There is no other cocktail that has quite captured the public imagination like the classic martini. Whether it’s James Bond drinking his the wrong way—it should be stirred, as shaken martinis tend to be too diluted—or the image of the 1920s flapper, it’s a cocktail that exudes both class and sophistication.
And, made right, it also tastes pretty damn good. Luckily it’s not very difficult to make it right. All you need are the proper ingredients, a martini shaker, a chilled glass, and a reasonably high alcohol tolerance.
1 oz. dry vermouth. 4 oz. gin. 1 cocktail glass. Olives or lemon twist.
Fill a metal shaker with cracked ice.Pour in the dry vermouth (we prefer Noilly Prat), stir briefly, and strain out (this may be discarded).Add 4 ounces of gin (we prefer Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, or Beefeater). You want it around 94-proof.Stir briskly for about 10 seconds, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with an olive or a lemon twist.
There are quite a few variations on the traditional martini. For instance, garnish it with a cocktail onion rather than an olive or lemon and it becomes a Gibson. There are also syrupy sweet concoctions that co-opt the name and the glass but little else. These are to be avoided.
#FACTS By one widely accepted account, the martini is a descendant of the Martinez, an older, sweeter, but similar cocktail, which consists of (approximately) two ounces of sweet vermouth, one ounce gin (specifically, Old Tom gin, a sweetened variant), two dashes maraschino cherry liquid, and one dash bitters, shaken with ice, strained, and served with a twist of lemon.