A Classic Martini is an ideal cocktail for New Year’s parties or any time of the year. This recipe has the perfect combination of vodka (or gin) and just a touch of vermouth for a dry cocktail that has real class!

The best cocktails are always the classics in my humble opinion, whether it be a Mojito, a kicky drink like a Moscow Mule…or this perfect Martini. On the other hand, sometimes it can be fun to experiment, and if you’re looking for something sweet, a Strawberry Margarita or fun Lemon Drop Martini is always a hit!

Martini with two olives in a glass

What’s in a Martini?

Just a few easy to find ingredients are all that’s needed. You can make your martini dirty, have a vesper with lemon rind James Bond style, or go for gin instead of vodka. Just don’t forget the olives, plain or martini olives.

There are all types of martinis, just make sure to serve it in a martini glass, and you’re good to go!

  • Vodka (or gin) choose a good liquor since it’s the star of the show.
  • Dry Vermouth, you can use sweet vermouth, but in my opinion, there is nothing that compares with a very dry martini!
  • Olives with pimentos
  • Ice is self-explanatory. Nobody wants a warm martini.


Or you can change it up and add other garnishes. Try a martini bar and set out several dishes with different garnishes to choose from.

  • Classic pimento stuffed olives
  • Blue cheese stuffed olives
  • Pickled onions
  • Citrus rind (orange/lemon)
  • Cranberries with sweet vermouth and a sprig of juniper (make sure it’s the edible kind, or you could get sick!) would be nice for a Christmas Martini!

You may get in a debate with Martini purists about whether or not this cocktail is still a martini without olives, though! But we’d say you’re good with whatever version you prefer.

Ingredients for martini on a marble board

The Best Gin for a Martini

If you’re making cocktails using gin instead of vodka, there are a few choices out there that can help you achieve Martini perfection!

  • Tanqueray for a familiar taste experience that’s all about old school comfort! Tanqueray is also great for making dirty martinis.
  • Four Peel Gin for a bright and citrusy drink that’s perfect for the holidays.
  • Nikka Coffey Gin for a Japanese style drink that has a smooth, sweet, and tangy finish!

Shaken vs Stirred – What’s The Difference?

Most bartenders shake drinks that contain dairy, egg whites, juices, etc., in order to create a pleasing frothy top to a cocktail.

Martini connoisseurs’ debate about the benefits of shaking versus stirring martinis, but we are making our cocktail James Bond style. Shaking the liquor with ice blunts any sweetness and creates an extremely icy, somewhat cloudy, and very dry martini, which is exactly what we are aiming for!

What is a Dirty Martini?

A dirty martini might sound like something you’d want to avoid. But if you are one of those people who drink martinis just to get to the liquor-soaked olives at the bottom of the glass, you may want to consider the benefits of a dirty martini. Simply put, a dirty martini has a teaspoon of brine from the jar of olives mixed right into the drink! It’s different and delicious.

Now you know how to make a perfect dry martini. It’s a sophisticated cocktail that’s perfect for any occasion! Just follow the steps in the recipe below to achieve martini perfection!

More Classic Cocktails

Martini with two olives in a glass
5 from 13 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Classic Martini Recipe

An ideal cocktail for New Year's parties or any time of the year!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 cocktail
buy hollys book


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 teaspoon dry vermouth optional
  • 2 large pimento stuffed olives
  • ice


  • Place martini glasses in the freezer.
  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Add vodka and vermouth, shake very well.
  • Pour a dash of vermouth into the prepared martini glass and swirl it around. Discard the vermouth.
  • Strain vodka into chilled glasses. Add olives and serve immediately.


This martini can be made without vermouth or more or less vermouth to taste.
Can be garnished with lemon rind in addition to or in place of olives.
5 from 13 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 147 | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 125mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Beverage
Cuisine American
Classic martini garnished with olives with writing
Classic martini in a glass with olives and a title
Ingredients for classic martini and classic martini in a glass with a title


, ,

Like our recipes?
Follow us on Pinterest!

Follow us on Pinterest

Recipes you'll love

About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
See more posts by Holly

Follow Holly on social media:

pinterest facebook twitter instagram

Free eBook!

Subscribe to receive weekly recipes and get a FREE Bonus e-book: Quick & Easy Weeknight Meals!

You can unsubscribe anytime by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of emails you receive.

Latest & Greatest

5 from 13 votes (12 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. While vodka martinis are tasty and becoming more popular than gin martinis, classic implies “original”.
    Therefore, a classic martini is made with gin.

    1. Hi Russ, in our write up we do suggest gin for a true classic but love the flavor of a vodka martini as well!

  2. Omg best way for a martini never keep the vermouth and always shaken a little secret once they are done shaking shake again lol omg another 1/8 ounce5 stars