The Martini

Today is the Drink segment of my blog when each Tuesday I will give a couple of drink recipes that I have seen or made in the past at places where I have worked. Also on some Tuesdays I will talk about how Bartending has changed over the years.

The first cocktail I want to talk about is one everyone knows and that is the Martini. Or does everyone know what a Martini Cocktail is?

The reason I ask is when I worked in Switzerland and someone asked for a Martini on the rocks I went looking for the gin and dry vermouth , before my hands could reach it the F and B Manager stopped me and asked me what I was doing. I replied the lady asked for a Martini on ice and he said this is what she means and he pointed to the Martini Rossi sweet vermouth that was on the speed rail. You see the Swiss when they ask for a Martini that is what they mean. On the continent back in the late 80’s that is the way it was.

In France or Italy no one drinks the Martinis that we are used to drinking here. In Europe they do not ask for a Rye and Ginger ale they will ask for the Rye by the Brand name. For instance Crown Royal and Ginger Ale , Glenfiddich and water , etc.. In Canada unless they want a premium brand it will be Rye and Ginger Ale and they will get the speed rail rye. In other words , the bar rye.

Now back to the Martini , obviously it starts out with Gin or , if asked for , Vodka. A lot of places have a 2oz cocktail pour and others have 3oz. If it is on ice it easily poured over ice usually garnished with an olive.

For straight up cocktail,

2oz Dry Gin ( Beefeater and Bombay Sapphire Gin are two of my favourites or Tanqueray )
1/8oz Dry Vermouth ( Noilly Prat I prefer over Martini Dry Vermouth )

I make all martini cocktails really dry unless the customer ask for a little more vermouth. It has to have a real bite to it. Whet the appetite so to speak. Some people want it so dry they just would prefer you skip the vermouth part and just wave the bottle over it.

Note – if you are stocking a bar choose a French dry vermouth and an Italian sweet vermouth.

Put in a glass shaker filled with ice. I let it sit for 10-15 seconds to let it get really cold and while I am doing that I get the chilled cocktail glass out of the fridge and get the olives on the cocktail stick.

I get the bar spoon and give it a couple of stirs and strain it into the glass.

Voila! Nice and cold.

Now here are some variations on the Martini Recipe.

Gibson Cocktail – Replace olive with pearl onion.
Martini with a twist – Replace olive with zest of lemon.

Now here are a couple you may not have heard of but your guest who like Martinis may like these ones.

Dirty Martini – that is your martini with a little olive juice poured into the cocktail to cloudy it.
Blue Cheese Martini – this is when you take the pimento out of the olive and run to the kitchen and get some blue cheese and stuff the space left by the pimento with the cheese. It is somewhat tedious and when you are busy a real pain in the butt. Run the pick through the blue cheese and olives and drop it in the Martini.

Now what do you think a Blue Cheese Dirty Martini is?

A Perfect Martini is 2 parts Gin and 1/2 part each of sweet and dry vermouth.
A Sweet Martini is 2 parts Gin and 1 part Sweet Vermouth.

Okay that is it for Martinis. Of course there are many flavoured Martinis but that is for another time.

Hope you enjoyed this blog on the Classic Martini Cocktail.



  1. I LOVE martinis! Mine is called a f*&%^ me I'm hot: 2 parts vodka, 1 part sweet vermouth, a dash of tobasco. Never thought of a garnish…maybe a maraschino? (Oh look…she finally comments…about alcohol??)

  2. Sous Gal…thanks for the comment. Sounds like a great martini.Maybe a garnish of a jalapeno pepper. Wow that’s a hot one!

  3. you start with the one, for there is only one, drink that I cant stand…..huh…..

  4. Manuel..I only drink beer and wine myself.

  5. What a great subject for your blog. I really enjoyed it, especially the part about Europeans using SWEET vermouth. Who woulda guessed???By the way, I always pre-stuff both some blue cheese and anchoivie olives. It makes life a little easier!

  6. Mike the Waiter…Welcome.Glad you enjoyed the topic today and will do another next Tuesday.Anchovies eh? Great idea stuffing some ahead of time.

  7. Hi Steve, This is a good post. Thx

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Elvan…Once again thanks for the comment and will post another good one next week.

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