Seeking to make the perfect dry martini at home like they serve at top cocktail lounges? Let us guide you through crafting this iconic and sophisticated sipper. Our time-honored formula delivers an exceptionally smooth and crisp martini every time.

Classic dry martini in a crystal glass with olives.

Looking for the perfect martini recipe?

This recipe unlocks the true essence of the drink – a dry masterpiece made with gin instead of vodka and will make you feel like you stepped out of a classic movie once you master it.

The martini is a drink as timeless and sophisticated as a perfectly tailored tuxedo. It’s graced the hands of silver screen legends and literary icons, forever linked with the steely gaze of James Bond (though rumor has it, even Winston Churchill preferred a touch more vermouth than our martini-loving friend).

But for the discerning martini drinker, the proper martini is a thing of exquisite dryness, a delicate blend of botanical gin, and the subtlest kiss of vermouth. It’s a dry cocktail for martini purists who love classic cocktails with a bite

Watch πŸŽ₯ How to Make a Dry Martini with Gin

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3 olives on a cocktail pick in a glass with a martini.

What Is a Dry Martini? 

The martini exudes timeless elegance. This iconic drink has become synonymous with sophistication, boasting a history as rich and diverse as the personalities who have enjoyed it.

The History of the Martini Cocktail

Its history, as intriguing and diverse as the personalities who have enjoyed it, stretches back to the 19th century. From Winston Churchill’s rumored preferences to James Bond’s iconic order, the martini symbolizes luxury and good taste.

The exact beginnings of the martini remain shrouded in mystery, with several competing stories adding to the cocktail’s allure. One theory suggests it evolved from a drink called the Martinez, which is possibly linked to Manhattan. Another claims the Marguerite, a French vermouth-based concoction, might be the true ancestor. Regardless of its origin, the modern martini is undeniably a descendant of these early cocktails.

Over time, the martini shed its sweetness, morphing into the drier version we recognize today. Even in its drier form, the original recipe used equal parts gin and vermouth. Because of prohibition, people relied on poor-quality gin to craft their drinks, further influencing the drink’s evolution. Due to the harsh gin, vermouth became a way to mask unpleasant flavors, similar to honey and lemon juice in a Bees Knees cocktail. Eventually, the use of vermouth gradually declined during World War II when obtaining it became more difficult.

Martinis in Culture

Famous figures like Ernest Hemingway and Winston Churchill left their mark on the martini’s legacy. Hemingway favored a very dry version, while Churchill supposedly advocated for a “bow in the direction of France” with a minimal amount of vermouth. The fictional character James Bond also played a role in popularizing the martini, introducing the Vesper variation and sparking the debate between shaken versus stirred preparation.

The Modern Martini

The rise of vodka in the mid-20th century presented another twist. While gin remains the preferred choice for purists, vodka’s popularity led to the vodka martini, further adding to the drink’s versatility. However, gin is preferred due to its botanical essence, which is perfect for a strong drink like a martini or even a more subtle drink like an aviation cocktail

Martini Variations

Beyond the classic variations, a world of martini experimentation has emerged. From the classic garnish options of olive or lemon twist to adding olive brine for a dirty martini or cocktail onions like a Gibson cocktail, bartenders continue to find new ways to put their own spin on this iconic drink. Dessert martinis, like a chai espresso martini or a peppermint Pattie martini, have emerged, putting a sweet spin on the classic martini.

Close up of dry martini, where you can spot the icy crystals in the liquid.

What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • SOPHISTICATED – The dry martini is a minimalist masterpiece. Just a few high-quality ingredients come together to create an elegant, balanced, and utterly timeless drink. It’s a cocktail that never goes out of style.
  • SIMPLE – You only need a handful of ingredients to craft this simple drink, perfect for those wanting a sharp beverage at a moment’s notice.

