Clean, dirty, shaken, stirred … it’s International Martini Day!
Happy International Martini Day for 22 June! Whether you’re a die-hard martini aficionado (is that you, James Bond?) or just starting out on your martini-drinking adventures, we’ve got all the must-know facts about this famous cocktail, including how to order one like an expert.
The Martini has a rich history steeped in intrigue and controversy. Consisting of only two ingredients, gin and vermouth. It’s a simple cocktail with a complicated history.
So, what makes this seemingly uncomplicated cocktail so intriguing?
1. Its exact origin is unclear and a little mysterious. A popular theory suggests that the first martini was derived from a cocktail called the Martinez. The Martinez was served in San Francisco sometime in the early 1860s at the Occidental Hotel and was named after a nearby town. What’s the difference between a martini and the Martinez? Honestly, not a lot. The main difference is that a martini uses dry vermouth whereas a Martinez uses sweet red vermouth, with a couple of dashes of orange bitters.
2. Whilst traditionally a martini is made with gin, you can also make a delicious martini using vodka.
3. James Bond may have liked his martinis shaken and not stirred, but shaking your martini is not recommended. Shaking your martini introduces a lot of air creating a slightly cloudy watered-down drink. A traditional martini should be silky, soft and smooth to drink.
4. Clean dirty, dirty, dry, wet – They are all ways to order your martini. The martini is a very simple cocktail but if you’re ordering a martini for the first time the number of variations can make ordering the perfect martini incredibly complicated.
Below we’ve created a handy little guide for how to order a martini like an expert:
Choose your spirit – Gin or Vodka
Choose your ratio – Do you want your martini wet or dry? This is all down to the amount of vermouth used. A wet martini has a higher percentage of vermouth making it sweeter and lower in alcohol. A dry martini has a higher percentage of gin or vodka, making it higher in alcohol and giving a more dry mouth feel.
Select your garnish and any other additions – Traditionally martinis are garnished with one or two olives but it’s not uncommon for a martini to be garnished with a twist of lemon peel (order with a twist if this is your preferred garnish). If you would prefer no garnish at all order your martini clean. A dirty martini is garnished with olives and includes olive juice.
Select your blending process – Stirred, shaken or naked (unmixed)
Choose your presentation – Straight up (mixed with ice but strained), neat (room temperature), on the rocks (poured over ice).