Dry Martini Cocktail

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The infamous dry martini cocktail is one of the most well-known cocktails of all time. It's also one of the most confusing to new bartenders.
Dry Martini Cocktail


Serve in a Martini glass

  • 2 1/2 shots gin or vodka
  • 1/2 shot dry vermouth

Garnish1 olive or 1 lemon twist.

How to Make

  1. Add the ingredients to your mixing glass.
  2. Lovingly stir for 25-30 seconds.
  3. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  4. Add the garnish.


The Dry martini cocktail is probably the most well-known cocktail of all time. James Bond may have had something to do with its modern-day resurgence but it has been popular since it first hit the market in the late 1800s.

Today, the classic Martini is a sign of sophistication and martini drinks are often the most particular.  Perhaps for that reason, the Martini intimidates new bartenders. There are so many different variations and it has a lot consuming terminology surrounding it that make it seem far more complex than what it actually is.

To make things more confusing, in the 90’s, bartenders started calling any cocktail that was served in a martini glass a ‘Martini.’ To clarify, most of these cocktails aren’t ‘real’ martinis. Most of them are, in fact, a type of sour cocktail, and have nothing to do with the classic recipe.

It’s usually fairly obvious when someone wants a ‘new-age’ martini like a lychee martini or an espresso martini because that’s exactly what they’ll ask for. But for the classic martini order, you’ll need to get further clarification because people have different preferences and like I mentioned earlier, martini drinkers can be particular.

Here’s the dance you’ll need to take your guest through.

  • Ask for their preference of spirit – vodka or gin.
  • Ask how dry (or wet) they’d like it. The dryness (or wetness) of a martini indicates how much dry vermouth should be used. Dry means less vermouth. Wet means more vermouth. A dry martini indicates the recipe I’ve listed below (the most common order). A wet martini should be made with around 1 shot of dry vermouth to 2 1/2 shots vodka/gin. An extra dry martini should be made with 1/8 shot of dry vermouth.
  • Ask if they’d like it dirty? Dirty simply means to add a little olive brine to the mix.
  • Ask for their preference of garnish – lemon twist, olive or pickled onion (indicates a gibson martini). If it’s served dirty, it should always be garnished with an olive unless otherwise specified.

Finally, the martini should always be mixed by stirring unless the customer wants it shaken. If so, it should shaken and fine-strained into the chilled martini glass instead.

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