Classic Martini

About: Alton Brown taught me how to cook, now I want to tackle diy projects.

Make a classic gin martini at home.
No fru-fru girlie martini with flavors and fruit and vodka. (AACK!)

A martini the way it was meant to be.

Here is the video version for people with attention issues. It's only 1 minute long.

Now, for all the people WITH attention spans, here is the Instructable.

Do you have some comfy pants on?

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Step 1: Step 1 Assemble the Tools

-A good quality Gin. If you put it in the freezer and it becomes a block, then it is not good quality.
I use Seagrams gin. There is much better stuff, but it is not bad on a budget.

-Vermouth. Get a nice dry vermouth. Gallo works but it is all I can really find easily. There are better options, but lets not get all snooty over ingredients.

-A nice clean, simple martini glass. Leave the bendy, bubbly, goofy and eccentric ones in the cabinet. Those are for the goofy new fangled martinis that girls like. We are men here, we don't want no stinkin' chocolate in our martini, let alone vodka. (don't get me started)

-Shaker. Use what you have. Not everybody has 15 shakers in their house like me.

Step 2: Step 2 Add Ice to Glass

I use the plain ole big ice cubes you make in your freezer. Add them to a martini glass. If it is already cold it is a bonus.

Step 3: Step 3 Add Vermouth to Glass

Pour the vermouth over the ice cubes. Just use a splash. Maybe a half fingers worth or less.

Step 4: Step 4 Fill the Shaker With Goodness

Fill your shaker with ice. Then pour your clear deliciousness into the shaker.

"How much gin do I use?

It really depends on your shaker size and how much you plan on drinking. I am using a medium sized shaker full of ice and I filled it maybe halfway.

Step 5: Step 5 Shake Shake Shake...

Shake shake shake.

I wrap a towel around the shaker since I will be shaking it for about 2 minutes. The metal gets really cold and frosty and will get you from shaking it long enough. Especially if your fingers go numb and fall off.

Remember kids, protect your fingers from cold stuff when making dad a martini.

Step 6: Step 6 Remember That Vermouth?

Take that vermouth in the ice cubed glass....

dump it out.

yes....dump it out.

Spin the glass a bit so the vermouth kind of coats the glass, almost like a vermouthy glaze.
Give it a few flicks so there is very little vermouth at all in the glass at all.

The less vermouth, the dryer the martini. Some people actually don't use vermouth at all. Most bars will give you about 20 times too much.

Experiment with quantities to find your pleasure zone.

Step 7: Step 7 Pour Your Liquid Smiles Into Your Prepared Glass

Unpop your shaker top and pour that liquid happiness into your freshly made glass. I like it when there are little tiny shards of ice suspended in the drink. You mouth never feels them, but they look cool in the glass for about a minute.

Step 8: Step 8 Enjoy Resonsibly

Now, try out your new found Martini making knowledge and make a few drinks. Be sure to bring a few people who have problems with keeping their clothes on to taste test for you, and you will assuredly have a good time.

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    13 Discussions


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Only James Bond and people who would like to think they're James Bond (I admit, who doesn't?) want their martini's shaken. Shaking is for cloudy drinks and drinks with fruit juice, "fru-fru" drinks as you call them. The shaking is for blending the flavours. And if you're not adding the vermouth the shaker, the shaking is doing nothing at all except diluting the gin with melted water from the ice. My suggestion: Fill the bottom of the shaker with ice (2/3rds full), pour in the vermouth (1/4 oz), pour in the gin, give it a swirl or a quick stir, and into the chilled glass.

    6 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    The shaking is not meant to blend : a blender is very effective for that.
    You shake a drink because you can chill it very effectively without leaving the ice cubes melting in it till it gets chilled at the right temperature.
    A shaker is great for this because it was meant for that : blending a couple of liquids is only a bonus although very effective for cocktails with two or three main ingredients…


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Well, this is all YMMV land. I prefer stirring (I've been known to throw the shaker across the room in my clumsiness), and I'm a firm believer in the following procedure:
    Chill the cocktail glass and mixing glass with icewater.

    When the mixing glass is good and cold, empty and reload with crushed ice.

    Add 3 parts gin, 1 part vermouth, and a few dashes of Fee Bros. Orange Bitters.  Stir for at least a minute.

    Dump the icewater from the cocktail glass and strain the martini into it.

    Garnish with  twist of lemon, olive, or onion.



    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Most modern bartends don't use bitters. No idea why not. IMHO it makes the drink. I've got a collection of older bar books and all have it, with vatiations including Peychaud's bitters (better for sweet or perfect variations), vodka instead of gin, dirty, sweet, perfect, different garnishes, and so on. I usually keep an iddy biddy bottle of bitters in my purse rather than send a drink back for that little splash (sort of like keeping a stash of sugar packets and gum).


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    My reasoning goes like this. The shaking chills the gin. Granted it does dilute it slightly, I really have no problem with that. It is also something to do while the glass with ice in it is chilling down below room temp. Of course you never saw Hawkeye Pearce in MASH chill his martini in the Swamp, so it;s all relative to personnel preferences. 1/4 oz of vermouth is entirely too much for my taste. Personally, I think that much vermouth is why some people do not like martinis. I like to just have a lite spackling of it. Thanks for the advice though. It was educational.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    The shaking is for looking cool when you're mixing drinks... A couple of tests will show that it won't get much colder after two minutes than it would have after 10 seconds (change is temperature is proportional to the temperature difference: once it starts cooling down, the rate of cooling slows). The agitation might actually make it warmer. The glass is a slightly different story, since it won't cool as fast as the gin would because there is less surface area in contact. My solution is to keep everything (glass and all) in the freezer from the start. That way everything is frigid, and I don't have to wait precious minutes for my alcohol. 1/4 oz is the "original" amount of vermouth from most recipes I've ever seen. A "dry" martini has less vermouth, and "extra dry" has none. Now for some unsolicited teaching: A "dirty" martini has the juice from the olive jar in it. A Gibson is exactly the same as the martini, except it has an pearl onion as a garnish in it instead of olives. These drinks have been around so long and there are so many variants. If you're really picky with what you want, it'll sound like you're placing a Starbucks order when you're at the bar. Cheers.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    didn't take the time to read previous comments as I'm sure most mention the the existential question "shaken not stirred" vs. "stirred not shaken".
    I have only one thing to say : congratulations !!!… It's been a very long time I haven't read on the net the true cocktail recipe for a dry martini !!!…
    I still remember the ones i did enjoy quite unreasonably : they were many of them and so good : had a great discussion with the barman who told me one of his secret (or so I believed) .Then again the next morning hangover was also a thing to remember !… It was back in 1983 and I swore that I would never have an other one.
    Of course that was a false promise.
    However since then I had so many unduly variations of the stuff that I decided not to have one except in a few trusty bars. Also cocktailwise Paris is well known for its lack of the latter…
    Everyone should flag your recipe as a benchmark !…


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Years have passed since this Instructable. I now make my martinis with no shaking, no stirring, no ice and no vermouth at all. Just Hendricks, Plymouth, or a local gin from here in Columbus. Sometimes a quick splash of water to open the flavors up. Maybe a twist of cucumber.

    oh crap, I became a gin snob.....


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Use water instead of Gin. Freak out your parents by walking around sipping a martini water and commenting on how you enjoy the finer things in life.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Hahaha, they'll be like, SON, WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING? And I'll be like in an english accent, "Good day sir. It is mighty fine outside, shall I go for a stroll in the park?" Hahaha.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Alternatively memorise Brian Griffin lines, wear a dog collar and pretend you're from Family Guy. That's what I do...