I was scared of the dry martini for a long time, but this Gin Queen never turns her back on a gin cocktail without giving it a proper bash (3 attempts before I fell in love with a negroni, I’m nothing if not persistent). Nowadays it’s my most requested drink when I’m out and about.
Dry Martinis are first mentioned in print in the early 1900s, but gin and vermouth drinks have been around since the mid-1800s. The name ‘Martini’ however really came to the fore thanks to Martini & Rossi’s advertising campaign in 1906 “You cannot make a genuine martini (dry or otherwise) without Martini & Rossi Vermouth”*. In the same campaign they promoted a 2:1 ratio with lemon peel and a dash or two or orange bitters.
Earlier martinis used sweet vermouth, but according to Jared Brown in his book ‘Shaken not Stirred’, dry vermouth replaced sweet at the turn of the century, bitters were removed around the Depression and by the Second World Ward martinis were super dry.
How dry do you dare go?
Churchill: No vermouth. Legend has it that Churchill stirred his gin over ice, while glancing at the bottle of vermouth.
Bone Dry: A hint of vermouth. Some bars give the martini glass a light spray with vermouth before pouring in the gin. Others rinse the glass with vermouth before discarding it.
Montgomery: 15:1. Made famous in the novel Across the River and Into the Trees by Ernest Hemingway:
“Two very dry martinis,….Montgomerys. Fifteen to One“
Dry: Any ratio you like as long as it’s predominately gin. I like 2:1 (60ml gin to 30ml vermouth) but most bars seem to go for 5:1 or 6:1. Experiment and find your preference.
60ml Gin (juniper forward gins work best)
30ml Dry Vermouth
Pour the gin and vermouth into a mixing glass. Add ice.
Stir gently for 30-45 seconds. Double strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a twist.
*Taken from Shaken not Stirred by Anistatia R Miller and Jared M. Brown.