Dry Martini

Dry Martini

Never averse to a good drink, writer and martini connoisseur Ernest Hemingway wrote in A Farewell to Arms, “I’ve never tasted anything so cool and clean ...” He also wrote, “I drink to make other people more interesting!”

Back in the days of Prohibition in the US, making and selling booze was a big no-no. But folks found a sneaky way around it. The nationwide prohibition on alcohol was ignored by many resulting in speakeasies manufacturing homemade Gin and Vermouth to mix up some killer Dry Martinis. And guess what? It became a huge hit!

Wet, Dry, Naked or Dirty there are so many variations of this iconic cocktail it will make your head spin – literally if you’re not careful!

A Dry Martini refers to the amount of vermouth in a traditional Martini. The less vermouth, the drier it is, the more vermouth the wetter. So it’s a drink that has a base of gin mixed with dry vermouth, with reputable cocktail sources suggesting a gin to vermouth ratio of anything from 2-to-1 to 7-to-1 to qualify as “dry”.

A Dirty Martini on the other hand, uses a splash of olive brine to make the Martini “dirty”. The more brine added, the dirtier it gets. Olive brine can be used either with the vermouth, or instead of it.

Made with a good, robust gin (or vodka if making a Vodka Martini) and dry vermouth, the Dry Martini has remained an enduring classic due to the simplicity of ingredients, it’s long history, and the colourful legends who regularly indulged, such as Winston Churchill and James Bond.

From its humble beginnings in the early 1900s to a revival in recent years, the classic Dry Martini remains an iconic symbol of sophistication and elegance. So dust off those feather headbands and fedora hats, turn up the jazz and mix yourself a legend in a glass.


  •   50 ml of gin
  •   15 ml dry vermouth
  •   Crushed ice
  •   A green olive or two for garnish (Add a twist of lemon peel instead of olives if making a Vodka Martini)


  1. Chill a martini glass in the freezer
  2. Add the gin and dry vermouth to a mixing glass
  3. Add the ice and stir until very cold
  4. Strain into chilled martini glass
  5.  Drop in a green olive or two as garnish

 Garnish choice makes a difference, as does your choice of Gin or Vodka.

Use lemon zest for a citrus infused dryness to a Vodka Martini, or a green olive for a more savoury twist to a Dry Martini.

Bottoms up!

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