Gin Martini

August 19, 2021
5 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Makes 1
Author Notes

In the '50s, martinis were what Mom and Dad sipped before a dinner of meatloaf, garden salad, and creamed corn.

Not anymore, of course. Cocktails have made an extraordinary comeback, and the martini is undoubtedly leading the charge. It has a clean, bracing taste, and we won’t lie—drinking one just makes you look classy.

Where was the cocktail born? The most referenced story in the history books is that it all started in the 1860s with a cocktail called a Martinez, made of gin, sweet vermouth, bitters, and maraschino liqueur. Recipes evolved from there, but the martini pioneer is still largely unknown: “It’s kind of like asking who made the first airplane,” cocktail author Barnaby Conrad said in one interview.

Ratios back in the early days were often 1:1 gin to vermouth. From there, they’ve skyrocketed as high as 100:1, but the recipe below is my favorite blend.

How to Make the Perfect Martini for You:

• Never freeze your alcohol—the ice you use during stirring not only chills the liquid down efficiently, but it infuses it with enough water to temper the alcohol burn. Water is an essential component of a well-mixed martini.
• Feel free to play with the vermouth ratio a bit according to your own palate.
• Many classic recipes call for orange bitters. I like a few drops for extra complexity, and if you make yours this way, invite me over.
• Whatever you do, drink your martinis in moderation. Heed the words of Dorothy Parker:

"I like to drink a Martini
But only two at the most.
Three I’m under the table,
Four I’m under the host."

Gin and stirred, this drink is the most classic cocktail of all.

Helpful tools for this recipe:
- Elevated Craft Hybrid Cocktail Shaker
- Modern Metal Cocktail Picks
- Italian Classic Cocktail Glasses

Erika Kotite

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Gin Martini
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce vermouth
  • Green olive or lemon twist, for serving
  1. Into a shaker filled partway with ice, pour the gin and vermouth.
  2. Stir vigorously with a long-handled cocktail spoon for at least 30 seconds.
  3. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with the olive or lemon twist.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Steve
  • Rhita LaVine Baldwin
    Rhita LaVine Baldwin
  • Sharon.C
  • kgw
  • Susan
I spend about an equal amount of time behind the laptop and behind the stove. In between preparing and writing about food, I love to hang out with my husband, three children, big shaggy dog and two cats. History is also my thing, especially the Regency period, U.S. Westward expansion and World War II. Favorite drinks: good pinot noirs and classic martinis. Favorite book: Pride & Prejudice. Favorite obsessions: Laura Ingalls Wilder and South Dakota

28 Reviews

Sheltonk55 June 18, 2023
I like the 2-1 Gin/dry vermouth ratio Another favorite garnish I enjoy is a pickle onion
Steve June 18, 2023
A Martini with a cocktail onion garnish is a Gibson. I agree, it's wonderful.
Steve February 2, 2023
What's next? A Gin Gin & Tonic? A Gin Negroni?
arbeenyc January 10, 2023
Hmm. The recipe I have for a "classic" martini is roughly 3-1 (even 4-1) English dry gin to dry French vermouth. I use two *jiggers* of gin and about half a jigger of vermouth. In the mixing container, always use large ice cubes (otherwise you water down the drink too much) and stir (don't shake). For myself, I always serve in a chilled glass with a strip of lemon peel, which I sometimes will muddle in the bottom of the glass. This always makes a clean, crisp, bracing martini.
arbeenyc January 10, 2023
Almost forgot--I add two drops of orange bitters to the vermouth, then dump both into the cocktail shaker before mixing with the gin.
Rhita L. July 9, 2021
Beautiful glass and olive 🫒 pick! Where can we buy those?
Lauren J. May 3, 2021
Love this!! I always add an ounce of olive juice to mine and only .5 ounce dry vermouth. Love me a dirty gin martini
Nancy P. January 20, 2021
There is no easy way to print the recipes you feature because you do not show a print icon on your recipes. I can't print them, at least on my computer. You do have great recipes.
FHeller March 13, 2022
Can’t you copy to clipboard and press Alt, Control, and Return? Then check Selection to designate what to print.
Sharon.C August 5, 2020
I use Lillet Blanc in my Vodka Martinis; 2 oz Vodka to 0.5 oz Lillet stirred with ice and then strained into chilled coupe or Martini glasses.
kgw May 15, 2020
I have 3 styles of Berto in my cupboard: dry (very white), demi-sec (amber), and sweet (red). Each makes a different drink! To each their own!
Susan May 9, 2014
After reading the comments, I may try cutting back on the vermouth. I've been making my 2-1 (gin to vermouth). I think I'll experiment with 3-1. Thanks, folks!
James R. March 20, 2014
Forget the vermouth and shake it before you strain it.
Jason W. March 20, 2014
2-to-1 is classic, although I prefer a 3-to-1 gin-vermouth ratio. If you have a good vermouth, the flavors are complimentary. The "whisper of vermouth" trend, as I've read it, started during prohibition when vermouth became more scarce. I figure, if you're going to go that route, just order a gin on the rocks and save the money and trouble.
patricia M. February 9, 2014
Hmm too bad people didn't read the whole recipe. No ice in the served Martini. I like a good vermouth in my Martini but it varies between 1/2 oz and a full oz.
Bronwen February 6, 2014
I like very dry martinis- I usually just rinse out the glass with a bit of vermouth and then add the cold gin.
Molly M. February 6, 2014
Well if you can believe Tom Lehrer's lyrics to "Bright College Days", it's "hearts full of youth, hearts full of truth, six parts gin to one part vermouth"!
Yimmy August 23, 2013
Ouch! Those ice chips melt and become water. Don't want water in my martini.
Good bartenders put in the gin or vodka and the desired vermouth, shake it lightly, and let it sit while they make another drink. Then it is poured into a chilled glass. The drink then has that little bite that is missing by over shaking.
Thesebmama May 5, 2013
I was raised with 3 parts Gin / 1 part Vermouth, one olive. This from the most fanatically classic Dad ever.
Thesebmama May 5, 2013
Please note that I am 61, so this proportion is from the 50s.
WalterG April 7, 2013
look at "original" recipes for the Martini and you will see a ratio more like the one shown, rather than the "whisper" of Vermouth used nowadays....tastes change. Making it as the drink was originally formulated is at least worth it to see what its progenitors intended.
Dave1944 April 7, 2013
Alton Brown suggests putting some vermouth into a shaker, shaking well, and draining the liquid. The ice is then combined with either vodka or gin. Don't know what the ratio of vodka to vermouth is but it is very low. Since I found out about Alton's version of the martini that's the only one I mix at home.
kbed814 February 7, 2013
Wow- way too much vermouth.
Erika K. February 7, 2013
what's your ratio?
kbed814 February 7, 2013
Classic- 1/4 ounce. Dry- 1/4 teaspoon or less
Erika K. February 8, 2013
I'll have to try that-thanks!
Charley C. April 7, 2013
My ratio: fill shaker halfway with ice. Pour in a bloop of vermouth. Shake and strain, discarding vermouth. Add gin and a dash of juice from the olive jar. Shake vigorously enough to dislodge tiny chips of ice. Strain into icy chilled glass. Drink quickly, while tiny ice sparkles are still suspended in the liquid.
arbeenyc February 24, 2023
Usually, about four to one, as noted above (roughly 3 oz gin to 1/2 oz Vermouth). Dry French! vermouth. The recipe failed to indicate that all-important fact.