Gin Martini Cocktail Drink

Gin Martini

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

This Gin Martini recipe provides all the ingredients you’ll need. It’s simple to make and offers a refined cocktail experience.

Gin Martini Recipe

Unwind with our classic Gin Martini recipe! Blending gin, dry vermouth, and a twist or olive, this sleek cocktail is a must-try for any sophisticated evening.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

175 kl

Ingredients

  • oz Gin
  • ½ oz dry Vermouth
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twist or olive, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Martini Glass or Nick & Nora Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Cocktail Shaker or Mixing Glass
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon
  • Strainer

Instructions

  • Chill the Glass: Place your Nick & Nora glass in the freezer or fill it with ice to chill.
  • Add Dry Vermouth: Pour ½ oz dry Vermouth into a mixing glass or a shaker.
  • Add Gin: Measure and pour 2½ oz Gin.
  • Add ice: Ice up the mixing glass or the shaker.
  • Stir or Shake: Stir the mixture gently with a bar spoon. If you prefer a shaken martini, give the shaker a vigorous shake.
  • Strain: Empty the Martini glass (if you've been chilling it with ice) and strain the mixture into the glass.
  • Garnish: Add a lemon twist or olive for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Gin: While I love the botanical flavors of gin in a martini, you can switch to vodka. It gives a more neutral taste, which some people appreciate.
  • Dry Vermouth: No dry vermouth? Try using a splash of white wine. It won't be a classic martini but can serve in a pinch. If you opt for this, a dash of orange bitters can help to enhance the flavor.

Making a Pitcher of Gin Martini:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That's 20 oz of gin and 4 oz of dry vermouth.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the gin and dry vermouth. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into chilled Martini glasses, garnish with a lemon twist or olive, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic gin substitute; several brands are available that mimic gin's unique botanical flavors.
  • Dry Vermouth Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic dry white wine or even a grape juice with a splash of lemon juice.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular ingredients, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic Gin Martini.

Making it Vegan:

Most Gin Martinis are already vegan. However, always check the label of your gin and vermouth. Some alcoholic products might use animal-derived fining agents. If you're using olives as a garnish, ensure they aren't stuffed with non-vegan ingredients, such as blue cheese.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
175
% Daily Value*
Sodium
 
1
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
1
g
0
%
Potassium
 
1
mg
0
%
Protein
 
0.01
g
0
%
Iron
 
0.03
mg
0
%

 

Gin Martini Cocktail Drink

Gin Martini Recipe

Andrea Ottaiano Written by Andrea Ottaiano
Jump to Video
Unwind with our classic Gin Martini recipe! Blending gin, dry vermouth, and a twist or olive, this sleek cocktail is a must-try for any sophisticated evening.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 175

Ingredients
 

  • oz Gin
  • ½ oz dry Vermouth
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twist or olive - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Martini Glass or Nick & Nora Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Cocktail Shaker or Mixing Glass
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon
  • Strainer

Instructions

  • Chill the Glass: Place your Nick & Nora glass in the freezer or fill it with ice to chill.
  • Add Dry Vermouth: Pour ½ oz dry Vermouth into a mixing glass or a shaker.
  • Add Gin: Measure and pour 2½ oz Gin.
  • Add ice: Ice up the mixing glass or the shaker.
  • Stir or Shake: Stir the mixture gently with a bar spoon. If you prefer a shaken martini, give the shaker a vigorous shake.
  • Strain: Empty the Martini glass (if you've been chilling it with ice) and strain the mixture into the glass.
  • Garnish: Add a lemon twist or olive for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Gin: While I love the botanical flavors of gin in a martini, you can switch to vodka. It gives a more neutral taste, which some people appreciate.
  • Dry Vermouth: No dry vermouth? Try using a splash of white wine. It won't be a classic martini but can serve in a pinch. If you opt for this, a dash of orange bitters can help to enhance the flavor.

Making a Pitcher of Gin Martini:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That's 20 oz of gin and 4 oz of dry vermouth.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the gin and dry vermouth. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into chilled Martini glasses, garnish with a lemon twist or olive, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic gin substitute; several brands are available that mimic gin's unique botanical flavors.
  • Dry Vermouth Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic dry white wine or even a grape juice with a splash of lemon juice.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular ingredients, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic Gin Martini.

