Dry Martini Recipe - The Most Luxurious Cocktail

 The dry martini is elegance in cocktail form - the Rolls Royce of alcoholic beverages, if you will. It’s a drink that exudes sophistication and class and is (quite rightly) an icon of the cocktail world.

As a lover of fine cocktails, I have a special appreciation for the dry martini. Its simplicity belies its depth, with a flavor profile that is both nuanced and bold. Let's explore the world of dry martinis, from its classic recipe to the various ways it can be personalized.

dry martini cocktail recipe, in a martini glass with green olives on a skewer

 Dry Martini Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 oz Dry Gin: The primary ingredient. Choose a high-quality gin that suits your taste preferences. Stick with a London dry gin for the most authentic dry martini.
  • 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth: This adds a subtle, aromatic complexity to the drink. You can lower the amount if you want an even drier cocktail.
  • Green Olive or Lemon Twist Garnish: It's up to you which you prefer. The olive adds a savory element, while the lemon twist provides a hint of citrus aroma. I like to use green pimento olives for an added color contrast.
  • Ice: Used for chilling and ever-so-slightly diluting the drink to the perfect strength.

Remember: the beauty of a dry martini lies in its minimalism. At its most basic, a dry martini involves just two main ingredients: dry gin and dry vermouth. The key is in the quality of these ingredients. Choose a premium-quality gin, one that you enjoy the flavor of, as it will be front and center in this cocktail.

How to Make a Dry Martini

1. Chill Your Glass:

Begin by placing your martini glass in the freezer for a few minutes. A chilled glass helps keep the drink ice cold.

2. Measure the Ingredients:

In a mixing glass, combine 2 1/2 ounces of gin with a 1/2 ounce of dry vermouth. This ratio is a good starting point, but feel free to adjust according to your taste. Make sure to use a jigger for the most precise pour.

3. Add Ice:

Fill the mixing glass with plenty of ice, enough to ensure the drink will be well-chilled.

4. Stir the Drink:

Using a bar spoon, stir the mixture gently for about 30 seconds. 

5. Strain into the Martini Glass:

Place a strainer over the mixing glass and pour the drink into your chilled martini glass. The ice should stay behind in the mixing glass.

6. Garnish and Serve:

Garnish with either a single olive or a twist of lemon peel. If using a lemon twist, twist it over the drink to release the oils, then drop it in or rub it around the rim of the glass before adding it to the drink.

Now it’s time to enjoy your dry martini. Sip and savor the refined blend of flavors in this classic cocktail.

Mixology Tip: Stirred Not Shaken

James Bond’s classic line “shaken, not stirred” is one of the most famous movie lines of all time. Shaking your martini, though, will make it colder and more diluted as the ice in the shaker breaks up. It also aerates your drink leading to a cloudier, less clear cocktail. In our opinion the classic stirred dry martini recipe is vastly superior.

Dry martini on a table with green pimento olives in a bowl next to it, and a cocktail strainer

 Variations of Dry Martini

 As the original is such an icon my inclination is to scream “Don’t mess with the classic dry martini recipe!” However some people like to experiment with different flavors, so you can use the classic dry martini as something of a canvas for personal expression. After all, that’s part of the fun of mixology.

 Some prefer it extra dry, which means even less vermouth, while others enjoy a dirty martini, with a splash of olive brine for a saltier, more savory cocktail.

The ratio of gin to vermouth can be adjusted to suit your taste, and experimenting with different brands of gin and vermouth can lead to unique flavor discoveries. 

Other Cocktails Similar to a Dry Martini

 For those who appreciate this dry martini recipe, there are several other cocktails that share its spirit and you may wish to experiment with them.

 The Gibson, for example, is essentially a dry martini garnished with a cocktail onion instead of an olive or lemon twist. This pickled onion lends a sweet and sour kick to the original recipe.

 The Vesper, made famous by James Bond, is another variant, combining gin, vodka, and Kina Lillet.

Bar Tools Needed to Make a Dry Martini

 A master craftsman is only as good as his tools and the same goes for a mixologist. While the ingredients list for a dry martini is short, having the right tools can make all the difference to the final outcome.

 A mixing glass and a bar spoon are essential for combining the ingredients and stirring your drink, ensuring a smooth, well-chilled mixture. A strainer is used to pour the drink into the glass, leaving the ice behind. You’ll also need a jigger for measuring out the gin and vermouth, and liquor pourers would be ideal to prevent spillage. All of these cocktail making tools can be purchased separately or as part of a mixology bartender kit.

Presentation wise, a classic martini glass - chilled if possible - is the perfect vessel for this elegant drink. In fact I’d go as far as to say it’s the only acceptable way to serve up a martini of any variety.

 Parting Words

 In the world of cocktails, the dry martini stands out as a symbol of sophistication and refinement. Its simplicity is deceptive, hiding the careful balance of flavors and the skill required to perfect it. Whether you prefer it classic or with a personal touch, garnished with an olive or a lemon twist, the dry martini is more than just a drink - it's an experience.

 So, gather up your dry martini ingredients, get stuck in and enjoy the process of crafting this classic cocktail. As you gain more confidence in your mixology skills this is a drink you’re sure to return to time and time again.

Back to blog

Featured Products