The Perfect Martini


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The Perfect Martini

Copyright © October 27, 2015 Douglas W Jerving.
All Rights Reserved.

James Bond may be wrong, but he was closer to right than this article about the best martini! On this I am a contrarian. It took me a lot of experimenting and bad martinis to come up with what I consider to be the best. And my favorite drink is a good martini. Read the article and after that I will post my recipe.

James Bond was wrong

The perfect martini is unique to you. Here is mine.


Shaker full of ice
1 to 2 Tbsp olive juice
3 1/2 to 4 three ounce shot-glasses preferred gin
2 large stuffed olives per glass
1 good cigar (optional)
Makes 2 large martini glasses.

Fill the shaker with as much ice as it will hold. Use the smallest ice cubes you can find or broken ice. Regardless of what you have been told, ice water IS the second most important ingredient in a great martini. A martini is a mix, and ice is part of the cocktail.

You can chill your shaker and your glasses if you want to, but it is not necessary. Shaking makes this a very frozen cocktail, and a good martini has to be stone cold.

Use the best gin you prefer for your own palette. More expensive does not mean better. Choose something that has a subtle hint of its botanicals that appeal to your own tastes. My preference is Gilby's or Gordonís. Burnetts is good. New Amsterdam is to spicy and is better for other gin based cocktails. I hate Tanqueray; again, to many other botanicals. I want to taste the juniper berry in the gin. NEVER use vodka. It is either flavorless or tastes like cold potato salad.

Your gin should always be at room temperature. Don't keep it in the freezer. That was my biggest early mistake learning how to make this cocktail. The warm gin has to be able to melt the ice, and the ice will freeze the shaker.

I do not add vermouth, either sweet or dry. That is my preference; maybe not yours. If you use vermouth splash the glass and pour out the excess. That is enough to sweeten the bitters of the juniper in the gin. Dry as bones for me, so I skip the vermouth entirely. Either way is considered a "neat" martini.

My perfect martini is a "dirty" martini. Along with ice and three and a half 3-ounce shot-glasses of gin add one or two (at the most) tablespoons of olive juice from the bottle of olives. To much will make it salty, inhibiting the flavor of the botanicals in the gin. You want to temper their flavors without diminishing them. Combined, these will fill the shaker nearly to the brim.

Shake the shaker hard until it is so cold that you cannot comfortably hold it any longer (about 30 seconds). Uncap the shaker and pour it, ice and all into a large martini glass with two large pitted, stuffed olives. You will have enough for two glasses.

Use the best large pitted olives you can find. They should have a crunch to them; never to soft. I prefer olives stuffed with pimento or jalapeno pepper, although garlic stuffed are good too.

At the bottom of the drink you can either eat or discard the olives. They will have become influenced nicely by the gin, but may be to strongly flavored for some palettes. Of course, if you are smoking a good cigar that takes some time, you could also pour the second glass back on top of them, having saved it in the shaker. Don't bother eating the olives if you do so. They won't have any flavor after that second round.



Doug Jerving is the publisher of the You may contact him at


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