From retro to elegant and even everyday, having a classic gin martini recipe in your cocktail arsenal is mandatory!

This recipe has the perfect balance of gin to vermouth with a dash of orange bitters that will impress your guests and make you feel like a true mixologist! Serve it on the rocks with olives or in a fancy jumbo martini glass with a twist of lemon.

Whether shaken (or stirred!) this refreshing cocktail with its complex flavors and hint of bitters is the perfect way to say the party’s on!

holding a Traditional Gin Martini

A Cocktail Favorite

  • Martinis are a timeless cocktail that never goes out of style!
  • Sophisticated yet simple to make, martinis only need a few bottles of spirits, ice, some garnishes, and plenty of those signature glasses for a classy presentation.
  • Host a cocktail party with a martini bar featuring a variety of pickled veggies or citrus twists for garnish. Make them to order and the guest will feel extra special! Serve some elegant appies too, such as crostini, ricotta toast, or caprese skewers.
close up of a Traditional Gin Martini

What is a Dry, Wet, or Classic Martini?

This recipe is for a dry martini, which has a lesser ratio of vermouth to gin. A wet or ‘classic’ martini is an equal ratio of vermouth to gin or vodka.

Neat or Dirty?

Martinis can be neat, which means the alcohol is poured straight from the bottle instead of made in a shaker first. A dirty gin martini is made with a little olive juice (about an ounce) or brine added. And of course, a ‘”filthy” martini means more than an ounce is added!

vermouth , gin , orange bitters and orange slice to make a Traditional Gin Martini

What’s in a Gin Martini?

Gin: Choose the highest quality spirits for martinis for the best results and the smoothest flavor. Tanqueray is a popular brand for martinis, but there are many other gin infusions to try, so feel free to experiment!

Vermouth: Vermouth is a fragrant fortified wine that balances out the gin and comes in a dry or sweet variety. This recipe uses dry vermouth, but sweet vermouth can be used (AKA a sweet martini).

Vodka: Martinis can be made with vodka as well using 2 ounces of vodka to 1 teaspoon of vermouth.

Bitters: Totally optional, bitters are a blend of earthy spices like cardamom and anise and orange peel that can add depth of flavor to a martini, old-fashioned cocktail, and negroni. Triple Sec is the closest substitute for bitters.

Garnishes: What’s a martini without a nibble to swirl around? Green olives, like Spanish or Manzanilla olives and even black kalamata olives, are the garnish of choice since they add a salty balance to the gin and vermouth. Be sure to get olives preserved in brine and not oil. Citrus garnishes like a twist of lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit peels are colorful and tangy and a thin slice of cucumber also makes for an eye-catching garnish.

How to Make a Gin Martini

  1. Place ice in a cocktail shaker, jar, or glass (as per the recipe below).
  2. Add bitters (if using), gin, then vermouth.
  3. If using a shaker or jar, shake before pouring into a chilled glass. Or stir using a cocktail spoon, strain, and pour into a chilled glass.
  4. Garnish as desired and serve immediately.
adding mixed liquids to martini glass to make Traditional Gin Martini

Tips For The Best Martini

Be sure to use a martini glass with it’s classic, iconic shape! Not only do they look great, but the inverted cone shape prevents the alcohol from separating and allows plenty of room for one or two garnishes, such as olives or onions.

Chill martini glasses in the freezer for about 30 minutes before using them, or swirl ice water in the glass for about 30 seconds and discard just before adding the martini.

Always use the best quality ingredients for the best martini!

glasses of Traditional Gin Martinis with olives

Other Tasty Cocktails

holding a Traditional Gin Martini
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Traditional Gin Martini

A gin martini is an elegant cocktail that is so easy to make!
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Servings 1 serving
Author Candace


Cocktail glass
Martini glass


  • 1 cup ice
  • 6 dashes orange bitters optional
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • 3 olives for garnish, optional


  • Place ice in a cocktail glass, jar, or cocktail shaker.
  • Add bitters if using, then gin, and vermouth to the cocktail glass.
  • Stir with a cocktail spoon*. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  • Garnish with olives if desired. Enjoy!


  • *If preferred, top jar or shaker with the lid and shake.
  • We prefer to stir this divine drink.
5 from 4 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 200 | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 200mg | Potassium: 6mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 47IU | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Drinks
Cuisine American

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close up of Traditional Gin Martini with olives and writing

glass of Traditional Gin Martini with skewer of olives and a title
close up of a Traditional Gin Martini with writing
Traditional Gin Martini in a glass with olives and writing
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close up of Traditional Gin Martini with a title


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About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
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