A perfect martini has gin and vermouth’s sharp, botanical flavors and is served in cocktail glasses. Nowadays, you can find every flavor imaginable in martini menus. There are plenty of sweet and sour martinis featuring unique ingredients. From chocolate to citrus and cranberry to apple, there are many fun and fruity martini types to explore. These fancy, short drinks are often strong, and you’re sure to find one that suits your drinking mood.
We’ve prepared a list of our favorite martini types. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- Types of Martinis
- Classic Gin Martini
- Vodka Martini
- Churchill Martini
- Bone Dry Martini
- Gibson Martini
- Affinity Martini
- Dry Martini
- Dirty Martini
- Jean Harlow Martini
- Burnt Martini
- Aged Martini
- Chrysanthemum Martini
- Bamboo Martini
- Cosmopolitan Martini
- Bronx Cocktail
- Park Avenue Cocktail
- Algonquin Cocktail
- San Francisco Martini
- Aviation Martini
- Breakfast Martini
- Classic Gimlet
- Smoky Martini
- Bee’s Knees
- Lemon Drop Martini
- Washington Apple
- French Martini
- 50/50 martini
- Pomegranate Martini
- Chocolate Martini
- Porn Star Martini
- Espresso Martini
- Coconut Martini
- Courgette Martini
- Massey Martini
- Cucumber Wasabi Martini
- Raspberry Martini fizz
- Earl Grey martini
- Key Lime Martini
- Mint Martini
- Bikini Martini
- Basic Rules of Martini Making
- How to Garnish Martinis
- Flavoring with Olives
- Garnishing with Onions
- Freshening a Martini with Citrus Fruits
- Experimenting with other Garnishes
- Frequently Asked Questions
Types of Martinis
Classic Gin Martini
The classic gin martini is iconic and the world’s most famous mixed drink. Made of gin and dry vermouth, this martini has a dry botanical flavor profile that appeals to many drinkers. It’s one of the best cocktails out there. But there’s much debate among experts about the ratio, style of gin, and garnish that is the best. You can customize the ratio and ingredients to suit your taste.
If you like drinking vodka, you’ll love the vodka martini. This type of martini is also known as vodkatini or kangaroo cocktail. It has neutral flavors and is less aromatic than a classic martini. You can add a lemon twist or olive garnish to enhance its flavor.
You’ll end up with a glassful of ice-cold gin if you order the Churchill martini. This recipe has an iconic taste marked with a lemon twist and olive garnish.
Bone Dry Martini
This recipe has almost no vermouth. There are countless ways to adjust the technique and formula. You can use gin or vodka to make this martini. Most people make bone dry martini by rinsing the cocktail glasses with vermouth before pouring in the chilled gin.
There are a few drinks that can beat the clean and crisp taste of this martini. This is a very old drink recipe printed in the 1887 edition of “The Bon Vivant’s Companion: Or How to Mix Drinks.” It has a gin base and is slightly sweeter than the original martini. It features a combination of maraschino liqueur and sweet vermouth. Enjoy this tasty cocktail by adding aromatic herbs and a lemon twist.
The Manhattan is a simple, satisfying, and versatile martini. This recipe features whiskey and sweet vermouth in place of gin and dry vermouth. You can make it with any type of whiskey you like. Rye whiskey is a great choice for Manhattan martini. And some people also prefer Canadian and bourbon whiskeys.
Gibson Martini is no longer popular today, but it has earned a place in the history books. The Gibson Martini is served dry and features pickled onions instead of citrus or olives. It is full of flavor and has a unique taste.
The affinity martini is a classic recipe that uses the double-aged vermouth with Scotch whiskey and orange bitters. It’s best mixed with a blended scotch or mellow single malt whiskey. Avoid heavily peated or smoky whiskeys to make a balanced drink.
The dry martini is a cocktail made with gin and dry vermouth. This martini calls for a splash of olive brine, orange bitters, and a multi-olive garnish that doubles as a snack. If you’re looking for a savory martini variation, this one is an excellent choice.
Dirty Martinis is a dry vermouth-based drink. There are numerous ways to make this fantastic savory cocktail. You can make it with gin, vodka, or tequila. This delicious cocktail also includes olives and olive brine from the olive jar. Some people prefer olive juice options designed explicitly for this cocktail.
Jean Harlow Martini
The recipe for Jean Harlow Martini is easy and quick. It needs an equal mix of sweet vermouth and light rum. Some people also prefer aged rum to make a Jean Harlow Martini. Decorate the edge of the delicate glassware with a spiral of lemon to finish the recipe.
This type of martini calls for a splash of Scotch whisky and a peaty single malt. A burnt martini can be complex, layered, and a great choice for your drinking mood.
