Martinis are perhaps the most misunderstood and incorrectly made (and ordered) cocktails out there. There are myriad terms used when requesting one at the bar: Dry, Wet, Shaken, Stirred, Up, Rocks, Gibson, Dirty, Perfect, Vodka, Gin, etc… The Martini we describe here is a classic, Dry style, using Gin. Feel free to swap out the Gin for Vodka if you’re not a fan of the Juniper-forward spirit, but for tradition’s sake, we’re including Gin in this recipe. To understand the ordering jargon of “dry” Martini we must remember that oftentimes guests at a bar actually mean they don’t want Dry Vermouth included in the cocktail when they ask for it dry. The term has been bastardized since meaning to include Dry Vermouth in the past. These days, if you want Vermouth in your Martini, you might order it “wet”.
Much of the Martini-drinking population have a dislike for Vermouth because they’ve always had spoiled Vermouth. Far too many bars keep the fortified-wine product on the back bar instead of in the refrigerator, so it spoils and has an off-putting flavor in cocktails. High quality, new Vermouth adds depth and complexity to a Martini that has to be tasted to be appreciated. We encourage you to pick up a good bottle and give it a try! (And keep it in the damn fridge!)
You’ll find many different ratios of either Gin or Vodka to Vermouth, but this is our favorite. You’ll also notice we recommend shaking the Martini, as opposed to stirring it. You’ll end up with a stiffer drink if you choose to stir the cocktail, as the dilution won’t be as high. Either way is correct and depends entirely on personal preference.
Add ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake hard until well-chilled and double-strain into a chilled Coupe or Martini Glass. Express a peel of Lemon over the top of the drink and drop in.