How To Order A Martini Like A Total Pro

Learn the terms, and then order a round.

The cocktail world is divided into two camps: those who order martinis and those who don’t. And for those who don’t, it may be because they just haven’t found their best martini yet.

There are many different ways to mix this cocktail, and there’s a recipe out there for everyone ― you just have to know what to ask for when you stroll up to the bar.

Classically, a martini is one part dry vermouth to four parts gin. But that recipe is not set in stone ― here are eight different ways you can order the cocktail. Figure out what’s right for you and have a better happy hour.

1. Dry Martini

If you order a dry martini it means that you’d like less vermouth in your cocktail. And a “very dry” martini would contain even less ― it could be as little as just “rolling” the vermouth in the glass ― which results in a very strong cocktail.

2. Wet Martini

As you might imagine, ordering a wet martini is the opposite of a dry martini, which means you get more vermouth in your cocktail than the standard 4-to-1 ratio.

3. Dirty Martini

The dirty martini, a fairly popular version, uses olive brine for an additional kick, plus olives as a garnish. If you’re a fan of olives, this might be the best option for you.

4. With A Twist

If you’d like your martini with lemon instead of olives (and no olive brine), ask for it with a twist. This will get you a lemon peel garnish in place of the traditional olives. Sometimes a bartender will twist the peel over the drink and run it along the rim of the glass to get an extra pop of citrus in the cocktail.

5. The Gibson

This is what you order when you want cocktail onions to garnish your glass instead of olive or lemon peel. It’s not nearly as popular as the other two, but we suspect that’s because not enough people don’t know this option is out there.

6. Vodka Martini

If you prefer to drink cocktails without hints of juniper, go with vodka. It might not be the most classic way to order a martini, but its clean flavor makes it a popular one.

7. Stirred

Martinis are traditionally stirred. Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book recommends stirring for all martini recipes. For one, stirring will mix all the different components of the drink since they’re likely to be of the same density. (Shaking adds texture and aeration that you don’t really need in a martini.) Purists feel that a stirred martini is best so as not to bruise the gin. A bruised gin won’t taste as crisp because the complex mixture of fragrances that make a gin taste so lovely are literally shaken out of wack.

A couple of martinis that were shaken, not stirred.
A couple of martinis that were shaken, not stirred.

8. Shaken

We know that James Bond (who orders his cocktail with vodka AND gin) likes his martini “shaken, not stirred,” but do we know why? A shaken martini means that the drink is mixed in a cocktail shaker with ice. Go ahead and order it this way, just know you might really annoy your bartender in the process.