Name me a cocktail that has more “right ways” to make it than a martini. Name me a cocktail that has more allure and sex appeal than a martini. Can you think of one? I certainly can’t. Despite its seemingly infinite variations, a martini is, at its core, the epitome of simplicity. Here’s the recipe I use when I want to enjoy one.
Martini Cocktail Recipe
2 oz. gin
.5 oz. dry vermouth
Lemon peel for garnish
Combine the gin and vermouth in a mixing glass. Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.
There aren’t many guys who are into style (or at least style-conscious) who haven’t looked to James Bond for inspiration. And many, myself included, have likely committed 007’s favorite drink order to memory and recited it to a bartender at some point in our lives: a medium dry vodka martini, shaken, not stirred. I’ve never been huge on rules and never afraid to break them if it feels right, but there are two problems with James Bond’s martini recipe that I’m going to stand firm on.
First, a martini should be made with gin, not vodka. Period. Let’s argue about it. The only variation I’ll use vodka in is the Vesper (another famous Bond cocktail), which is still primarily gin-based. Second, you don’t shake cocktails with only spirits. They should be stirred. Period again. Shaking is reserved for drinks with citrus to help release or activate their citrusy-ness.
What kind of spirits do I make my martinis with? Let’s talk about my favorite gins: Hendrick’s, Plymouth, and Philadelphia Bluecoat. For vermouth, my go-to dry vermouth (also a great price) is from Cinzano. If you start to become a vermouth fanatic, I recommend Vya. A little pricier, but very, very nice.
How do you make your martinis? Share your recipes in the comments!
Thanks for reading.
He Spoke Style
Photography by Rob McIver Photo.