Best Gin For Martini

A Martini is the quintessential drink to enjoy in a well-appointed hotel bar, but there’s this, by writer Kingsley Amis, “The best dry martini known to man is the one I make myself for myself.”

Martini Recipe

  • 2 ½ ounces London Dry Gin
  • ½ ounce Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
  • Green olive, for garnish
  • Lemon twist, for garnish. optional

— Add the gin to a mixing glass. Add the vermouth.  Stir with 7 large ice cubes for 40 seconds to get the correct icy dilution.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Add the olive, for garnish.  If you wish, twist a lemon peel over the glass, then drop it in.  A lemon twist with no olive is also a good garnish.

The recommended olive is a Queen (or Gordal) olive, pitted, with the pimento removed.  Rinse off the brine, and chill before using.  A Manzanilla olive will also suffice. Goya produces good olives.

Dry Martini

  • 2 ounces Gin
  • ¼ ounce Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
  • Olive, for garnish

Notes:  The Martini is a 5:1 ratio, and the Dry Martini is 8:1.  If you love the taste of vermouth, then mix 2 ounces of gin with ½ ounce of vermouth for a 4:1 ratio. Or you can go the other way, and decrease the amount of vermouth in a Dry Martini.

Beefeater Gin is recommended for a Martini, and Plymouth is superb for the Dry Martini. Boodles is another good selection, especially with vermouth by Martini & Rossi.  These experts can help you make other choices.

Vodka Martini

Sticklers will insist that Martinis must be made with gin.  However, many people like Vodka Martinis, and at this point, what else are we going to call them?

Use the same formula (5:1) as the gin Martini, and the vermouth will balance out the vodka taste.  If you enjoy the taste of vodka, the Dry formula (8:1) works well.  Any ratio in between doesn’t work very well.

Sobieski is a recommended vodka.  Tito’s, Hangar One, and Ketel One are also superb vodkas for this drink.

Or as Toby Maloney of Chicago’s Violet Hour noted, “Many times, when requested to be made with vodka, the bartender or server would recommend that it be made with ‘this great botanical, citrus-infused vodka we had.’  It would then be made with Plymouth.  Always a hit.”