What You Need to Make a Dry Gin Martini

  • Dry gin: Dry gin is what gives the martini its backbone. It’s infused with botanicals like juniper berries, coriander, citrus peels, and sometimes even spices, which create a complex and flavorful base. We want a high-quality gin for a dry martini because its botanical character will shine through. London Dry gins are a popular choice, but there’s a whole world of gins to explore – consider a Botanist Islay Gin for a touch of smoke or a Plymouth Gin for a more floral note. 
  • Vermouth: Now, in a dry martini, we don’t use much vermouth at all, but that tiny amount plays a significant role. Vermouth is a fortified wine, like a stronger version of wine with some added botanicals. In our dry martini, a splash of dry vermouth adds a touch of complexity and dryness. It helps to mellow out the gin’s botanicals just a smidge, creating a more balanced and sophisticated flavor profile.
  • Green olives, for garnish: The briny flavor of the olive complements the botanicals in the gin and cuts through the dryness of the drink. Plus, they look pretty darn classy perched on the rim of your glass. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a blue cheese-stuffed olive for an extra burst of savory goodness!

How to Make a Classic Dry Martini

  • Add ice to a mixing glass or cocktail shaker, and add gin and vermouth.
  • Stir until chilled. That’s right, no shaking.
  • Strain into a chilled martini glass and serve with green olives.

Expert Recipe Tips

  • This is gospel for any martini, but especially a dry one. Use high-quality gin that’s been chilling in the freezer for a few hours. Pre-chill your martini glasses, too, either by filling them with ice and water for a few minutes or bypopping them in the freezer for a quick frosty welcome to your drink. 
  • Shaken, not stirred? Not for a dry martini! Shaking introduces air and bruises the delicate botanicals of your gin. Instead, use a bar spoon to gently stir your gin and vermouth with ice for about 30 seconds. This ensures a beautifully chilled and silky smooth drink.
Classic dry gin martini in a crystal glass.

How to serve this cocktail

Strain your dry martini into a chilled martini glass, then garnish with a twist of lemon or a single elegant olive for a touch of sophisticated flair.

And there you have it – a dry martini crafted with the precision of a Savile Row suit. This is a cocktail for martini purists, a celebration of clean lines, botanical brilliance, and a touch of sophisticated dryness. If you try this recipe, please rate the recipe card and leave a comment down below to help out the next reader! 

Dry Martini Recipe

Learn how to whip up this sophisticated cocktail with gin, a whisper of dry vermouth, and your choice of garnish. Channel your inner James Bond with this iconic beverage.
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Cocktail Recipes
Author: Kita
5 minutes
Serves: 1


  • alcohol measuring cup known as a jigger
  • Stirring spoon


  • 3 oz Dry gin
  • 1 oz Vermouth
  • Green olives - for garnish


  • Add ice to a mixing glass or cocktail shaker and add gin and vermouth.
  • Stir until chilled.
  • Strain into a martini glass and serve with green olives.


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Serving: 1serving | Calories: 190kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 2mg | Iron: 0.03mg

Nutritional informations provided as a courtesy and is only an approximatation. Values will changes based on ingredients used.

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Recipe FAQs

It all comes down to the vermouth! A dry martini uses a tiny amount of dry vermouth, creating a drink that’s primarily gin-forward, with a subtle dryness and emphasis on the gin’s botanical character. A wet martini, on the other hand, uses a higher ratio of vermouth, resulting in a slightly sweeter and less dry drink.

Yes and no. Vodka, with its neutral flavor profile, can be used to make a dry martini. However, because vodka lacks the botanical complexity of gin, you might need to use a slightly higher ratio of vermouth to achieve the same level of dryness. Ultimately, the choice between gin and vodka comes down to personal preference.

Sure, you can adjust the vermouth ratio to suit your taste. However, if you find the martini too strong overall, you might want to consider diluting it slightly with a very small amount of chilled water. This can help to tame the alcohol a bit without throwing off the balance of the drink. But remember, adding too much water will definitely affect the flavor profile.

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