Nothing beats the cool, crisp and refreshing taste of a martini. It’s an elegant and sophisticated cocktail and as James Bond’s drink of choice, the martini has a reputation as a high class drink, best suited to being sipped at formal parties and expensive bars. However, it’s so easy to make – and even easier to drink – that it’s become a wonderful way to add a touch of style to any occasion, whether it be a social gathering with friends, a family party or even a relaxing night in at home in your pajamas.
How to make the perfect martini
Martinis are most commonly made with either gin or vodka and vermouth, but it is the gin variety which is most traditional. Combine three parts gin and one part dry vermouth in a mixing glass, fill it up with ice and either shake or stir until the liquid is very cold. Serve in a classic, elegant cocktail glass and garnish with either olives or a lemon twist; the latter adds a delightfully subtle citrus tang which lifts the drink perfectly.
For the vodka variety, follow the exact same recipe using vodka in place of gin. The result is a very different flavor; gin has a rather potent herbal taste while the vodka variety is little tamer. Both varieties are pretty powerful though so take it easy when sipping them at elegant parties; they slip down easily but the effects can hit you pretty hard!
To make martinis at home you’ll only need a few basics; some martini glasses (we love the sleek, modern stainless steel variety), a cocktail shaker and some martini picks if olives will be your garnish of choice. For those who are a bit more serious about cocktail making, we have a wonderful Martini Bar Set which includes all the crucial martini products you need to serve up the cocktails like a pro.
Wet and dry martinis
A common misconception about martinis is that ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ refers to the type of vermouth used in the cocktail. Vermouth is a type of fortified wine that is flavored with herbs and botanicals. Just like normal wine it can be dry or sweet and many people assume that dry martinis are made with very dry vermouth while wet martinis are made with sweet vermouth. Wrong!
Dry and wet actually refers to the amount of vermouth used in the drink. For a sweeter flavor, more vermouth is added (‘wet’) and for a dryer taste only a few drops of vermouth are used. You should play around with the amount of vermouth in your martinis until you find the perfect balance according to your tastes.
One of our most popular martini products is the Martini Spray Set – a small atomizer which allows you to add a delicate mist to the top of your martini. Many people like this gentle hit of vermouth flavor which they taste with each sip. Yum!
Why shaken, not stirred?
Our favorite spy James Bond always gave the classic line “Shaken, not stirred” when ordering his martinis but that doesn’t mean to say you should too; it’s best to try both methods to decide which you prefer.
Shaken martinis – where the alcohol is vigorously shaken with ice before pouring – tends to break up the ice and provide a more diluted flavor. With stirred martinis, the liquid is still cooled but the ice melts far more slowly, resulting in a stronger cocktail. Stirred martinis often tend to be smoother, since there is less risk of ice shards being poured into the martini glass.
Fancy martinis for fancy events
While martinis are super easy cocktails you can whip up in seconds, there are times which call for something just a little more special. One of our favorite martini products is a recipe book called 101 Martinis which has some weird, wonderful and truly delicious adaptations of the classic cocktail.
Some recipes call for rum, liqueurs and even ice cream, while others guide you through creating delicious fruit infusions. You’ll even learn how to add herbal supplements to your martinis, because obviously a glass full of martini helps the medicine go down.
Think you’re ready to become a martini connoisseur? Check out the range of martini products and martini glasses here at Wine Devices and make the classic drink a part of your cocktail repertoire!