What It Means To Order A Martini 'Bone Dry'

Nailing a martini order can be a bit of a challenge, admits Dustin Wiggins; From choosing the type of liquor you want in your drink (vodka or gin), how much vermouth you'd like added to the cocktail, and naming your preferred choice of garnish (a twist of lemon or olives), the options are seemingly endless. But the more specific you are, the easier time your bartender will have in creating the drink that's perfect for you.

The quantity of vermouth added to your drink determines a martini's category; Less vermouth equals a drier martini. Typically, martinis blend 2:1 ratios of gin to vermouth, explains The Booze Snob, while perfect martinis are equal parts sweet and dry vermouth, and dirty martinis include a splash of olive brine added to the mix. 

One martini, in particular, requires active attention to measure out the right amount — or shall we say lack of – vermouth.

As dry as it comes

"I'd like a dry martini, Mr. Quoc. A very dry martini. A very dry, arid, barren, desiccated, veritable dustbowl of a martini. I want a martini that could be declared a disaster area," M*A*S*H character Hawkeye Pierce orders. Perhaps he should have simply said "bone dry."

A bone dry martini also carries the name of the notorious British Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, who was rumored to like martinis in the same way he preferred his battles: With gin outnumbering vermouth in a ratio of 15:1, according to Difford's Guide. Anything over a 6:1 ratio falls into the category of bone dry, notes Puddingstone Distillery

No, this isn't a Churchill martini — a neat and chilled martini served without any vermouth included, clarifies Drizly. A bone dry martini simply pushes the boundaries of ratios, explains The Martini Socialist, and vermouth must be added carefully, ideally measured by dropper or diffuser.

Thirsty? We have a dry martini recipe that is delicious cold and served with a lemon twist.