Entertaining
All the Ways to Make a Great Martini

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An elegant, understated Martini is one of life’s greatest, simple pleasures, but the drink’s straightforward format also provides acres of room for variation and improvisation. Whether you prefer yours made with gin or vodka, garnished with a twist or an olive, bone-dry or sweetened with liqueur, there’s a Martini out there for you. Here, all the best ways to mix up a Martini.

The original Martini is as classic as drinks come. It has been reinvented and re-perfected many times over, but a traditional Gin Martini is hard to beat. Add a lemon twist if you like, or don’t.

The Essentials

gin
dry vermouth
orange bitters
When all you want is a pristine Martini free of pungent botanicals, skip the gin and reach for the vodka bottle. Opt for something smooth, garnish as you see fit, and sip on this cold, pure, boozy refreshment.

The Essentials

Vodka
Dry vermouth
For those who know the olives at the bottom of a Martini glass are the best part of the drink, there’s the Dirty Martini, which gets an extra hit of salty, sour flavor from a slug of olive brine.

The Essentials

Gin
Dry Vermouth
Olive Brine
The Vesper is not your standard Martini. A mix of both vodka and gin, along with Lillet, it was created by the same man who birthed James Bond, Sir Ian Fleming. The drink is named for the British spy’s lady love in Casino Royale. Unfortunately for 007, the cocktail far outlived its namesake femme fatale (spoiler alert).

The Essentials

Gin
Vodka
Cocchi Americano
Plopping an onion straight into your Martini may sound odd, but the pickled allium in this variation is like an olive in overdrive. A bit briney and naturally sweet, the pearl onion (or cocktail onion) is the true star in this cocktail.

The Essentials

Gin
dry vermouth
Onion
If you crossed a Manhattan with a Martini you’d get a Martinez. Invented near San Francisco (in Martinez, California) during the Gold Rush in honor of a miner who struck it rich, the mix of Old Tom gin and maraschino make for a sweet celebration in a glass.

The Essentials

Gin
Sweet Vermouth
Maraschino Liqueur
The Bronx is a variation on a Perfect Martini—gin with equal parts sweet and dry vermouths. The uptown take, named in honor of the Bronx Zoo, adds orange juice for a deliciously fruity cocktail.

The Essentials

gin
vermouth
orange juice
Technically, the French Martini is neither French nor a Martini. Once you’re past the shock of mislabelling, embrace this ‘90s-era “Martini” mixture of vodka, pineapple juice and Chambord.

The Essentials

Vodka
Pineapple Juice
Chambord
The Lemon Drop may conjure images of a sickly sweet shot or syrupy mess of a “girly drink,” but using decent liqueur and fresh citrus redeems this cocktail. Men shouldn’t hesitate about mixing one up, either. This drink is perfect for any sour enthusiast.

The Essentials

vodka
lemon juice
Simple syrup
Chocolate Martinis are usually saccharine affairs that blow out your palate with sugar, but our version uses DIY chocolate liqueur for a surprisingly dry drink, perfect for pairing with some sweet eats.

The Essentials

Dark Rum
White Rum
Chocolate Liqueur
Combining the best of the French and Chocolate Martinis, this sweet drink from New York’s Ayza will convince anyone there’s room for dessert. It’s downright irresistible.

The Essentials

Kahlúa
Chambord
Heavy Cream
The Appletini takes the simple Vodka Martini and drives it down a broad lane under autumnal foliage straight into fall. Apple liqueur and apple juice both join in the fun in our version of this seasonal, fruit fest.

The Essentials

Vodka
Apple Liqueur
Apple Juice
Sometimes the only thing that can cure the blues is a blue cocktail. The crystal clear Martini takes especially well to blue curaçao’s ecstatic azure hue.

The Essentials

Vodka
Blue Curaçao
Cocchi Americano
Pink drink lovers stand proud—the Pink Martini is an awesome, colorful way to brighten up a drab evening. Grapefruit juice makes an undeniably awesome addition to fresh lime juice and vodka.

The Essentials

grapefruit juice
vodka
lime juice
Salty squid ink turns this Martini pitch black, but the taste defies any dreary expectation. Apple brandy, sweet vermouth and agave nectar sweeten up the dark side, making for a devilishly enjoyable dark treat.

The Essentials

grape brandy
sweet vermouth
squid ink
The Martini is often served at black tie events, but this recipe gives the classic cocktail a chance to dress up too. This white chocolate variation is decked in vanilla vodka and half-and-half for a silky smooth look and taste.

The Essentials

Vodka
white chocolate liqueur
half and half
Dunk your Martini coupe in the Pacific Ocean with this seafaring spin. Plum sake and a garnish of raw sashimi clearly place this drink in Japanese waters, but this funky riff is appropriate for drinkers of any nation.

The Essentials

Gin
Sake

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