What is a classic martini recipe? Ask a thousand people, you'll get a thousand different versions of the original martini recipe. Make no mistake, the real, classic martini is a gin martini. I don't mean to offend you vodka proponents (aka Kangaroo or VODKA Martini fans) but gin was the spirit used in the original martini way back in 1911 and is still considered essential to a "real" martini.
Folks will argue until doomsday about ratios of gin to vermouth, whether to stir or shake, over or up, liquor brands and every other single part of the cocktail and it's mixing process. The martini is such a very personal drink it's an age old debate at the bar. But there's one thing about the vermouth ... if there's no vermouth at all it's not a martini. It's just gin. Got it?
Once upon a time I was not a true martini lover. I loved the glass but I was not ready for gin. That has changed, a lot, and I happen to adore gin and gin cocktails these days, including the martini. Gin and martinis are both acquired tastes. I have acquired them. I have also played around with the recipe myself quite a bit and love Dirty Martinis, Smoky Dirty Martinis and hundreds of cocktails I have designated as "designer martinis", but if someone asks me for a martini with no additional provisos below is the cocktail they will get.
5 Parts Bombay Sapphire Gin
1 Part Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
Garnish: 1 or 3 Honking Big Green Olives with Pimento (never 2 olives 🫒, it's bad luck!)
Tools: Mixing Pitcher, Hawthorn Strainer
Glass: Martini/Cocktail, of course
Chill the gin, chill the glass, chill the pitcher. The vermouth should already be in the fridge!
Fill a chilled mixing pitcher with filtered ice.
Pour in the gin.
Pour in the vermouth.
Stir 20 times.
Strain into your chilled glass.
Garnish with 3 honking green pimento olives.
VOICEOVER VIDEO WITH INGREDIENTS AND DIRECTIONS:
VARIATIONS ON THE MARTINI
50/50 MARTINI - equal parts gin and dry vermouth with a dash of orange bitters.
BURNT MARTINI - a splash of smoky scotch is added.
DIRTY MARTINI - Olive brine is added.
DRY MARTINI - less vermouth, typical ratio of 6 parts gin/1 part vermouth.
EXTRA DRY - there will only be a tiny splash of vermouth or the glass is washed in vermouth before pouring in cold gin.
FILTHY MARTINI - A Dirty Martini but caper brine and caperberry garnish instead of olive.
GIBSON - martini with an onion.
GIMLET - lime juice replaces the vermouth.
PERFECT MARTINI - both sweet and dry vermouth in equal ratios.
MARTINEZ - possibly the daddy of the modern martini?
SMOKY - scotch instead of gin.
SMOKY DIRTY - my dirty Martini with SMOKED olives!
SWEET or ORIGINAL MARTINI ‐ sweet vermouth replaces dry vermouth and a bit of simple syrup and orange bitters are added.
TEQUILA MARTINI - tequila replaces the gin.
VESPER - NOT a martini, apologies to 007 and Ian Fleming, but NOPE.
VODKA MARTINEZ - just because I tried it out and it was pretty good. Also not a martini.
VODKA MARTINI aka Kangaroo - vodka instead of gin. Also not a "Martini".
WET MARTINI - More vermouth than normal, typical ratio of 3 part in/1 part Vermouth.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MARTINI WITHOUT VERMOUTH. IN THE INDUSTRY WE CALL THAT GIN.
That. Is. All.