Saturday Spirits: Classic Martini

Saturday Spirits: Classic Martini

There is just nothing like a classic martini. A smooth, ice cold martini is my idea of a perfect night cap. My personal order is a shaken, dirty and dry vodka martini served up. However, I’m not too picky… I’ll drink them a variety of ways depending on my mood and supplies.

The thing that I learned as a bartender is that there are not a lot of people comfortable ordering martinis. Often people would slide up to the bar and that they’d like a martini and then they’d be stumped by questions about the drink. It is good to know the differences between the terms so that you know what you like. No bartender wants to make you a drink you don’t enjoy.

I’m sharing with you today some martini terminology and my recipe for my classic martini. Just gonna put this out there… there are a LOT of different ways to make martinis and there are a lot of “classic martini recipes” hanging out in the web. I’d say, test them and figure out what YOU like. That is the important part of all this anyways. Also, check back next week where I share some fun variations on the martini.

Classic Martini


  • 2 oz Gin or Vodka
  • 3/4 oz dry vermouth
  • ice
  • shaker and/or long spoon
  • fine mesh sieve (or strainer)
  • Martini glass (TIP: Throw your martini glass into a freezer for a nice frosted glass.)
  • Garnish: olives or lemon twist


  1. Pour your gin or vodka and dry vermouth over ice in a shaker
  2. Shake or Stir the ingredients and ice- (I like shaking it because I feel like it makes it nice and icy!)
  3. Strain the ingredients into a martini glass
  4. Garnish  your martini with a lemon twist or olives- (I’m all about the olives.)

Martini Terminology

What the heck does all that stuff mean anyways? Well, here are my definitions!

Dirty: Made with olive juice. I start with about 1/4 oz and sometimes, when I am feeling like having a really dirty martini I up the olive juice to 1/2 oz.

Dry: Less vermouth! When I make my dry martini I take my vermouth down to 1/4 oz. Though, if you want very dry just omit the vermouth entirely.

On the Rocks: Served over ice.

Perfect: A martini using 50% dry and 50% sweet vermouth

Shaken: Ingredients shaken over ice.

Stirred: Ingredients stirred with a bar spoon with ice for about 45 seconds or so. This doesn’t “agitate” the ingredients.

Up: Served in a martini glass with no ice.

Wet: This term isn’t used often…. but, just in case you LOVE vermouth this one is for you. This means that you’d like the vermouth upped in your drink.

With a Twist: Served with a citrus twist (typically lemon) instead of olives. Adds a bit of the smell and taste of the citrus oils to your drink.

Am I missing anything? What is your favorite martini order? Comment below!


Written by Jenni

Jenni is a freelance writer and media assistant based in Portland, OR. A Well Crafted Party is a blog about all the little things to celebrate in life. Follow Jenni or A Well Crafted Party with BlogLovin, RSS feed, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.


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