The Dry Martini is a simple classic. It features just three ingredients – vermouth, gin and your choice of garnish – and a fascinating taste that’s hard to classify. It’s herbal and a little bit tangy, which is why it goes equally well with an olive or lemon twist for garnish.
There are no mixers in this drink – pure alcohol all the way. It’s a strangely versatile drink that’s equally wonderful sipped alone or with almost any meal or snack you care to pair it with.
- Dry vermouth
- 2 ounces dry gin
This recipe is about as dry as the martini can get. You pour a little dry vermouth into aand gently slosh it around the glass until the inside of the glass is coated. Get rid of the excess vermouth. Gently stir the gin in a full of ice, then strain it into the glass. Serve with an olive or lemon twist. If this recipe is too dry, just add more vermouth. The more vermouth, the less dry the drink will be.
Many other recipes suggest stirring all the ingredients together in a shaker with ice, then straining into the glass. You can experiment to find your preferred method.
This is definitely a drink best served chilled, so chill your glass. To really impress guests who nurse their martinis, bring them another chilled glass after the one they’re using has lost its frost, and pour what’s left of their martini into the new glass (you can top it off, too, if you’ve pre-mixed your cocktails). It’s also a good idea to keep your shaker chilled.
Maybe I’m biased – this is my all-time favorite cocktail, after all – but if there’s a food that doesn’t go well with martinis, I haven’t found it. The term “six martini lunch” came from somewhere, after all. Gin has a unique flavor (juniper) which I can best describe as reminiscent of pines or fresh rosemary, a spicy herbal. My tastebuds insist it’s equally good with anything edible. Mild foods, such as delicate fish or chicken dishes, pair nicely with this drink. But so do bold flavors, like steak or any beef dish, and game meats. For spicy dishes, you might want a slightly sweeter martini, but if you’ve got simultaneous cravings for a really dry gin martini and pasta arrabiata, you’re not likely to be disappointed by combining the two.