The Martini

A true Martini is always made with Gin, and always includes Vermouth.
No other cocktail has attained quite the status or mystique as this classic combination. The history of the Martini is long and involved, to the point of being totally confusing. But sipping a well-crafted Martini chases all the confusion away. There is a certain culture, or mind set that accompanies individual contemplation of a classic Martini. However, what passes as a Martini in many cocktail lounges across the country today, is often best described as "Gin, Up", or in other words a couple ounces of gin, shaken with ice, and then strained into a cocktail glass. 

A Martini is a cocktail, and a cocktail contains more then just a single ingredient. Some will argue a cocktail should contain at least three ingredients, in which case a dash of Orange Bitters to a traditional Martini is often accepted. A well-balanced cocktail should be able to cloak its ingredients in a slight mystery. Changing the garnish of a Martini from the common green olives to a couple cocktail onions cause it to be renamed to a "Gibson", if such a simple change provides a new name, then shouldn't the changing of a major ingredient also be a different drink? It was a marketing ploy by the Smirnoff Company that implied that a Martini could just as easily be made with Vodka instead of gin. But this is a totally different drink, and as such has its own name, which is the "Kangaroo cocktail". If you're the type of person that enjoys a good Martini, then spend a little time learning to understand it better. If you play around with several different brands of gin, different ratios of dry and/or sweet vermouth, and a few dashes of Orange Bitters, you just might learn a new appreciation for some of the interesting complexities that can accompany this legendary cocktail.

  • 75 ml Tanqueray Ten London Dry Gin (or other super premium Dry Gin)
  • 15 ml Dry Vermouth

Method: Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with either a lemon zest or a green olive. The Gin to Vermouth ratio listed here is 5 to 1. An "extra-dry" martini can take this to such an extreme as to have no vermouth at all. - notes partially sourced from