes in a variety of vivid hues luscious hunks of fruit, some fresh, some fermented, bob on the bubbles. Known as gazoz, this drink is its own advertisement: Once you see it, you have to try it. For that you head to Café Levinsky 41, a tiny jewel box of a space in the heart of the market, where proprietor Benny Briga crafts the one-of-a-kind refreshers.

Across Israel, “gazoz” denotes a syrup-sweetened seltzer with a decidedly retro appeal. “Gazoz belongs in the ’50s and early ’60s, in the austerity era in early Israel when, believe it or not, we didn’t have Coke, and we didn’t have Israeli sparkling drinks,” the Israeli food journalist Gil Hovav explained. Back then, gazoz got its vivid coloring from artificial syrups. “There was the red one that was raspberry, but of course there was no raspberry in it,” said the Israeli cookbook author Janna Gur. “And there was lemon that smelled like room deodorizer. And if you had a really obliging vendor, he would mix a combination of the two.” Once bottled sodas entered the picture, however, gazoz became largely a fixture of the past.

Mr. Briga brought gazoz back to relevance, some say single-handedly, with his own original take. His newly published book, “Gazoz,” co-written with the cookbook author Adeena Sussman, details his singular process.

This poet of the seltzer siphon sports a scruffy beard, favors untucked white button-down shirts and wears his salt-and-pepper hair long and untamed. His whimsical interpretation of gazoz departs significantly from the beverage of Israeli nostalgia. “The only thing it has in common is that it is made with syrup and draft soda,” said Mr. Hovav.

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