How to Make a Martini Without Vermouth

By Tom Streissguth

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.