A straight, or classic ‘Martini’ is always made with gin, which is given here – if you want a Martini made with vodka then this is called a ‘Vodka Martini’. And although mixing a Martini in a cocktail shaker, and actually shaking it, instead of stirring it, is common due to the influence James Bond, (who always asked for his martini to be “shaken, not stirred”) it is not actually the authentic way of making it. Stirring has a long history in terms of making a Martini, and stirring is recommended, as it does not dilute the drink too much, or excite it with bubbles.
The ‘dryness’ of a martini refers to the amount of ‘vermouth’ used in the drink, with a very dry martini having little or no Vermouth. Conversely, a wet martini has a significant amount of vermouth added. Tradition has it that in terms of garnish you should always put one or three (odd numbers) of olives etc. on a cocktail stick and never two (even numbers). Martini’s are served as cold as they can be.
The Martini Cocktail Recipe
One measure is always equal to 25ml or 1 fld oz. A cocktail ‘jigger’ pours out one measure easily.
Ingredients: Makes 1 Drink
- 2 & ½ measures dry gin
- 1 measure dry vermouth
- An olive (or lemon peel)
Directions: Chill a stirring glass or cocktail shaker and add some ice cubes. Add the gin and vermouth and stir well (do not shake the Martini, unless this is what you want to achieve). Strain and pour into a chilled cocktail glass (martini glass) and serve garnished with an olive. Optional Garnish: Instead of the olive use a twist of lemon peel (a strip of the peel is squeezed or twisted to get the zest oils onto the surface of the drink first).
A Dry Martini: 2 & ½ measures of London dry gin – ½ measure of dry vermouth – 1 olive. For a Very Dry Martini swirl the vermouth around the inside of the chilled cocktail glass first to coat the glass (without mixing it with the gin) and then discard any excess – pour in the chilled gin, then garnish.
A Sweet Martini: 2 measures gin – 1 measure sweet vermouth – 1 maraschino cherry
A Dirty Martini: 2 & ½ measures of London dry gin – ½ measure of dry vermouth – 1 olive – Dash of brine from the olive jar
A Gibson Martini: 2 & ½ measures of London dry gin – ½ measure of dry vermouth – 1 small pickled onion – To make it Dirty: a dash of vinegar from the onion jar.
The exact origin of the martini, (who first made it and where) is unclear. Numerous cocktails, with ingredients similar to the modern-day martini, were first seen in bartending guides since the late 1800s, but nothing which matches it exactly. However, it probably evolved from a cocktail called the Martinez, served at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco, sometime in the early 1860s. Alternatively, the people of Martinez say the drink was first created by a bartender in their town, and it spread to San Francisco. Another theory links the first dry martini to the name of a bartender who concocted the drink at the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City in 1911. Unfortunately, like a lot of cocktail histories, it is just one of those things we may never know.