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How to Order a Martini Like an Expert

How to Order a Martini Like an Expert

It can be shaken, stirred, wet, dry, or dirty. To order a martini like a man, you need to know about all the fine nuances that make up this classic cocktail. So then as always, this Tastessence post is here to help you order a martini like a pro.
Renuka Savant
It ain't a martini if it's too fancy.
All those new-fangled mixes like appletinis, chocolatinis, and even a vodkatini do not classify as martinis. The real deal just has 5 parts gin and 1 part dry vermouth (proportion may vary to suit your palate).
Yeah, apologies, Mr. Bond. As suave as you are with your version of the martini, it simply isn't the real deal. James Bond may be credited for having single-handedly elevated this nondescript cocktail to heavenly levels, but his vodka-infused version does not make the cut with martini purists.

So, what is all the brouhaha over a regular-looking cocktail? Well, for starters, it does taste divine. And let's all admit, it does exude an unmistakable aura of sexiness. However, be warned―ordering a martini ain't no mean task. Do it right, and you'll pull off an effortless Bond; screw it up, and you'll end up looking like Austin Powers. But fear you shall not, as we're giving you the definitive guide to ordering a martini like you own the room.
To begin with, you need to wrap your head around all the permissible variations of the classic martini to judge your preference. Here goes.
When you order a martini (also called a classic or standard martini), you can expect the original version of the drink. This will have a 5:1 ratio of gin to dry vermouth, sometimes garnished with a single piece of olive. Vermouth, basically, is a fortified wine flavored with herbs. It comes in sweet and dry versions, and since it is wine, you'll find red and white varieties as well.
Dry Martini
A dry martini drastically cuts down on the vermouth content, and relies heavily on the gin for flavoring. Your bartender might just roll the vermouth in the glass so that a thin film coats it; and there are also bone-dry versions that have no vermouth at all. These were highly favored by former British prime minister, Mr. Churchill himself.
Wet Martini
In the wet version, the vermouth proportion increases to a higher-than-usual level. This one should taste more herb-like for obvious reasons, and balances out the stiffness of the gin. There was a time when martinis were made overwhelmingly wet―with the gin and vermouth in equal proportion. You may request this even today―after all, it's your drink and your money.
Stirred or Shaken
It's meant to be stirred, and not shaken, contrary to what Mr. Bond had you believe. It is said that stirring a martini keeps the spirits from bruising, and retains the flavor. Others are of the opinion that shaking it actually releases the flavors in the right manner. We're not judging no matter what you do, so try out both, and pick your style.
A martini becomes 'dirty' with the addition of the brine used for soaking the olives. It gives a salty kick to the drink―and believe me, it's not something that everyone fancies. Therefore, do not order this to sound sophisticated; you may as well spit out your first sip on your date's dress. The addition of brine may overpower the taste of alcohol, so, the dirty is often referred to as the rookie's martini.
Well, like we mentioned before, the addition of sweet red vermouth is what lends the sweetness and the tinge of blush to the martini.

Everything else pretty much remains the same, except that the sweet vermouth gives this cocktail an extra dash of deliciousness.
With extra olives
With extra olives
In case you're fond of them, you can always request the bartender to garnish your drink with extra olives―you'll usually be served with 3 pieces in this version.
With a twist
With a twist
The twist comes in the form of a curled lemon rind. It imparts a certain lemony zest to the drink, and certainly pairs rather well with the gin.
The Gibson is a regular martini garnished with a cocktail onion. There's no telling why this garnish has changed the name of the drink, but hey, we're not complaining!
Vodka Martini
The vodkatini, as it is also known as, is a drink wherein the vodka either replaces the gin, or is used in addition. You may also know it as the vesper martini. This is the Bond-sy version, originally made with gin, vodka, and a bitter wine aperitif.
Flavored Martinis
Flavored martinis come in a variety of fruity infusions, like the appletini or the cherry martini, for instance. They are created using fruit-flavored vodkas, schnapps, liqueurs, or brandy.
On the rocks
In case you order a martini on the rocks be aware that you're fiddling with the basic premise of the drink. Originally, this drink is always served 'up', indicating that it has been suitably chilled and poured into a standard glass. When you order an iced version, you'll be served the mix in a tumbler over ice.
On a concluding note, you can start off your quest by gathering some must-have martini accessories and learning how to make the standard version. This will give you a chance to rate the original, before moving on to its other variations.