Four parts gin. One part dry vermouth. Olives or a lemon twist. This is the classic martini as we know it, though it hasn’t always been that way. While the two main ingredients have always been gin and vermouth, a ratio of 1:1 was the norm in the late 1800s. During the conflict in the first half of the 20th century, the ratio increased to 3:1 or 4:1. Following suit, the mid to late 1900s led to an even higher ratio of 6:1, 8:1, and on occasion, 12:1. Since then, the standard ratio has returned to 4:1.
While many books have been published on the martini, the true beauty of the cocktail is its simplicity. Its rise in popularity, however, was due to its availability. During Prohibition, gin was one of the easiest alcohols to produce, meaning it was also heavily distributed. Because of the easy access Americans had to the spirit, martinis became a regular drink during the era, eventually leading to the prominent status the drink carries.
The Classic Martini
60ml (2oz) of gin (popular choices being Gordons, Bombay Saphire and Tanqueray)
15ml (1/2oz) of dry vermouth (Noilly Prat or Martini)
Either 1 or 3 olives or a lemon twist
Start by filling both the glass section of a boston shaker and a cocktail glass with ice. Pour the vermouth into the shaker so that you coat not only the bottom of the shaker, but also the ice. Stir the contents with a bar spoon lightly, and then strain the vermouth out of the shaker.
Pour the gin into the shaker and stir. Take your time, stirring steadily to give the ice time to dilute the gin and vermouth
After stirring the contents for about a minute, empty the ice out of the cocktail glass. Proceed to strain the contents of the shaker into the cocktail glass, avoiding any form of long pour.
The martini is traditionally garnished with either one or three olives, though a lemon twist is also a popular choice. Sit the garnish in the bottom of the glass.