Classic Martini Recipe – The Perfect Martini

Classic Martini recipe contains gin and vermouth and is garnished with olives or a lemon twist.  Gin has always been the more traditional choice, but Vodka martinis have had a huge surge in popularity.  Now, the modern definition or version of a Classic Martini uses either gin or vodka, so give both a try.



Classic Martini



Do your prefer your martini shaken or stirred?  Dirty with the olive juice?  Lots of green olives?  There are so many ways to enjoy them, try ordering your next one either,  Perfect, Dirty, Dry or Wet.  James Bond would order his vodka martini “Shaken, not stirred”, which is called a Bradford.  Others claim that, you never shake a martini, only stir.  Martini drinkers each have their own preference.   Once you learn the lingo you will be sampling the varieties of martini cocktails like a pro.


Some Famous Martini Quotes:

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) – In his novel Farewell to Arms (1929):
”I had never tasted anything so cool and clean.” “They made me feel civilized.”

Journalist H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) – Journalist and critic:
“The martinis are the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet.”

Jackie Gleason (1916-1987) – American comedian, actor, and musician:
“A man must defend his home, his wife, his children, and his martini.”

Gerald Ford (1913-2006) – 38th President of the United States:
“The three martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency.  Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful and a snootful at the same time?”



Classic Martini Recipe - Perfect Martini Recipe:
Prep Time
5 mins
Course: Drinks
Keyword: Classic Martini Recipe, Perfect Martini Recipe
Servings: 1 serving
  • 3 ounces gin or vodka, your choice*
  • Splash of 1/2 ounce dry vermouth**
  • Ice cubes
  • Pimento-stuffed green olives (large ones are best)
  • Lemon twist
  1. Chill martini glasses by placing in the freezer.  A properly chilled martini glass means they should be in the freezer for a minimum of one hour prior to making martini cocktails.

  2. Place 7 to 8 ice cubes in the chilled glass pitcher or metal cocktain shaker.  Note: Your glass pitcher or metal shaker should also be stored in the freezer.

  3. Pour gin or vodka and vermouth into the chilled glass pitcher or a metal cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes.  Either shake or stir until cold (your choice) at least 10 seconds.  

  4. Strain into a chilled martini cocktail glass.  Serve straight up (no ice in the glass).

  5. Garnish with either a couple of olives or a lemon twist.  My preference is three large olives.

  6. Makes 1 fantastic classic martini.

Recipe Notes

* For the best tasting martinis, store your gin in the freezer.

** Vermouth needs to be stored in the refrigerator as it is perishable.


Martini Terms – How To Order A Martini:


Two gin martinis

50-50 Martini – Use equal parts of gin and dry vermouth.

Dirty Martini – Make using some olive juice makes this martini cloudy and saltier. Add approximately 1 ounce brine from olive jar.

Dry Martini – Traditionally the term meant using more dry vermouth. Today the trend defines it as using little or no vermouth.

Gibson Martini – Garnish with a cocktail onion instead of olives or lemon twist.

Wet Martini – Using extra dry vermouth.

Martini – Gin is used in a traditional martini.

Martini on the Rocks – Served with ice.

Martini Up or Straight Up – Served without ice.

Perfect Martini – Using equal parts of sweet and dry vermouth.

Vodka Martini – Replace gin with vodka.

Shaken (Bradford) – Ice cubes, martini ingredients placed in metal container, covered with a glass container and held together with hands while shaking in an up and down motions.

Stirred – In a chilled mixing container the martini is stirred for about one minute with a spoon.



Martini Recipes    Olives    Vodka Cocktails   

Comments and Reviews

6 Responses to “Classic Martini Recipe – The Perfect Martini”

  1. Francis

    Amazing Cocktail web site

  2. Laurel

    My parents were professional bartenders. I took a taste test once on stirred or shaken martini. Believe it or not, the shaken “makes the martini a little foamy” and dilutes the strength of the Gin. Where the stirred is kept as poured but to each his own. I prefer stirred any day! 🙂 Some bartenders refuse to shake a martini, it must be the quality of the gin, I don’t really know.

  3. Will

    Laurel – when you stir a martini on ice, then strain you’re not adding much water content to the gin. However, when you put the gin mixture in a container with a cover on it and shake the daylights out of it, you are adding at least an ounce of water. Ergo, a diluted martini. I have no problem having three shaken martinis but I can only walk straight with two stirred martinis. With no ice, no stir, no shake, watch out after 1 1/2 of these.

  4. Stephen

    A martini is a martini. Then there is the vodka martini. Never confuse the two!

  5. David

    I’m with Stephen; there is no such thing as a vodka martini unless it’s specified.; the martini is a gin cocktail, unless vodka is specified in one’s bar order or unless one orders a “vodkatini.”

    In response to Will: very interesting; had never heard or though about it in terms of dilution. I have read that shaking also causes a trivial amount of emulsification between the aromatic compounds, making a smoother, less slick, drink. And, apparently, there are other reasons. See the below discussion titled “A Scientific Argument for Never Shaking Your Gin.” Sip away, my fellow martini fans!!

  6. Donald J.Oglesbee,Esq

    High quality Vodka should always be stored for use in a freezer as well.Not just your precious Gin.
    Thank you though for the forum.


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