This gin-based martini develops a smooth, deep flavor after being aged in a barrel for three weeks. You can combine dry gin, vermouth, and citrus bitters to make a barrel-aged martini.
This is a tequila lover’s dream come true. Tequini is a great option for dinner and pairs well with Mexican cuisine. Plus, there are many tequila styles to suit everyone’s taste. The recipe is very simple and includes dry vermouth, Blanco tequila, and a dash of bitters. You can customize the ingredient proportions to suit your personal taste.
This century-old classic martini is light and herbal with an interesting flavor. It pairs dry vermouth and brandy with a hint of absinthe to sharpen the edges. For whiskey lovers, this martini uses an absinthe rinse with a combination of sweet vermouth and rye whiskey.
Many classic martinis feature fortified wines and skip the hard liquor. One such gem from the late 1800s is the bamboo Martini. This martini uses equal parts of sherry and dry vermouth. Also, you can use aromatic citrus bitters, lemon essence, and olive garnish to create the ultimate cocktail.
Most martini recipes use vermouth as the modifier, but it’s not the only option. Saketini replaces vermouth with sake and can be made with either vodka or gin. With the variety of vodka, gin, and sake styles available, this martini offers endless pairing opportunities. Each combination will have a unique flavor, and most are best with a cherry garnish.
If you’re looking for fruity martinis, this one reigns supreme. It’s a staple for the modern martini bar, mixing vodka and Cointreau with cranberry juices and lime. This martini may not be for everyone, but it may surprise you and tantalize your palate.
The Bronx is another great-tasting, fruity martini. If you’re looking for a martini recipe that will never go out of style, the Bronx cocktail is your answer. This one is a perfect gin martini with fresh orange juice. It has a light flavor and is a great choice for brunch.
Park Avenue Cocktail
This four-ingredient martini recipe from the 1940s is a timeless classic. It combines sweet vermouth and gin with orange curacao liqueur and pineapple juice. The taste is bright and refreshing, making it a perfect choice for summers.
The Algonquin cocktail is a whiskey martini with a tropical flair. It features dry vermouth, rye whiskey, and pineapple juice to create a light and refreshing drink. You can serve this cocktail for dinner or just sit back after a long day and relax with a great drink on the patio.
San Francisco Martini
This is one of the best sloe gin drinks out there. It combines the sweetened taste of sloe berries with various mixers to create the perfect martini. It’s easy to make and excellent before or after dinner.
To make the flavorful aviation martini, you will need to find very special ingredients. Créme de Violette is the main ingredient, giving this martini a sweet, floral taste. Other ingredients include maraschino liquor, gin, and lemon juice. This martini is easy to make and has a purple hue.
This refreshing martini is a great choice for breakfast. It features a combination of gin sour and rhubarb marmalade for a bittersweet taste. The breakfast martini recipe requires a few ingredients and can be easily made at home.
This classic cocktail features gin, fresh lime juice, and honey syrup. It has the perfect balance of sweet and tart with the powerful flavor of gin. Some people also simmer fresh basil or rosemary in the honey syrup to add some fresh herb flavor.
This martini is elegant, strong, and refined. It’s the perfect starter drink for a steak dinner or other hearty meal.
This one is a staple on today’s martini menus. If you prefer vodka, you can mix it with triple sec and lime to create the kamikaze martini. It’s a fun drink that’s easy to make and best with fresh-squeezed lime juice.
This one is a Prohibition-era martini made with gin, fresh lemon juice, and honey. It’s a delightful summer drink featuring sweet and sour flavors.
Lemon Drop Martini
The sweet-sour martini is another modern classic. All you need is premium vodka, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup to make this martini. You can also add the sugary rim if you like. This martini is popular, and you can easily buy bottled versions from a liquor store.
Apple martinis come in many colors and varieties. This Canadian whiskey-based cocktail mixes sour apple schnapps and cranberry juice. It’s a fun and fabulous drink to enjoy with friends on a summer evening.
The French martini has a fruity flavor and is popular in the martini world. Unlike other martinis, this one focuses on fruits and has many variations. The classic cocktail is perfectly balanced with vodka, pineapple juice, and black raspberry liqueur. It has a sweet and tart tropical taste that is irresistible.
This martini calls for equal portions of gin and dry vermouth. It’s a twist on the classic gin martini that simply changes the quantity and ratio of the two ingredients. If you enjoy vermouth, you’ll love the 50/50 martini. It is lower in alcohol and far less dry than most martini recipes.
This delicious pomegranate martini became an instant hit after its 2006 debut. To make a pomegranate martini, mix vodka, orange liqueur, pomegranate juice, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass and enjoy.
