Gin Martini Cocktail

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PREP TIME 2 min

Cocktail Type

Martini

Great for

After Work

Difficulty

Easy

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Gin Martini garnished with olives

Only three Gin Martini cocktail ingredients are what you need to make one of the world’s most popular cocktails and set you apart as a fantastic host. How so? Well, much like white linen napkins and soft candlelight, a perfectly mixed Gin Martini adds a dash of polish and sophistication to just about any occasion.  

What is a classic Gin Martini?

Widely renowned as one of the best gin cocktails, the classic Gin Martini is somewhat of a legend. The exact origins of the drink are a little murky, but most variations of the tale feature a miner who struck it lucky and wanted to celebrate with a special drink. Some say it originated in San Francisco, others claim it was in New York at the Knickerbocker Hotel. Whatever the case may be, it first appeared in bartending manuals in 1888, and has only gained in popularity since then.  

What are the ingredients of a Gin Martini cocktail?

The best Gin Martini recipes call for three basic ingredients, namely gin, vermouth and a splash of bitters, if you prefer. The gin forms the base of the cocktail, setting a smooth, cool stage for the vermouth and bitters to take a bow. Vermouth itself is subtly sweet and spicy, with a hint of bitterness on the finish, which ties in nicely with the clove and cinnamon that underpins the bold taste of the bitters.    

Classic garnish options include a twist of lemon or some green olives. However, if you feel like switching things up, you could always try it with orange or grapefruit peel, or some pickled onions. Yes, really! Called a Gibson cocktail, adding a pickled cocktail onion to your martini brings out a sensory umami undertone that’s not to be missed. 

QUICK TIPS

01

Properly cool glasses will allow your Gin Martini to sing

02

Vermouth is a fortified wine with a shelf life of three months

03

Stirring the martini keeps it undiluted and free from ice shards

INGREDIENTS

MAKE FOR

1 Person

60 Ml

2 Oz

2 Parts

Ondina Gin
10 Ml

0.33 Oz

0.33 Parts

1757 Vermouth di Torino Extra Dry
A dash of orange or aromatic bitters (optional)  
To garnish, a lemon twist or 1–3 green olives  
Ice

INSTRUCTIONS

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01

Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes

02

Add the gin, vermouth and orange bitters

03

Stir for 30 seconds, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass

04

Express a lemon peel over the glass to express its oils

05

Rub the peel along the stem of the glass

06

Garnish with a green olive

The best alcohol for a Gin Martini   

As is the case with most 3 ingredient cocktails, a Gin Martini is always better if you use the best quality ingredients possible.  

A London Dry gin like Bulldog is normally a good option. In order to be categorised as a London Dry, a gin also has to feature top-quality base alcohol made only with natural flavours, and nothing but water added after the second distillation.  

Choosing the right vermouth is quite a personal journey. You may find that a certain brand does not suit your vision for the flavour profile of your Gin Martini at all. Some are floral, while others are more herbaceous, fresh or complex. We recommend Cinzano Extra Dry Vermouth for the best taste.

As such, there is likely going to be some trial and error. If you are able to purchase your vermouth from a shop that allows tastings, wonderful! Otherwise, simply take it one step at a time until you find one according to your taste. 

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

There are many lovely ways to garnish a martini. A classic Gin Martini is normally served up with a twist of lemon, which adds a lovely fresh note to the drink, or some green olives, which takes the flavor profile into a more savory space. If you choose to go the olive route, you can simply drop it into the glass, or you can dial up the elegance by skewering up to three olives on a cocktail pick. Fun fact, there is a superstition among bartenders that even numbers of olives are bad luck, so you'll rarely find a bartender who will serve up two... 

A classic Gin Martini recipe calls for high-quality gin, vermouth, and bitters (to taste). The amount of vermouth you choose to add to the drink will determine whether it’s 'dry’ or ‘wet’. The more vermouth you add, the wetter (i.e., sweeter) it gets. As such, a bone-dry martini is actually just chilled gin. The story goes that Winston Churchill liked his martini this way and would make a comical little bow in the direction of France as a nod to the vermouth (which originated there), rather than add it to his drink.

Olives are one of the most popular garnish choices for a classic Gin Martini. For a Gin Martini with a twist, you could also choose to use stuffed olives with garlic or jalapenos. In cases like these, one olive will suffice since the flavors are typically pretty concentrated.   

There are a wonderful variety of martinis you can make — some feature gin, others are made using vodka. In fact, there are even drinks, such as the Vesper Martini, that contain both gin and vodka. It all comes down to the taste you prefer, and who will be joining you in the clinking and drinking. Some people don't enjoy the very recognizable taste of gin, while others adore it. If you’re feeling a little unsure, perhaps ask your guests if they have a preference before you mix a batch.