One Martini Recipe, Five Easy Variations

A martini cocktail
Photo by Katrin Björk

Courtesy Tristan Willey, cofounder, Good Vodka, New York City

Many bartenders lay claim to a perfect version of this classic, but it’s a drink with wide range. Add more vermouth, or less. Use gin or vodka. Dash in orange bitters or not. Try a splash of liqueur, or rinse the glass with absinthe or Chartreuse. “I love a Martini of any ratio, it turns out,” says Willey, who recently cofounded Good Vodka.

“I go up to my stirring glass and pour in amounts, and it’s always nearby what I want. It keeps me from having to do anything agonizing about the drink. I can just enjoy.” Below is Willey’s go-to recipe, but he encourages that it be used as just a starting point.

Here are a few ways to change it up:

  • Try it with equal parts gin and vermouth.
  • Flip proportions to 2 ounces vermouth and 1 ounce gin for an Inverse Martini.
  • Either some or all of the gin can be swapped for vodka.
  • The vermouth is open to interpretation. Try dry, blanc, a wine-based apéritif like Lillet or Cocchi Americano, dry Sherry or saké.
  • Play with garnishes. Try caper berries, olives or cocktail onions.

Agony-Free Martini 

  • 2 ounces London dry gin
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • Lemon twist, for garnish

In mixing glass filled with ice, stir gin and vermouth. Strain into chilled coupe glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Published on December 25, 2020