Find & make your perfect Martini: Method


In all cases, you must freeze the glass either in a freezer (preferable) or fill the glass with ice and cold water while you make the cocktail to cool it. There's no ice in a Martini, so the glass is the only thing keeping it cold once served, so make sure it’s cold.

The method you choose when making a Martini directly affects how much dilution (water from the melted ice) is mixed in the Martini. Dilution has a similar effect to vermouth, in opening up the gin and making it somewhat smoother in mouthfeel.

Generally, you will want to balance dilution and the amount of vermouth – so if making it very diluted, use less vermouth compared to what you’d use when stirring or making it direct.

The are 3 methods of making a Martini:

1. Shaken

This leads to a much more diluted Martini. Dilution has an effect of enhancing the vermouth, so in a shaken Martini, add even less vermouth than you normally do. With very juniper-forward gins, particularly unfiltered ones, it will also "louche" that makes the Martini slightly opaque like a pastis – this is perfectly normal. If shaking, make sure you only shake for about 15 seconds (until the shaker is ice cold to touch) and don’t shake too hard as this will shatter the ice and cause even more dilution from the shards of ice. When you serve it, you should ‘double strain’ it which means holding back the ice with the Hawthorne strainer and pouring it through a fine strainer (a small sieve) to catch any of those inevitable ice shards.

2. Stirred

This is generally the preferred method, as it allows some dilution but not too much. You need to stir for around 30 seconds. It all depends on ambient temperature though, so make sure your Martini is cold and stir more or less as required.

3. Direct

Or the Duke's Bar method. Freeze the bottle of gin. Rinse the glass with vermouth (add 1-2 bar spoons of vermouth and coat the entirety of the inside of the glass before discarding excess – if the glass is properly frozen then the vermouth should stick to it leaving nothing to discard (this is how they stop carpets getting sticky!), then simply pour frozen gin in. This leads to a very dry and very cold Martini but no dilution.

Some believe that when poured into the glass it should be done from a height or instead of shaking it should be 'thrown' (poured over a distance from one shaker tin to the other). This 'aerates' the drink by introducing small bubbles and 'wakes up' the gin and vermouth giving a lighter taste. Opinion is split on this, as others believe it's just theatrical, though no harm comes from a bit of flair!

What is for certain is there's no 'right' method. It's your preference, no matter what people think.