The dry martini is hands down one of the most popular martinis in the world, and of all time. Its resilience is unmatched – as it may be just as popular as it was decades ago, a standard that many cocktails cannot claim. This is possibly attributed to how often it is referenced in pop culture, but the truth is that it is a cocktail that simply works.
Of course, this also means that is a disaster when done incorrectly, which also means that it is a great way to determine a good bartender from a lackluster one. There probably isn’t a bar in the world that doesn’t serve a dry martini, and there aren’t too many drinkers that wouldn’t be familiar with what exactly it is. This gin/vermouth/olive concoction is probably the “cocktail’s cocktail”, if that makes any sense – and it is safe to say, without exaggeration, that anyone who isn’t familiar with a dry martini isn’t a true drinker or mixologist, in any sense of the word.
- 2.5 ounces of gin
- ½ ounce of dry vermouth
- 1 dash orange bitters
- 1 splash of olive juice (or brine)
- Combine the gin, vermouth, and bitters in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until cold.
- Strain into a martini glass.
- Add olives (as preferred)
- Mixing glass
- Stirring spoon
- Martini glass
The bottom line is that there is only one real garnish for the dry martini, and that is the olive. It is not uncommon for drinkers to dip the olive in the martini and consume it. The splash of olive juice (or brine) is what defines the martini as “dirty”, and olives aren’t just used as a garnish – they are actually dropped in the martini and meant to soak up the gin and vermouth. It’s the salty flavor of the olive that actually makes the martini very special and distinct – and while it may not be delicious when first consumed, it certainly can become an acquired taste. It is important to only use fresh olives, as old olives really can ruin a dirty martini. No matter who you are, feel sophisticated immediately by ordering a dirty martini today!