Both sweet and dry martinis are commonly prepared in bars, restaurants and homes all over the world. While gin is the classic spirit used in both cocktails, vodka has become a popular alternative as its stock has risen since the 1950s. While there are differences between sweet and dry martinis, they have one thing in common: their simplicity. Both cocktails are made with only a few ingredients -- the spirit of choice and sweet or dry vermouth or a combination of the two.
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A dry martini is made with 2 oz. of gin or vodka and 1/4 oz. of dry vermouth. Traditionally, a dry martini is stirred in a mixing glass or cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes, strained into a chilled cocktail glass and garnished with a twisted lemon peel, though many choose to garnish the drink with a green olive instead.
An extra-dry martini is similar to the dry martini, but even less dry vermouth is used in the cocktail. To make an extra-dry martini, combine 2 oz. gin or vodka and 1/2 tsp. dry vermouth in a cocktail glass with ice. Stir the cocktail for five revolutions and strain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass. Run a lemon peel around the rim of the cocktail glass and drop it into the drink or add a green olive before serving. Many variations of the extra-dry martini involve using vermouth-infused olives in place of vermouth.
A sweet martini has a much gentler flavor and lower alcohol content than both the dry and extra-dry martini and is made with sweet vermouth instead of dry vermouth. To make a sweet martini, combine 1 oz. gin or vodka with 1 oz. sweet vermouth in a cocktail glass with ice cubes and stir for 10 revolutions. Strain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a twisted lemon peel or green olive.
A perfect martini, named so because it is a cross between the classic martini and a sweet martini, is made with a combination of sweet and dry vermouth. To make a perfect martini, combine 2 oz. gin or vodka with 1/2 oz. dry vermouth and 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth in a cocktail glass with ice cubes and stir for 10 revolutions. Strain the cocktail into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish the drink with a fresh orange slice.