How to Make a Martini

Keep things cool when shaking up this bartender staple.


While variations of martinis have moved well beyond the traditional mixture of gin and vermouth, you can't beat the original. With just a few ingredients and simple steps, you can readily enjoy this classic cocktail at home, but remember: The key to making the perfect martini is to think perfectly chilled.

Step 1

Ice Is Nice


To start, grab a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice cubes. Fill the shaker all the way to the brim, as this is key to chilling the martini while still allowing the ingredients to melt just a tiny bit of the ice into the drink. 

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Step 2

Add the Ingredients


Add 3 1/2 ounces of your chosen high-quality vodka or gin, and a tiny splash of dry vermouth, to the ice. Then start shaking. Shaking for a full 30 seconds to 1 minute achieves the coveted perfect martini chill we're after, so be sure to keep that shaker going. 

TIP

Should the vodka or gin be chilled? You’d think so, since you’re striving for a perfectly chilled cocktail, but it actually shouldn’t be. Chilling the liquor prevents it from melting a bit of the ice during the shaking process, resulting in a martini that's too strong.

Step 3

Pour It Out


Pour your cocktail into a well-chilled martini glass. Place glasses in the freezer for 15 minutes before preparing your martinis, to get that perfect martini chill.

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Step 4

Garnish & Enjoy


Finally, garnish your drink as you'd like. Want to be traditional? Use olives or lemon peel twists. Want to shake tradition up a bit? Garnish with caper berries, cherry tomatoes, cocktail onions or even baby dill pickles. 

Find more helpful how-tos here »

Plus: Get the full recipe for this martini » 

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About Kitchen Is My Playground


Tracey is the creator of the popular blog The Kitchen Is My Playground, which she founded in 2011. Her goal is to share recipes with other home cooks looking to create flavorful (and somewhat adventurous) food for their families and friends. Connect with her on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or Google+.