Cocktail: How to make a classic Martini

Did you know that a classic Martini is made with gin, not vodka? Fun fact #2: James Bond got it totally wrong and you should always stir a Martini, not shake it! Right, now we’ve cleared those two important things up, on with the rest of the cocktail recipe! And honestly, it couldn’t be simpler.

A classic Martini with an olive garnish.

A classic Martini with an olive garnish.

Classic Martini

4 parts gin*
1 part dry vermouth
1 strip of lemon peel or olives

  • Pop your gin and the martini glass in the freezer for at least half an hour before using

  • Add a handful of ice cubes to a mixing glass then pour in the chilled gin and vermouth

  • Stir gently around the rim for 30 seconds, then strain into the chilled Martini glass

  • Squeeze your sliver of fresh lemon peel over the drink’s surface (shiny side down) to release the oils, then drop it in the drink

  • Alternatively, pop three olives onto a cocktail stick and rest it across the glass

*Try 60ml gin with 15ml dry vermouth to start, then play around to find your ideal ratio.

The more vermouth you use, the “wetter” the Martini; the less, the dryer. The options range from a Naked Martini (around 10 parts gin to 1 part vermouth - literally just a spray or quick swirl of vermouth in the glass), to a Wet Martini (2:1 ratio), to the Fifty-Fifty version, which is equal parts vermouth and gin. Feel free to experiment until you find the level of ‘dryness’ that you most enjoy!

5 quick and easy twists on the classic Martini


There are a multitude of variations on the classic Martini recipe. Try any one of these easy tweaks to see which is your favourite!

  • Swop your olives for pickled cocktail onions and you’ve made a new drink: the Gibson!

  • Add two parts olive brine along with an olive garnish to turn this into a Dirty Martini

  • Blood Orange Martini: replace the vermouth with the equivalent in freshly squeezed blood orange juice

  • Smoky Martini: Use the above method with 50ml gin and 5ml Scotch whisky instead of vermouth. Garnish with a twist of lemon

  • Breakfast Martini: Shake or stir 60ml gin, 20ml lemon juice and 1tbsp orange marmalade in a glass-filled shaker or mixing glass until well combined. Strain into a Martini glass and garnish with a twist of orange peel.