Dry Martini Cocktail Recipe — A Beloved Classic for a Reason

The classic martini is stirred, not shaken, and it's mostly gin with just a hint of vermouth.

Updated March 3, 2024
The Classic Dry Martini

Since the 1920s, the classic dry martini captured the hearts of bar-goers and cocktail enthusiasts. Unlike the classic martini, the dry version of this cocktail is all about the amount of dry vermouth — ranging from virtually none to just a tiny bit. If there's one classic cocktail you need to have as part of your home bar, it's the classic dry martini. 

How to Make a Classic Dry Martini 

As time passed, the ratio of dry vermouth to gin began to change steadily, with a ratio of 3 parts gin to 1 part vermouth to a ratio of 5 or 6 parts gin to 1 part vermouth. Today, the modern recipe often follows the 6-to-1 ratio, although some martini purists will tell you that, at most, you should put the dry vermouth in a spray bottle and give it one spritz in the air in the vicinity of the cocktail glass (but not directly into it). We suggest you find the ratio that works for you.


  • 2½ ounces gin
  • ¼ ounce dry vermouth or to taste
  • Ice
  • Olive for garnish


  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. Rinse the glass with dry vermouth by swirling it in the glass. Discard the vermouth, leaving a drop or two if desired.
  3. In a mixing glass, add the ice and gin.
  4. Stir rapidly to chill.
  5. Strain into the prepared glass.
  6. Garnish with an olive.
Quick Tip

There’s one way you can give your dry martini a flavorful twist — make it dirty! It's easy to do with just a splash of olive juice

Dry Martini Variations 

A dry martini has a fairly straightforward list of ingredients, but you still have wiggle room to play around and build the perfect one.

  • Don't discard the dry vermouth after rinsing the glass.
  • For a bone-dry martin, skip the vermouth altogether, only glancing at an unopened bottle of dry vermouth as you stir the gin and ice.
  • Use ½ ounce of dry vermouth for a crisp, dry martini.
  • Experiment with different brands and styles of gin, including Plymouth, London dry, Old Tom, and genever.
  • A chilled glass is an important step in the process — you can chill slightly or make yours ice cold.

Related: Apple Martini: Classic Recipe + Some Fun Variations

Timeless Martini Garnishes

The garnish of a dry martini is a personal choice, so don't let anyone make you feel like you can't enjoy something unique or fun or shame you for sticking with a traditional choice.

  • Using blue cheese-stuffed olives make a great addition to a dirty martini.
  • Add a citrus touch by using a lemon wheel or peel. A lemon coin also adds a subtle touch of flavor.
  • For an orange citrus flavor, use an orange wheel or peel.
  • If you want a standout garnish, add a dehydrated citrus wheel using either a lime, lemon, or orange.
  • A cucumber slice or ribbon peel can add an alluring look to this traditional cocktail.

A Dry Classic That's Here to Stay 

When it comes to cocktails, dry usually means to abstain or skip out on the booze. But in the case of the dry martini, it's a key recipe in the cocktail world, making gin the star in this iconic libation.

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Dry Martini Cocktail Recipe — A Beloved Classic for a Reason