The Classic Martini

The origin of the Martini as with most of the cocktails has many stories to tell.

Some believe the Martini cocktail is a descendant of the Martinez, a cocktail made from 1 measure Old Tom gin, 2 measures sweet vermouth, 2 dashes maraschino cherry liquid, 1 dash bitters and a twist of lemon.

The Classic Dry Martini is said to have been invented in 1912 by Signor Martini di Arma di Taggia, a bartender at the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York.

It has been said that the Martini owes its name to the popular Italian vermouth, sometimes referred to as Martini & Rossi. Therefore, when in Italy don’t be confused if you ask for a Martini and are served a sweet white vermouth instead of a cocktail.

Today there are many variations of the Martini; here is the recipe for a Classic Dry Martini along with a few variations to suit all tastes.

The Recipe

This recipe serves 1

  • 2 measures gin
  • ½ measure dry vermouth
  • Garnish: green olives

In a mixing glass add the gin and dry vermouth, stir well and strain into a martini glass. Decorate with green olives.


  • To make a Smoky Martini add a dash of whisky to the Classic Dry Martini.
  • A sweet martini is made using sweet red vermouth instead of dry vermouth, and garnished with a cherry instead of a green olive.
  • A FDR Martini also known as a Dirty Martini is made by adding a dash of olive brine.
  • If you prefer vodka as opposed to gin, replace the gin to make a Vodka Martini, sometimes referred to as a Vodkatini.
  • For those with a sweet tooth an Apple Martini may suit your tastes, also referred to as an Appletini or a Sour Apple Martini. This can be made with vodka, apple schnapps and apple juice which is optional.
  • To make a Burnt Martini, use scotch instead of vermouth.
  • A Gibson can be made by changing the garnish of a Dry Martini from an olive to a cocktail onion.

Leave a comment

Great Cocktails