The Perfect Martini

Cary Grant (allegedly) famously said, “Why don’t you get out of these wet clothes and into a dry martini?” and no quote is more appropriate for misty, wet San Francisco weather than this one! To learn how to make the perfect, badass martini, I turned to my mixologist roommate Victor for the scoop:

“There’s been a shift, from traditional vermouth and gin martinis, to straight vodka with lots of olive juice,” says Victor. “But in my opinion, the key to a great, classic martini is good quality ingredients, a nice clear glass, and the right ratios.”

We have a lot of top-shelf liquor on hand at our house, but you can feel free to experiment until you find the spirits you prefer. As long as they’re good quality, you can’t really go too far awry.

We did a lot of experimenting and mixing – all in the name of research, of course – and ended up with two different camps of martinis: some that are smooth, clean and bright, and others that slap you in the face and yell I AM A MARTINI, BITCHEZ!, but in the most refined way possible. In other words, I’ve Had A Good Day Martinis and This Has Been A Terrible Day Martinis.

But since we’re talking perfection here, we continued to mix and stir and concoct until we developed a perfect blend of the two that will have you sipping happily until Cary Grant walks through the door.



. Beefeater or Ransom gin

. Noilly Pratt vermouth

. Fee Brothers orange bitters

. One lemon


1. Chill the glass, either in the freezer, or by filling it with ice water while you mix your drink, and pouring it out before you strain.

2. In another glass or shaker, measure out 2 1/2 ounces gin, 3/4 ounce vermouth, and two dashes orange bitters over ice. Stir the ingredients with ice, quickly and evenly, first clockwise, then counterclockwise. Continue stirring until well mixed and condensation forms on the outside of the glass.

3. Strain into a chilled glass, making sure no ice shards escape!

4. Garnish with a large lemon curl. For extra technique points, squeeze the lemon curl to release its oils, and rim the glass with it before placing it into the drink.

5. Voila! Even if you had a bad day, if you’ve made perfect martinis, you’re suddenly having a very good day. Hey, good for you!

Thank you, Victor!

One thought on “The Perfect Martini

  1. Libbie says:

    Cheers! While we go less on the vermouth and drink our gin martinis sans bitters or lemon, I love the martini tribute- and the fact that you chilled the glass. Great b&w photo at the end! Going out tip: The best martini in town can be found at Bix.


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