Recipe – Classic Martini

Martini - Speaking Easy Podcast - Home Entertainment Gin and dry vermouth—garnished with a green olive or lemon twist for a classic martini.

Go ahead, substitute vodka for gin, and have yourself a vodka martini.

The origin of the martini is unknown. Numerous cocktails with names and ingredients similar to the modern-day martini were first seen in bartending guides of the late 19th century. In 1863, an Italian vermouth maker started marketing their product under the brand name of Martini and the brand name may be the source of the cocktail’s name.

In the 1920s the martini reached its most recognizable form: London dry gin and dry vermouth, stirred in a mixing glass with ice cubes, with the optional addition of orange or aromatic bitters, then strained into a chilled cocktail glass. Over time the generally expected garnish became the drinker’s choice of a green olive or a twist of lemon peel.

Jordan’s Martini

  • 2 to 2.5 oz. gin (he prefers Death’s Door or a London Dry Gin)
  • .5 oz. dry vermouth (Dolin works)
  • 1 dash lemon bitters
  • Lemon peel garnish


Combine all ingredients in mixing glass, add ice, and stir. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Add lemon peel or twist as garnish.

Jordan doesn’t like vodka in most cases, but if that is what is being served, a very Dirty Vodka Martini is his preference—same measures as his martini, subbing vodka, subtracting all things lemon, and adding 1/3 oz. olive juice.

Alex’s Martini

  • 2 2/3 oz. gin (he prefers Beefeater, a London Dry Gin)
  • 1/3 oz. dry vermouth (he prefers Noilly Prat)
  • Green olive garnish


Combine all ingredients in shaker, add ice, and shake.[i] Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Add olive garnish, and olive juice if you like it dirty.

Alex prefers an olive over a lemon twist, and is known from time to time to enjoy a Dirty Martini—so add olive juice to taste, but know that it doesn’t take much—a couple bar spoons to a 1/5 oz.

[i] A shaken martini is traditionally called a Bradford, but you’ll probably have to explain that to your bartender if you order it out. David A. Embury (1948). The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. New York City: Doubleday p. 101.


Do you stick with the classic or take your martini with a twist? Let us know in the comments below!