A martini is a gin or vodka mixed drink with very high alcohol content. It is usually served at cocktail parties and upscale lounges. You don’t want to order too many of these popular drinks, because it is very similar to drinking straight liquor. A good martini order is perceived as coming from a person of “class” who knows his or her drinks. So know exactly what you want before flagging down a bartender on your next outing.


Decide what flavor of martini you want: sweet or dry (no sugar). There are fruity, sweet martinis that are popular with younger people like apple martinis which are made with sour apple schapps and chocolate martinis that are made with Godiva liqueurs and other sweets. A dry martini is essentially just chilled straight gin with a splash of vermouth (a special type of wine). Martinis are also sometimes made with vodka and are specifically called vodka martinis.

Decide what type of vodka or gin you want in your martini. Popular brands of liquor for martinis include Ketel One and Belvedere for vodka martinis. Tanqueray and Bombay Sapphire gins are used for regular martinis.

If you want a dry martini, let your bartender know how much vermouth you want in your glass. Some people like a lot of vermouth, and other prefer just a few drops. If you want your martini very “dry” you’re saying that you only want a tiny bit of vermouth. Some people also like to have Vermouth drizzled on the top of the cold martini after it has been poured into the glass instead of mixed in with the ice.

Order your martini straight up (no ice in the glass) or on the rocks (ice in the glass).

Tell the bartender if you want your martini shaken or stirred (like James Bond). Some people believe that when a martini is shaken it “bruises” the gin or vodka, which means that the alcohol becomes more bitter. People who prefer a stirred martini like it that way because the drink is not as watered down due to the ice being chipped.

Decide if you want your martini garnished with a twist (a shaving from a lemon), with an onion (called a Gibson), or with an olive. If you prefer, ask the bartender for extra olives in your martini.

Let your bartender know if you want your martini “dirty.” All that means is that he or she will add extra olive juice to the gin or vodka mixture.