Making it Vegan:

Most Gin Martinis are already vegan. However, always check the label of your gin and vermouth. Some alcoholic products might use animal-derived fining agents. If you're using olives as a garnish, ensure they aren't stuffed with non-vegan ingredients, such as blue cheese.

 

What is a Gin Martini?

Gin Martini is a cocktail that combines gin with dry vermouth. Historians often link this iconic drink to the early days of cocktail-making, signifying its ageless appeal. While its origins are debated, one thing is sure: its simplicity and elegance have solidified its place in cocktail history. You don’t need to frequent upscale bars to appreciate a Gin Martini. This revered Gin Martini recipe delivers sophistication, yet it remains remarkably straightforward in its composition.

A side shot of a Gin Martini cocktail in a martini glass with lemon pieces on the side on a circle wooden tray placed on a table, and a jigger and a shaker on the background.

What is a Gin Martini made of – The ingredients

Get these ingredients ready for your Gin Martini:

  • Gin: The primary spirit that provides a robust, aromatic foundation. Distilled from grain, gin carries botanical flavors, especially juniper.
  • Dry Vermouth: A fortified wine that adds complexity and a hint of bitterness to balance the gin’s botanicals.
  • Lemon Twist or Olive (Optional for garnish): Enhances presentation and introduces a subtle citrus or briny note to the drink’s finish.

Gin and dry vermouth laid out of a white bar table.

How do you make a Gin Martini?

Use our easy instructions to make a Gin Martini:

1
<p>Start by chilling your Nick & Nora glass. Place it in the freezer for a few hours or fill it with ice for a few minutes.</p>

Start by chilling your Nick & Nora glass. Place it in the freezer for a few hours or fill it with ice for a few minutes.

2
<p>Add to the mixing glass or shaker the dry vermouth, which will infuse the gin with a nuanced complexity and a touch of bitterness.</p>

Add to the mixing glass or shaker the dry vermouth, which will infuse the gin with a nuanced complexity and a touch of bitterness.

3
<p>Pour the gin, allowing the spirit’s aromatic botanicals to come alive once in contact with the ice.</p>

Pour the gin, allowing the spirit’s aromatic botanicals to come alive once in contact with the ice.

4
<p>Ice up the mixing glass or the shaker with ice cubes.</p>

Ice up the mixing glass or the shaker with ice cubes.

5
<p>Stir the mixture gently with a bar spoon if using a mixing glass. If you’re using a shaker and prefer your Martini shaken, give it a vigorous shake.</p>

Stir the mixture gently with a bar spoon if using a mixing glass. If you’re using a shaker and prefer your Martini shaken, give it a vigorous shake.

6
<p>Empty your Nick & Nora glass of ice, ensuring it’s nicely chilled, and strain the combined gin and vermouth mixture into it, leaving the ice behind in the shaker or mixing glass.</p>

Empty your Nick & Nora glass of ice, ensuring it’s nicely chilled, and strain the combined gin and vermouth mixture into it, leaving the ice behind in the shaker or mixing glass.

7
<p>Depending on your preference, garnish your drink with a lemon twist to beautify the cocktail and introduce a hint of citrus.</p>

Depending on your preference, garnish your drink with a lemon twist to beautify the cocktail and introduce a hint of citrus.

8
<p>Alternatively, use olives to add a briny undertone.</p>

Alternatively, use olives to add a briny undertone.

What’s a Dirty Gin Martini?

Dirty Gin Martini is a variation of the classic Gin Martini that incorporates olive brine, adding a salty and briny dimension to the drink. This twist gives it a distinct character and a slightly clouded appearance, appealing to those who enjoy a hint of saltiness in their cocktails.

A side shot of a Gin Martini cocktail in a martini glass on a wooden tray with a bowl with olives placed on a table and a turquoise wall on the background.

Variations

Looking for more options? Here are some we really recommend:

