The Key Ingredients That Make A Martini 'Perfect'

Martinis are classy drinks, admits The Booze Snob. Served simply in svelte cocktail glasses, martinis have been enjoyed since the 1870s, but the original martini recipe was noticeably sweet and included bitters, gin, and vermouth, notes Occasio Winery.

Since then, martinis have taken on a category of their own, and ordering a martini from any bartender is bound to follow with a series of questions. From the type of liquor you want your martini made with to the ingredients added to the drink — dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, or olive juice — you have options. As Dustin Wiggins explains, martini ordering falls on a continuum ranging from "wet" to "bone dry" and indicates how much and what kind of vermouth the bartender will add to your beverage.

Order a "perfect martini," and your bartender might ask you to clarify: Do you want the best martini in the house — or a martini that has been made with specific proportions in mind?

Meet the medium martini: The perfect martini

Traditional martinis mix gin with vermouth, but the ratio of the two ingredients can vary, clarifies The Booze Snob. A perfect martini is made with equal parts dry and sweet vermouth and double that amount of vodka or gin, explains Pour Bar Services.

As Difford's Guide explains, the perfect martini lies smack in the middle of the martini continuum, with a dry martini made with gin and dry vermouth on one end of the spectrum, and a sweet martini made with gin and Rosso vermouth on the other; in fact, perfect martinis were called "medium martinis" in the 1930s, and in The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, David Embury wrote that whoever named the cocktail "perfect" didn't fully understand the definition of the word.

Decide for yourself and use our easy dirty martini recipe to kick off your experimentations. Once you have basic recipes mastered, you can start adjusting ingredients to match your preferences and mood.