Dry martini recipe: how to make a martini cocktail at home

Our dry martini recipe will teach you how to make one of the most iconic (and easiest) cocktails for yourself at home

Hernö Dry Martini recipe cocktail
(Image credit: Hernö)

This dry martini recipe is a must for gin aficionados. With nothing but a little vermouth added, it is a great cocktail for really getting the taste of that fancy new gin you bought – but with a little more sweetness than drinking it neat.

The earliest gin martinis had a ratio of two parts gin to one part vermouth, but over time the measure of vermouth has become smaller and smaller. The IBA (International Bartenders Association) calls for a 6:1 ratio which really highlights the gin – you can add slightly more or less to taste – but the main demand of a dry martini is that you must use dry white vermouth.

Now we can't mention martinis without mentioning James Bond whose on screen vision demanded his vodka martini be 'shaken not stirred'. Well, this is known as a Bradford martini and some argue this stops the flavours from gently layering when mixed this way. So we like to side with the book version of 007 and agree that a light stir and a simple serving of an olive and some lemon peel is all this easy cocktail needs.

Read on for the perfect dry martini, then check out the rest of our cocktail recipes for more home bar favourites.

How to make a dry martini

This recipe uses Conker Dorset Dry Gin, but you can use any gin you like. Masters of Malt also recommend Hernö Navy Strength Gin – a stronger measure that really packs a punch.

Serve your martini in a classic martini glass if you have one. If not try a Champagne coupe, or you can serve on the rocks in an old fashioned glass. 

Conker gin dry martini

(Image credit: Conker Gin)

Ingredients:

  • 50–60ml dry gin
  • 10–15ml dry white vermouth
  • Green olive (optional)
  • Twist of lemon peel
  • Ice

Method:

1. Fill a martini glass and a mixing glass with ice (you can use a cocktail shaker but no shaking please). Leave to chill.

2. Pour away the ice from the mixing glass and add your gin and vermouth. 

3. Stir for 15 seconds.

4. Remove the ice from the martini glass and pour in your cocktail. Twist a belt of lemon over the drink to release the oils and wipe around the rim of the glass. Pop lemon peel in the glass and garnish with an olive too if you like.

Feeling dirty: Add a splash of olive brine to the glass to serve – this is called a dirty martini.

Other martini recipes

If you have a sweet tooth, you might find the dry martini, well a little... dry. If you long for the sophistication of sipping a classic cocktail from a martini glass, there are a few variants that might take your fancy. Now, most are not really derived from the true gin martinis and many use vodka instead, but all are served in a martini glass – hence the name. 

  • Vesper martini: this was actually invented by Ian Flemming, the author of James Bond and is his most famous character's favourite drink. It is a gin martini with vodka and Lillet Blanc – an aperitif wine.
  • Appletini: vodka, apple juice and apple brandy make this sweet cocktail that is loved by American 20-somethings (just watch Scrubs or Two and a Half Men to get what we mean.
  • Espresso martini: not a whiff of gin in site, this coffee and vodka cocktail is a tasty after dinner drink.
  • Passion star martini: commonly known as the pornstar martini or passion fruit martini, this drink pairs vanilla vodka, passion fruit liqueur and prosecco for a sweet fix.

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