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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

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Use a clean and dry martini glass with a long stem, shaped like an inverted pyramid.

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Pour the basic ingredients--gin, vodka or some combination of the two--into a clean cocktail shaker.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Add a twist of lemon or lime and an olive. Serve immediately.

Tip

Use a pearl onion or a lemon slice instead of an olive for a variation on the classic garnish.

Warning

Don't allow any ice to fall into the drink.
Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before mixing.

About the Author

Tom Streissguth

Founder/president of the innovative reference publisher The Archive LLC, Tom Streissguth has been a self-employed business owner, independent bookseller and freelance author in the school/library market. Holding a bachelor's degree from Yale, Streissguth has published more than 100 works of history, biography, current affairs and geography for young readers.