This creamy and indulgent martini can easily double as a dessert. Many top-notch bars offer their own renditions of a chocolate martini. This martini recipe keeps it simple with crème de cacao and vodka. The liqueur is sweet, and the drink is ideal for any occasion.
Porn Star Martini
This martini mixes vanilla-flavored vodka with passion fruit in the form of liqueur and puree. It also includes lime juice and simple vanilla syrup. Plus, you can customize the cocktail by adding a splash of champagne or Prosecco.
This coffee-flavored martini pairs crème de cacao with vodka, chilled espresso, and coffee liqueur. If you’re looking for a pick-me-up cocktail, the Espresso martini is here to jolt you awake. This caffeinated drink is balanced and has the perfect ratio of alcohol, coffee, and sugar. You can also garnish it with a few coffee beans.
If you’re in the mood for a tropical cocktail, this coconut martini is a perfect choice. The recipe has a base of vanilla vodka and coconut rum. It also adds a splash of pineapple juice and tastes like a piña colada.
This courgette martini is perfect for the summer. It’s an unusual take on a cocktail classic that features shots of gin and vermouth and lemon.
The Massey martini has a classic style. The recipe features Irish whiskey, gin, and sweet vermouth. You can also add Green Chartreuse and Campari to the mix. It is a wonderful dinner cocktail and a great opportunity to do something unusual with Irish whiskey.
Cucumber Wasabi Martini
The cucumber wasabi martini features green horseradish paste, gin, and fresh cucumber. It also adds syrup and lemon juice to balance the flavor. If you’re an adventurous drinker, you may want to try this fun cocktail.
Raspberry Martini fizz
Impress your friends with this stylish cocktail. The Raspberry Martini Fizz features gin, vermouth, and Prosecco. You can also add frozen raspberries and top up with sparkling wine before serving.
Earl Grey martini
Gin and Earl Grey tea combine to make a sophisticated cocktail. This Earl Grey martini features limited ingredients and takes minutes to make. Simply place the gin, lemon juice, Earl Grey tea, and sugar syrup into a cocktail glass and stir well.
Key Lime Martini
This drink has a rich and balanced flavor. The Key Lime martini features Spanish vanilla liqueur as the primary ingredient. The vanilla liqueur combines well with tart lime and acidic pineapple juice. It’s sweet and creamy, making it perfect for summer dinner parties.
If you want a refreshing martini, this one is for you. The mint martini tastes amazing and has a vibrant green color. It’s a fun and festive cocktail for all your celebrations. Plus, it’s easy to make at home. Just prepare cucumber slices, mint leaves, lime, sugar syrup, gin, and ice cubes. Combine all the ingredients in a shaker and shake well. Pour the ice-cold drink into a martini glass. You may also garnish it with a cucumber slice.
This easy-to-make martini is the perfect summer cocktail. It features pineapple juice and coconut rum, making it great for a beach party or drinking by the pool. It has a tart and sweet flavor with a deep red color.
Basic Rules of Martini Making
Here are some basic rules of good martini making:
Alcohol Used in Classic Martinis
- Classic martinis use vodka or London dry gin and dry vermouth.
- Classic martinis may contain anywhere from a splash of dry vermouth to up to half gin and half dry vermouth.
- A classic martini is 3 ounces.
- Martinis that contain other ingredients such as brine and juices can be up to 5 ounces.
Glassware for Martinis
Martini glasses aren’t confined to the traditional V-shaped style. You can use rounded Nick and Nora glasses, vintage-inspired coupes, and cut crystal glasses. All these glasses will do an excellent job of holding a martini.
Stirring Vs. Shaking
Most experts prefer stirring martinis. Stirring drinks produces a silky mouth-feel with precise dilution and clarity. Shaking adds aeration and texture, changes the mouth-feel, and binds ingredients that would separate with stirring.
Here are some simple rules:
- Stir martinis that only contain spirits and ice.
- Shake martinis that contain cream, brine, egg whites, and juices.
How to Garnish Martinis
Martinis are typically made with gin or vodka, but there are many modern variations. The type of garnish that you use can alter the taste of the martini. Olives, citrus, and onions are the most common garnishes for most martinis. You can also try maraschino cherries, peppers, or apple slices to add flavor to cocktail-style martinis.
Flavoring with Olives
Step 1: Choose green olives for gin or vodka martinis.
Olives are a perfect martini garnish. You can use traditional olives such as Spanish Queen and Barouni olives. Black olives are another good option, but only use them for non-traditional martini recipes.
- You can choose olives with or without seeds.
- You don’t have to get fancy olives. The simple ones you’d find at the grocery work just fine.
- Don’t add olives to fruity or sweet martinis because the tastes won’t mix well.
Step 2 – Rinse the olives off.
