Joined Apr 7, 2003
Not sure if this belongs in this forum - moderators, feel free to move this if necessary :).

What is the best way to make a martini, both gin and vodka? I'd appreciate input on techniques, ingredients, the whole bit.
Joined Jun 24, 2003
My preference is as follows:

2 oz. gin--I like Tanqueray 10
1/2 oz. Noilly Pratt dry vermouth
2 drops Angostura bitters

Shake it gently with lots of ice. Water from the melting ice will temper the gin and give it a smoother flavor. Don't shake too hard or it will get foamy. It should come out crystal clear and very cold. Garnish with plain green olives or a twist of lemon. Serve in a chilled glass.

For vodka you need to cut back on the vermouth since vodka alone is flavorless.
Joined Apr 26, 2001
The proportions you give (4 parts gin to 1 part vermouth) is what I've always read was the classic formula for a martini. Most of the martinis I get in restaurants and bars have way too little vermouth. I became a fan of martinis (Gibsons, actually, which means garnishing with pickled onions instead of olives when I stopped believing that the right formula was to use next to no vermouth - usually with appropriate joking about just introducing the gin to the vermouth. I read that 4:1 was the right formula, tried it out, and discovered that the vermouth smooths out the edges of the gin and makes the drink really enjoyable. I've even tried taking the gin ratio down to 3:1 and enjoyed the result. The bitters aren't traditional, and I've never tried them, but will.
Joined Jun 24, 2003
The gin/vermouth proportions have changed substantially over time but the bitters have been there all along. The 4/1 proportion is more modern it seems, but is not currently in fashion. Frankly, I think anything less and you might as well just be drinking chilled gin. A good brief history of the martini is here

A related drink I happen to like is the Stationmaster. 2 oz. gin and about 4 drops of good scotch--preferably single malt.


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
This could turn ugly really quick!!!;) Most Martini drinkers are pretty hardcore about how they want their Martini made. Take me for example: I am a believer in the 4:1 ratio like stated above. Most modern Martinis have way too little Vermouth. But bitters in my Martini-never, forget it, not in a million years, that stuff doesn't belong within 20 feet of my Martini (though you can load up my Old-fashion with it!!!:D ). Then I want my Martini shaken hard and long. I want to see ice crystals in it when it is first poured. Yes, I know that is too cold by traditional standards, but that is what I like.

Oh and one other pet peeve I have-Vodka "Martinis" and all these flavored "Martinis"!! Gin and Vermouth (and a dash of bitters depending on who you believe) are what make a Martini, nothing else!!! Sorry that is just a personal bias and short rant!!!;) :p
Joined Jun 25, 2003
One of my favorite apocryphal martini stories is that of Admiral Peary packing his expedition team for the North Pole and demanding that they bring a bartender. When asked why he replied that if they got lost all they had to do was ask the bartender to make a martini. This would ensure that someone would come walking up to tell the bartender he was doing to wrong and that they could just follow that chap back home.
Joined Nov 20, 2000
Persona taste here. I put ice in the glass and a splash of water. Chill glass and toss out water and ice. Add splash of vermouth and swirl, pour out. Fill glass with gin. Add either a twist or an olive. I like my martinis like Hawkeye did.
I used to use olives exclusively but an ex's father who was relatively well known in government and also know as a hard drinking irishman once told me "if you want a salad, order a salad'! He proceeded to order me another martini with a twist on the side. Took out a lighter and heated the lemon zeste, gave it a twist over the glass to release the oils and siad "drink that" **** if he wasn't right on the money!
Joined May 26, 2001
Chrose, I'm with you almost all the way; except for the twist: for me, an olive or preferably onion to make it a gibson. I do have the cutest little spray bottle from Skyy vodka, for adding the vermouth, though.

Hey, where's Cape Chef??? ;) :lips: He's got to weigh in on this, with his Ketel One. :D
Joined Feb 21, 2001
I was in the bar at the country club early one lunch last summer and the maitre d was making an early customer a martini. Up, with dirty rocks on the side, before noon. That guy knew how to drink.
Joined Jul 31, 2000
MMMMmmmmm Martini's!

I'm with Chrose and Suzanne on this one with the exception of I always have a couple martini glasses in my freezer so no need for the ice water chill.

But I do swirl a wisper of Vermouth "Noilly Pratt"around the glass then add my Chiiled Ketel One Vodka. I'm an olive kinda guy ( Ineed something to eat when I drink a martini :) )

Funny side note,This past Monday I was at the 4th annual Beverage show at Jacob Javits in the city.The show was like a cluster**** for drinkers!! Every kind of liquor was being poured from the finest Patrons to boutique Vodkas. Unbelievible combinations of flavors,some were just crazy (but the #10 females pouring them helped)Not to offend anyone there we're some great looking guys pouring to but I didn't notice them.

Two things I thought were pretty tasty and fun was a "Key Lime pie Martini"Absolut Vodka with Key lime juice,but first the rim was rubbed with lime juice then dipped in graham cracker crumbs.Also Patron had a Coffee based tequilla to make a coffee/Tequilla martini,The stuff was pretty tasty and fun.

I saw enough Passion fruit based cocktails to last a life time.Couldn't wait to get to Carmins and have a simple Peroni and ziti.

Long live Ketel One
Joined Apr 7, 2003
Wow, thanks!

Any more ingredient recommendations? I am having a few friends over tomorrow night, and I purchased Gallo vermouth, Grey Goose vodka, and Bombay Sapphire gin. I use Gallo in cooking a lot, and the other three I figure go in lots of other drinks anyway. I also purchased Grand Marnier for cosmopolitans (I know, I know - not "real" martinis) although afterwards I heard that Cointreau (pronounced "quantro" right?) was better :(.

By the by - what is the difference between a "shaken" and a "stirred" martini? Why the preference? Obviously there is a reason, otherwise James Bond wouldn't have been so specific.
Joined Jun 24, 2003
Be careful with the Bombay Sapphire gin. That is 100 proof gin. It is more intense that regular 80 proof. My preference is to use it bit less and make sure you get a bit more water from the ice mixed in to temper the flavor.

As for shaken vs. stirred, both are quite acceptable provided the result is a crystal clear, ice cold drink. This is easier to get by shaking. However, if you shake too vigorously you will get a very unappealing foamy drink.

Stirring is nice if you have a glass pitcher and stirring rod. This way you can make several at a time. Just make sure everything is well-chilled.

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