Bar tenders created the traditional martini with six parts gin and one part vermouth, shaken or stirred and served with an olive on a toothpick. Modern variations abound. "Dry" martinis add less vermouth. You can now make martinis with gin or vodka and a wide variety of flavorings, from chocolate to apple. Although purists object, the vermouthless "extra dry" version is also gaining favor among modern martiniphiles.
The Vermouthless Martini
Use a clean and dry martini glass with a long stem, shaped like an inverted pyramid.
Pour the basic ingredients--gin, vodka or some combination of the two--into a clean cocktail shaker.
Add the flavoring of your choice. Make an appletini, for example, with a dash of apple schnapps. Olive juice in place of vermouth makes a "dirty martini." Many bartenders prefer a vodka base for flavored martinis, since vodka is a more neutral form of alcohol and does not clash with the taste of the additional ingredients.
Add ice to the shaker and shake or stir. Stirred martinis have a less watered-down taste than shaken martinis, as shaking mixes a bit of melted ice water into the ingredients. Shaking may also create a cloudy drink, and one that is slightly more bitter tasting.
Pour through an ice strainer into the martini glass. Whisper the word "vermouth" over the cocktail, wave a vermouth bottle above the drink, or make sure a vermouth bottle is at least somewhere in sight.
Add a twist of lemon or lime and an olive. Serve immediately.
Use a pearl onion or a lemon slice instead of an olive for a variation on the classic garnish.
Don't allow any ice to fall into the drink.
Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before mixing.