What is a martini?
Essentially, the martini is a mix of London dry gin or vodka and French dry vermouth, stirred over ice, strained and poured into an ice-cold cocktail glass. Lemon zest or a good-quality green olive is the usual garnish. There are plenty of twists on this classic cocktail, as you will see below.
How do you make a martini?
There are several variations of the classic martini, and also many modern variations.
Dry martini: Ask for a dry martini and expect a drink with very little vermouth – conventionally in a 6:1 ratio or less with the gin.
Dirty martini: ‘Dirty’ will come with a little olive brine stirred into the gin and vermouth, while a Gibson is made with a silverskin onion and Plymouth gin.
Wet martini: Wet means there is a higher percentage of vermouth – typically in a 3:1 gin to vermouth ratio.
Which gin do you use to make a martini?
London dry gin is the classic gin used for a martini, but one of our favourites is Plymouth or Sipsmith London dry gin with Noilly Prat, served straight-up with a lemon twist. It’s simple and classic. Check out our favourite British gins.
Easy martini recipes
We love espresso martinis! One of the coolest cocktails around, this punchy little number blends hot espresso and vodka for ultimate effect.
For a fruity finish on a classic martini, try this simple blend of raspberry liqueur, pineapple juice and vodka. Garnish with a single raspberry.
Fancy something different to your go-to martini? Have a go at making this light and tropical lychee cocktail from London bar Humble Chicken – it’s as silky as it is fruity and tart.
Add both sharpness and sweetness to your next martini with fresh passion fruit and lime juice. Vanilla vodka, if you have it, works well in this recipe.
This easy cocktail makes the perfect ready-made cocktail to have on-hand – keep chilled in the fridge for when you fancy a tipple.
Gin, vodka and Lillet Blanc, a wine-based aperitif from France, are all you need to make this elegant vesper martini. Don’t forget the twist of lemon.
Swap vermouth for sake in this Japanese-inspired take on the classic cocktail.
It’s easy to create your own cocktails for entertaining at home. Keep it simple with a vodka martini – this one gets an extra kick from Grand Marnier and is flavoured with vanilla.
This velvety smooth, gingerbread cocktail is the perfect warmer for chilly days – or as a cheeky, alcoholic alternative to pudding.
This cocktail recipe from LCC Shoreditch uses fat-washed (bacon-infused) Jack Daniel’s, first done in New York in the 90s for a Benton’s Old Fashioned. Mix that with maple syrup and you’ve got breakfast in a glass.
We’ve added marmalade and lemon juice to this cocktail recipe for an extra kick of flavour. Enjoy!
Decorate this light and airy cocktail with white elderflowers if you have an elder bush near you. This recipe serves one, but can easily be multiplied if you’ve got friends coming over.
Dark chocolate is the star of this boozy cocktail recipe, made with just three ingredients plus ice.
Take your espresso martini one step further with our showstopping dessert idea. Easy and indulgent, if this doesn’t wow your guests, nothing will!