Olives usually come in a jar in brine or pickle liquid. Dirty martinis leave that brine on the olive and sometimes add an extra splash of brine. If you’re not making a wet and dirty martini, make sure to rinse off the olives with cold water before adding them to your drink.
- Briefly run the olives under water to rinse them. You don’t need to wash olives for a long time.
- If you are making drinks for your friends, ask if they want olives rinsed or with some brine left on them.
Step 3 – Skewer the olives or drop them straight into the drink.
If you have small skewers, stick one through the olive and place it in the drink. If you don’t have skewers, you can use wooden toothpicks. Alternatively, you can drop the olives directly into your martini.
Step 4 – Experiment with stuffed olives.
If you’d like to add different flavors to your martini, you can choose olives stuffed with a variety of other foods. Pimento is easy to find and is the most common stuffing. If you want something more exotic, you can look for olives stuffed with almonds, garlic, or cheese.
Garnishing with Onions
Step 1 – Make a martini with pearl onions.
This type of martini is called a Gibson martini and uses small pearl onions. These pickled onions usually come in a jar. If you’re in a hurry, try garnishing with a slice of regular sweet onion.
Step 2 – Rinse the pickled onion off for a subtler taste.
Onions are sometimes pickled with turmeric or paprika. If you have onions that add a strong flavor to your drink, you can rinse them off with cold water.
Remember that rinsing pickled onions will take away some of the flavors, so only do it if you think it’s necessary.
Step 3 – Spear the onion with a skewer or toothpick.
You have the choice to skewer the pickled onions or place them directly in the martini. You can rest the toothpick against the side of the cocktail glass when you serve the martini. The skewer is convenient because it allows you to easily pull the pickled onion out of the drink if you want to eat it.
Freshening a Martini with Citrus Fruits
- Using Fruit Garnishes for Sweet Cocktails.
Cut citrus fruits into wheels. Slice a fresh lime, lemon, or orange crosswise into rounds 0.25–0.5 inches thick, then make a small incision into the thick peel on one side. Slide the notched section of the fruit wheel onto the rim of the martini glass and serve.
Simple citrus garnishes like this are perfect for drinks like mojitos, coolers, and martinis.
Consider how the type of citrus fruit you choose will complement the flavors of the martini’s primary ingredients. For example, a lemon wheel may help cut the bitterness of a classic gin martini, but it’ll be too tart for white chocolate or espresso martini.
2.Use citrus twists to infuse flavor.
Rub the colorful side of the fruit peel around the rim of the glass, then either drop it into the martini or discard it.
When you take a sip, you’ll notice the zesty aroma and flavor of the citrus twist. Twists are one of the easiest garnishes to make. They’re most popular for garnishing cocktails like martinis, Cosmopolitans, and Poinsettias.
3.Cut fruit peels into spirals for better presentation.
The easiest way to make a spiral garnish is to use a channel knife. This knife will cause the peel to curl as it comes free. If you don’t have a channel knife, you can also peel the citrus fruit in a loose spiral shape.
Spiral garnishes make a great addition to martinis, spirits, and other mixed drinks that look a little plain.
Experimenting with other Garnishes
Step 1 – Add cherries to fruity or chocolate martinis.
Sweet fruits like maraschino cherries are not typically used in martinis. If you have a Washington apple martini or a pomegranate martini, cherries add a nice syrupy sweetness and brighten your drink’s color.
Plop one or two cherries into the drink, or skewer them and place them against the side of the glass.
Step 2 – Use a slice of green apple to add tartness.
Apples are a great garnish for fruity martinis. Look for Granny Smith apples because they add tartness rather than sweetness. Cut slices or cubes to garnish the drink.
Place apple slices in a glass with some lemon juice to keep them fresh if you cut them before you are ready to serve.
Step 3 – Make spicy martinis with pickled pepper.
If you want to try something unusual, add a whole pepper to the drink. Pickled Jalapeno or pepperoncini are common peppers to use. Remember that both peppers are pretty spicy, so add a small piece for a hint of spice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the original recipe for a martini?
The original martini recipe calls for gin and dry vermouth. You can also garnish your drink with an olive or lemon twist.
Is there a difference between a dry martini and a wet martini?
Yes. A wet martini has far more vermouth than a dry martini.
What’s the difference between the terms ‘ Straight Up’ and “On the Rocks”?
The term ‘straight up’ refers to serving drinks without ice. On the other hand, a drink served on the rocks has ice cubes in the glass.
What is World Martini Day?
World Martini Day® is an independently organized global celebration of the martini. Everyone can celebrate this wonderful cocktail on this day.
When is World Martini Day?
World Martini Day is held on the third Saturday in June every year.