M Is For Magnificent -- The Manhattan
Individual and Internal -- The Rhythm and Soul

M Is For Mystery -- The Martini

The Martini has been so famous and popular for so long, it should have a history as clear as it looks, right? If someone served you a Martini as murky as its history, you'd send it back. Its history is a mystery. Combining gin and vermouth in drinks such as the Martinez wasn't unusual in the 19th century. As time went by, the drinking public began to favor drier gins, and by 1896 what we now know as the Martini mixed dry gin and dry vermouth with an emphasis on the gin.

Martini2.5 ounces gin (sorry James Bond)
.5 ounces dry vermouth
1-2 dashes orange bitters

Combine in a mixing glass with ice, stir (sorry again Mr. Bond), and strain into a martini glass. Lemon peel garnish optional.

The world’s most famous fictitious Martini consuming Englishman drinks his with vodka (and shaken). The world’s most famous real Martini consuming Englishman, Winston Churchill, drank his with gin. Originally I only drank vodka Martinis, but since I found I like certain gins, I'm not as picky. Whatever you do, use fresh vermouth. I can't emphasize that enough. Feel free to experiment with how dry you like your Martini (more dry means less vermouth). Bitters aren't necessary, but they add a little zest to a clear, gin based cocktail. 

There's nothing mysterious about a Martini. All you have to do is savor one.


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Tina Rupp

Excellent! Learned to make a dry martini years ago when I first started tending bar. It was my first “Real cocktail “ to master in an otherwise mostly shot and beer or highball type of place. After the martini came the Manhattan and then the old fashioned and I was allowed to be creative and do bar special cocktails. I absolutely loved it! I don’t tend bar anymore but, I adore creating and serving quality cocktails to my family, friends and of course, myself!

Wulf Cocktail Den

That's a great story. Cheers!

Jeffrey Mabe

I started out drinking vodka martinis. But I work with chemicals at work including IPA. So it got to point vodka started reminding me of these chemicals. So after learning the unique history of Gin and the many different flavors of Gin. I started appreciating gin because it has character like Whiskey's. Vodka besides reminding me of a chemical, it is blah and really has no character to it. So I do like a dry gin martini shaken with a lemon twist. Occasionally I like a dirty martini.

Wulf Cocktail Den

Clearly you know what you like. If I may make a suggestion, have you tried Old Tom style gin, as one would use in a classic Martinez or Alaska? To me, Old Tom style gin is in between London Dry style gin and whiskey. Cheers!


My mother was a gin martini drinker (think 1950’s cocktail hour). When I grew up I never liked martinis. One day years after Mom had passed my childhood BFF insisted I try a dirty vodka tini—she subbed a wee bit of a herbaceous gin for the vermouth. (It works well enough if keeping fresh vermouth is a challenge because you drink enough martinis). My it was delicious. Now I regret not learning to drink a martini while Mum was alive. Oh how I wish I could have shared one with her every now and then. But, as my daughter says, every time you have one now you can toast to her.

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