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Classic Martini Cocktail Recipes

It's Martini Time

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Martini Cocktail with Olives

Martini

Photo Credit: © Colleen Graham licensed to About.com
Manhattan Cocktail

Manhattan Cocktail

Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham
Bronx Cocktail

Bronx Cocktail

Photo Credit: © Colleen Graham

There is the Martini and then there are martinis and, quite often the latter has little or no resemblance to the original. The classic Gin Martini, made of gin and dry vermouth, will always remain a classic and a favorite for many. There is much debate among connoisseurs as to the ratio, style of gin (or vodka), and garnish that is the best, but most will agree that the gin-vermouth combination is one of the best cocktails ever created.

It was the love for this classic drink that spurred an entire movement, a separate martini culture within the broader cocktail scene. Fancy, short drinks served in cocktail glasses that are often quite strong and come in almost any flavor imaginable have come to be known as 'martinis.' Some, like the Manhattan and Rob Roy, are as classic as their gin cousin, while other, far newer cocktails mix everything from apples to chocolate, coffee to hot peppers into the little 'tinis.

The list of what are now popularly known as 'martinis' has grown at a rapid pace and there are few signs of it slowing down. The martini has evolved into a style of drink and this collection of recipes celebrates that evolution and should help you navigate all of the options available.

In compiling these lists I have not included every cocktail served in a cocktail (or martini) glass. Instead, I have narrowed the options to the classics that vary slightly from the distilled spirit-vermouth combination, the newer drinks that have taken on the martini name, and drinks like the Cosmopolitan that are popular at martini bars.

 

Navigate the Martini Recipe Collection:

  1. Classics and Liquor-Vermouth Variations (below)
  2. Martinis Listed by Flavor
  3. Martinis Listed by Distilled Spirit

 

Three important martini terms:

  • Dry - little to no dry vermouth
  • Perfect - both dry and sweet vermouth
  • Dirty - add olive juice

 

The Original Martini and Slight Variations with Gin

The classic Gin Martini has been tweaked many times over the years and these recipes include the gentlest of improvisations. All of these recipes use gin and most include vermouth. Others replace vermouth with a similar modifier and with the exception of just a couple of these recipes, all are considered classics, created (to the best of our knowledge) sometime before Prohibition.

 

Vermouth with a Different Spirit

Vermouth is a favorite ingredient in many classic cocktails and is essential for creating a more traditional variation of the original martini. The cocktails listed here use one or both of the two styles of vermouth and replace the gin with another distilled spirit. Again, with just a few exceptions, most of these are classic recipes.

 

More Classic Martinis

These cocktail recipes are all classics and vary slightly from the drinks listed above. Most of them follow the distilled spirit-vermouth model, but add another flavor like fruit or a liqueur. One thing you will notice in the classics is the simple styling, with many using just three or four ingredients, unlike many of the modern martinis that often use five or more ingredients. Sometimes simple is better.

View Video: Top 5 Martini Cocktails

This collection of cocktail recipes is an ongoing project and is updated regularly.

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