  • Vesper Martini: A blend of gin, vodka, and a hint of Lillet Blanc transforms this martini into an aromatic and spirited beverage. The complex interplay of gin and vodka flavors, complemented by the sophistication of Lillet Blanc, really appeals to me.
  • Gibson Cocktail: Garnished with a pickled onion, this martini offers a unique savory twist. The inclusion of the onion adds an unexpected, flavorful kick that distinguishes it.
  • French Martini: The infusion of Chambord and pineapple juice gives this martini a fruity depth and a sweeter character. I appreciate how the berry notes of Chambord combine with the zest of pineapple juice for a refreshing experience.
  • Espresso Martini: By opting for gin over vodka, this martini marries aromatic botanicals with rich coffee flavors, creating a compelling choice for coffee lovers.
  • Elderflower Martini: The introduction of elderflower liqueur brings a floral and sweet nuance to the martini. I’m particularly delighted by the refreshing and fragrant elderflower, which evokes the essence of spring.
  • Tuxedo Cocktail: Combining dry and sweet vermouth with maraschino liqueur and orange bitters, this martini offers a herbal and citrusy flavor profile.
  • Burnt Martini: A splash of Scotch whisky on top introduces a smoky contrast to the botanical flavors of the martini. The Scotch adds an intriguing, smoky layer that I find captivating.
  • Cucumber Martini: Muddling cucumber slices in the martini renders it crisp and refreshing. This choice is incredibly revitalizing, especially on warm days.
  • Chocolate Martini: The addition of chocolate liqueur transforms the martini into a decadent delight, marrying cocoa sweetness with the crispness of gin. This combination creates a rich and indulgent experience.
  • Rose Martini: Infusing the martini with rose water or rose-infused gin adds a fragrant, garden-like allure. The aromatic rose notes are exceptionally appealing to me, bringing a floral elegance.
  • Chili Martini: Infusing the gin with chili peppers imparts a spicy kick to the martini. This choice is perfect for those who enjoy a bit of heat with each sip.
  • Truffle Martini: Incorporating truffle oil or truffle-infused gin adds a luxurious, earthy umami flavor. This sophisticated taste is particularly appealing to gourmet enthusiasts.
  • Pomegranate Martini: Adding pomegranate juice or liqueur infuses the martini with a vibrant color and a tangy-sweet flavor. This option is visually striking and offers a refreshingly fruity taste.

A side shot of a Gin Martini cocktail in a martini glass on a wooden tray with a bowl with olives behind placed on a table and a turquoise wall on the background.

History and Origin

The history of the Gin Martini traces its roots back to the latter half of the 19th century, with several tales vying for the title of the “original” Martini story.

One popular account pinpoints the birthplace of the Martini as the town of Martinez in California. Local lore suggests that a gold miner ordered a special drink before heading to San Francisco. The bartender mixed up what he had on hand: gin, vermouth, bitters, and maraschino liqueur, garnishing it with a lemon slice. The miner loved the concoction, and as he traveled, he shared his discovery, inadvertently popularizing it.

Meanwhile, another story gives credit to a bartender, Jerry Thomas, who worked at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco. In his 1887 bartending guide, he describes a similar cocktail called the Martinez, which many believe evolved into today’s Martini.

However, on the East Coast, in New York City, the Knickerbocker Hotel also claims the Martini’s origin. Their bartender, Martini di Arma di Taggia, reportedly served a gin and vermouth concoction to John D. Rockefeller in the early 1900s, which might have influenced the drink’s widespread acclaim.

While its origins remain a topic of debate, the Gin Martini’s evolution is clearer. Initially, the Martini had a much higher vermouth-to-gin ratio, often equal parts of each. As time progressed, particularly into the 20th century, the ratio favored gin more heavily, leading to the drier Martinis we recognize today.

Despite these differing origin stories, one thing remains consistent: the Gin Martini rapidly grew in popularity, especially during Prohibition, and has since become an iconic symbol of American cocktail culture.

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FAQ

How many calories are typically in a Gin Martini?
A standard Gin Martini has approximately 120-175 calories, depending on the gin's proof and the amount of vermouth used.
How strong is a Gin Martini in terms of alcohol content?
A Gin Martini typically has an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of around 26-40%, which translates to about 52-80 proof, depending on the gin and vermouth ratios.
What type of alcohol is the primary ingredient in a Gin Martini?
Gin serves as the primary alcohol in a Gin Martini.
In which glass is a Gin Martini traditionally served?
A Gin Martini is traditionally served in a stemmed Martini glass.
What does a Gin Martini taste like?
A Gin Martini offers a smooth, aromatic blend of botanical flavors from the gin, combined with the slight bitterness and complexity from the dry vermouth.
What is the typical ratio of gin to vermouth in a Gin Martini?
The traditional ratio is 5:1, with 2½ oz of gin to ½ oz of dry vermouth, though some prefer drier Martinis with even less vermouth.
How is a Gin Martini typically served regarding ice or temperature?
A Gin Martini is typically served "up," meaning it's chilled with ice during preparation but then strained into a glass without ice for serving.

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