The Classic Dry Martini Cocktail Recipe

Published November 9, 2021
The Classic Dry Martini



  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. Rinse glass with dry vermouth by swirling it in the glass. Discard vermouth, leaving a drop or two if desired.
  3. In a mixing glass, add ice and gin.
  4. Stir rapidly to chill.
  5. Strain into prepared glass.
  6. Garnish with olive.

Variations and Substitutions

A dry martini has a fairly straightforward list of ingredients, but you still have wiggle room to play around and build the perfect one.

  • Don't discard the dry vermouth after rinsing the glass.
  • For a bone-dry martin, skip the vermouth altogether, only glancing at an unopened bottle of dry vermouth as you stir the gin and ice.
  • Use a half-ounce of dry vermouth for a crisper dry martini.
  • Experiment with different brands and styles of gin including Plymouth, London dry, Old Tom, and genever.
  • A chilled glass is an important step to the process-- you can chill slightly or make yours ice cold.


The garnish of a dry martini is a personal choice, so don't let anyone make you feel like you can't enjoy something unique or fun or shame you for sticking with a traditional choice.

  • Use blue cheese stuffed olives, which also make a great addition to a dirty martini.
  • Add a citrus touch by using a lemon wheel or peel. A lemon coin also adds a subtle touch of flavor.
  • For an orange citrus flavor, use an orange wheel or peel.
  • If you want a standout garnish, add a dehydrated citrus wheel using either a lime, lemon, or orange.
  • A cucumber slice or ribbon peel can add an alluring look to this traditional cocktail.

About the Classic Dry Martini

There can be confusion over what a dry martini consists of, but it simply refers to the type and amount of vermouth at the end of the day. In the 1920s, the dry martini caught hold in the hearts of those who frequented bars or enjoyed a cocktail. It quickly became one of the most popular and frequently ordered drinks across the country.

As time passed, the ratio of dry vermouth to vodka began to change steadily, with a ratio of three parts gin to one part vermouth to a ratio of five or six parts of gin to one part vermouth. The most extreme of proportions include eight or more parts of gin to just one part vermouth. Today, the modern recipe often follows the six to one ratio.

The epitome of all the dry martini recipes would be the recipe by Noel Coward, who believed that the best martini is by waving the glass of gin in the direction of Italy in place of vermouth. The Churchill martini follows this vermouth-free recipe, with the recipe flippantly calling for a nod in the direction of France for the vermouth.

A Dry Future

When it comes to cocktails, dry usually means to abstain or skip out on the booze. But in the case of the dry martini, it's a key recipe in the cocktail world-- making dry vermouth an unusual star in this iconic libation.

The Classic Dry Martini Cocktail Recipe