Story by: Shannon Partrick
About This Drink
The original martini was built with equal parts dry vermouth and gin, creating an incredibly dry and floral cocktail that celebrates the botanicals of both spirits. You can enjoy this martini with a lemon twist or olive garnish. But no matter what you decide, I recommend expressing the oil from a lemon twist just before serving (you can discard it after if you prefer an olive). The oil from the lemon brightens up the martini in a wonderful way.
I love martinis.
When I’m behind the bar, one of the most common questions I get is “What’s your favorite drink to make?” And I almost always respond with the same answer: a martini. People are shocked. I think they expect to hear I love to light drinks on fire, or make some obscure layered fizz they’ve never heard of. But the reason I love to make martinis, is that with only 3 ingredients it’s one of the most challenging drinks to make, and nothing beats the satisfaction of getting it right.
What makes it so challenging?
Temperature and dilution. A martini needs to be ice cold. Stir too long and it’s over diluted, don’t stir long enough and you won’t get that ice cold temperature you’re after. To achieve a great martini, I keep my Yarai (Japanese mixing glass) and martini glass in the freezer, and stir as quickly as possible.
Every freezer and ice temperature is different, and for this reason there’s no “one size fits all” timeline for stirring. My timeline for stirring martinis at home is completely different than behind the bar, but the basic technique remains the same.
Essentially you want to add 1 oz of dilution as quickly as possible to achieve the desired outcome. For your first try, I recommend under stirring. As you may be surprised to discover this is the perfect amount. If the cocktail is under diluted, you can always add it back to your mixing glass and keep stirring, but there’s no way to dial it back if you over stir (and over dilute) your drink. Once you get the hang of your own setup at home, you’ll be making martinis like a pro.
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 1.5 oz dry vermouth
- 1.5 oz gin
- 1 lemon twist
- Add all ingredients to chilled mixing glass and stir until ice cold
- Strain into chilled coupe
- Garnish with a lemon twist