For a drink with so few ingredients, there is certainly hot debate on how to make the perfect martini.
Whether you shake it or stir it; use gin or vodka or garnish with a lemon or olive each person has their own classic style. Well, if James Bond can be particular, you can too right?!
We’ve rounded up the what’s what from the who’s who of the martini world so you can try some styles for yourself and work out what you like. But a top piece of advice from one of the UK’s top mixologists, Ryan Chetiyawardana is that it’s “not a drink you can just whack together, and a Martini should be tailored according to what the drinker needs. When you’ve had a really tough day and need something a little stiffer, that’s where the dryer Martini works. For a more relaxing experience, I like a wetter martini with an olive and a twist. But either way, the person who makes your perfect Martini is like your blood brother.”
Gin vs. Vodka
Gin distillers Sipsmiths believe that the perfect martini is a gin-based one (well, they would do!) They recommend the following:
125ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
25ml dry vermouth
1 cocktail olive
Meanwhile, Jamie Oliver on his Drinks Tube channel actually recommends vodka, and in particular Grey Goose:
2 parts Grey Goose vodka
½ part chilled Noilly Prat Dry vermouth
Optional: dash of orange bitters
Lemon zest to garnish
Olive vs. Lemon
Ever wondered what makes a martini ‘dirty’? And no, it’s not whispering sweet nothings in its ear. It’s the olive.
Many argue that a nice saline-rich olive brings out the flavour of this classic drink, and Gin Mare are inclined to agree – they even recommend a couple of drops of salt water to bring a martini to life.
Others say the crispness of lemon zest makes the drink refreshing.
Shaken vs. Stirred?
The jury is not out on this one… Sadly, Bond is considered a bit of a philistine in the bartender world. Shaking a martini will only serve to dilute it (because it melts the ice into it) and make the spirits less clear. So unless you fancy a dilute martini, we recommend you stir, Sir.